Dayton Daily News photographer rides along with Golden Knights

The U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team will perform Saturday and Sunday at the CenterPoint Energy Dayton Air Show.

The team is practicing Friday, and Dayton Daily News photographer Marshall Gorby is with them for a flight. The team had hoped to do a practice jump, but there was too much cloud cover. They need at least 2,000 feet to jump, but with the cloud cover they only had 1,600 feet.

Sgt. First Class Danny Hellmann, one of the team members, said that if the weather is fair, the Golden Knights will perform twice each day on Saturday and Sunday. They are prepared to jump from as low as 2,000 feet or as high as 13,000 feet.

The Golden Knights Parachute Team consists of nine jumpers, three aviators and one ground crew member who is a multiple world champion involved in more than 10,000 jumps. The team’s newest jumper has done just fewer than 500 jumps, Hellmann said.

The Golden Knights, formed in 1959, are the U.S. Army’s official demonstration team consisting of former paratroopers with excellence in parachuting skills. They are based in Ft. Bragg, N.C. On average, they do 10 to 15 shows each year.

The team will use a Fokker C-31A Troopship for the Air Show in Dayton.