WATE 6 On Your Side Storm Team Meteorologist Trent Magill has been talking about the United States Army Golden Knights for weeks. After strong winds thwarted his last attempt to jump out of the plane with the competitive skydiving team, he took full advantage of his second chance Wednesday at Fort Benning in Georgia.
The Army Golden Knights are America’s international competitive skydiving team. Their job is to win gold medals and they’re very good at their job. Over 2,000 gold medals since the 1950s and they’ve won the World Championships for the last 8 years.
According to the Army, “The Golden Knights are one of only three Department of Defense-sanctioned aerial demonstration teams, along with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. The team is composed of approximately 95 men and women, which includes four parachute units, an aviation unit and a headquarters. The demonstration teams, which use five dedicated aircraft, perform at more than 100 events per year. The tandem section is known for taking Soldiers, celebrities and heads of state on jumps, and the competition section focuses on winning national and international skydiving events.”
Before they could jump, Trent learned about safety, jumping protocol and the weather’s impact on skydiving. The first attempt didn’t get off the ground in Clarksville, Tennessee thanks to gusts over 20mph.
Fast for a week and a half… Sunshine and calm winds helping skydive attempt #2 from Fort Benning go off without a hitch. Trent and Staff Sergeant Trey Martin exited the plane at 13,500 feet. They fell at almost 130mph for close to 2 miles before SSG Martin deployed the parachute!
SSG Trey Martin has been jumping out of airplanes since he was 18 years old. He’s successfully skydived over 5,000 times. Six on Your Side Meteorologists Trent Magill said he had no doubt they would last safely!