The U.S. Army Golden Knights Wowing Crowds At National Cherry Festival In Traverse City

The U.S. Army Golden Knights wowing crowds Sunday in Traverse City during the second air show of the National Cherry Festival.

The Golden Knights landed on the beach just feet from where many people were sitting.

9&10 News had a crew on the ground and in the air with the Golden Knights. Taylor Jones brings us more details.

“We don’t get beach jumps very often and we just love landing in the soft sand,” says Sgt. Daniel Gerlach.

Precise formations from thousands of feet in the air, a sight to behold for thousands of people on the ground as the U.S. Army Golden Knights performed Sunday afternoon in Traverse City.

“If we get up to 12,500 feet, people get to see the mass formation, when all of the jumpers exited the aircraft simultaneously. If the clouds are lower, then we will do a stack up formation. That’s when each jumper exits at perfect timing, so that way we create stagger step formation,” says Sgt. Gerlach.

It takes hours of practice to get these jumps perfect for air shows like the one in Traverse City.

“I would say we practice about five hours a day. For the most part we’re on the road constantly and it’s something that after being a few years in the service, it’s just ingrained in the back of your mind and so it just kind of kicks in like second nature,” says Sgt. Gerlach.

The Golden Knights landed just feet from people watching on the beaches of West Bay.

“That was amazing! We were not expecting that at all. We knew something was going to happen because there was a blocked space off, but we saw the one drop and it was so windy out and they were just really strategic how they came down with a purpose. It was great,” says Kim Iverson, as she watched the airshow.

Sgt. Gerlach says, “It’s always nice to be landing on the beach because people love going to the beach for air shows, so it’s always a nice big crowd and they are always energetic and it’s a really good audience.

We try to land as close as we can to the people so that way they can get the full experience of the jump and the landing and actually get to meet some of the jumpers and get high five’s.”

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