SFC Keith Pierce of US Army Golden Knights Parachute Team about the airshow

Newsmaker Interviews
Thursday, August 10th

Seargeant First Class Keith Pierce from the U.S. Army Golden Knight Parachute Team talks to Rob Neyhard about the parachute team's involvement in the Northeastern Pennsylvania Air Show this weekend (August 12 and 13, 2017)


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

One of the things you'll be able to see is the US army golden knights parachute team. And that doesn't studio right now is a sergeant first class Keith peers thanks for joining us Iran were really happy to be here. Well you've been doing this for how long. So I've been in the army for fourteen years airborne ranger that whole time and is my first season with the niceties aren't Hershey to in the golden knights. So you bend that a human jumping out of airplanes for awhile on the assertion but. US I have to ask you this because this is one this is something that. They it'll never be on my bucket list all right I I'd like adventure and I like to do things that. And if NASA takes something to do to want to join the parachute team. How how did you get interest and in doing something like that Sosa is there really is it's interesting story behind that I. I never thought that she and jump out of planes in who have an interest in doing it at all. I am but I did I did have an interest in doing the army now idea I mean army going to be an army ranger. And it was only after the fact that I found out that. Jimmy ever airplanes was part of the job description. And so once I started doing didn't realize I loved it and I and I Manila and ever since so it's so now you join this this very special team that's very well known in the golden knights parachute team. Your based out of of based on the south and yes so we're Fort Bragg North Carolina an Israeli team is based says the Liz seems been for this entire. Its entire life how many air shows have you been doing. So we perform. Prime roughly maybe four years this year shows a year at least so we we trample. 250 days at a whole year. While army air shows. So that's a lot of jumping tests are within. Lot of practice. Gay is a lot of practice we wager we'd. Just Cindy selected we do upwards and upwards of 200 jumps just him being selected then our annual certification cycle we do a book by another 150 200 jumps. Every year. Just preparing and certifying fair shows and then we do another. By Neil 5000 Johnson well under fifty John sis in air shows so when when you come to our airports this weekend. Tom what exactly. Are you going to do what what what should we expect out of out of your team so we're going to be here all weekend Friday is the like our personal lives are practice say so will do a jump. Come on Friday just are kind of test test out the area in you know it's still need to do. There ansari and son aryan due to guns on each of those days Jimmy Jam in the morning to mass formation jump tell me at 11 o'clock. Very doable awful show in the afternoon. And at 230 in the afternoon we'll do a full show and that show. Now what we're gonna do for separate maneuvers we do it's called the baton pass for two jumpers get out make baseline thereby is relative to each other makes makes a spirals on the Skype. Then we do let's call it highway maneuver that Connelly knew very is did you ever comes I was three parishes to send it to we normally Wear. And he he he causes a first parachute malfunctioned demonstrates how you actually can cut away a parachute and then open a new parachute facility that materially due a dime contract maneuver and data contract nearest showing you how far temperature actually separate and joined there by isn't freefall and I'll fly back towards each other and upwards of 300 miles an hour closing speed. And a final formation or Hindu in the polls showed is a close call in diamond formation where four jumpers Foreman diamond in the sky and then at the end that diamond gold. Do is call the bombers and then fly in different directions is tallied fireworks. I and listeners as texted us. We want to ask him. This is from a listener. Why would he jump out of a perfectly good kind of perfectly good flying airplanes the professor episode yeah exactly he's at it it kind of visit him once you guys it is so. For me a lot of luck you'll think it's you know well will do is say it's exciting are you know opulent haven't they think it's kind of feels like a roller coaster it's tough for me isn't it feels more like flying. Gagne says it so. It you don't have that does seem to see you start feeling idea like when you're dropped a really great dropping down a rollercoaster you really have more of Georgia actually flying through the air sea air is coming so fast. In in free file you can you have you have it's gonna enjoy your body it's so for me becomes more about me. The the challenge of you know how how well can I do and how precise can I be and and that's and that's what it. Draws me and keeps me coming. Forward talking with. Sergeant first class Keith appears from the US army golden knights parachute team that's going to be briefed performing this weekend. And to test the air show up here in our airport. In the past. We know we wouldn't it's not uncommon to get like 30000 people at this air show. And I would anticipate you're going to see a crowd like that this weekend the weather is going to be great. You know which which is also important to. To what you do I mean I'm I'm sure you would get to an airport and all of a sudden the clouds rolling and it's too windy. What do you do then is it had it is and it's always it's always a shame you know one we went and jumping into he wouldn't. We put a low lube we put a lot of work in that interview parents they shows for the people who really want to show the people you know what the military is all about self. But we're always here you know out of to talk to its talk to the public and you know we we like we'll answer questions all day about freefall parachuting opportunities available in today's army pulled. Talk about equipment. And so there's there's India and denies its army display at the the air show we'll have. There are so isolated troll I hear you do have some sort of armored vehicles we have also have our parish and equipment we see we can demonstrate how to pack he could man. All that sort of thing obviously at these and these shows like kids have to come up to you. And ask you questions. What are some of them some of the questions kids ask. Man you know I'm kinda how these questions that I am I so kids some kids ask me questions. Come. Well a lot of injustice that they won and how they see how they can do it don't they wanna be they they wanna be in my son says he Austrian army man. Tokyo and they wanna know how they can in our arena and so bad debt debt is a common question is how do I do it. You know I was song you know. Prep school practice guys today's things so you know. Work hard in school. And and and find something impassioned about in practice. And it's always what was your what was going through your head you'll remember the first time he jumped. What was going through your mind dirt at this particular time men who was a blank or wife yes I'm back so what first I don't doubt. It's it's it's interesting because I I think it wasn't like he nerves what do was was I was so. Like hyper focused on what I on what actually had to do you know you're you're so focused on that on the task at hand that I don't even know if our remember actually jumping out of the airplane I think goes thing about every little. Step that. You know I need to do in order and so that's really kind of what I was thinking about how many members are on your team and and how long do you get to do this. So there's there's 89 men and women on the ice is tiny parachute team. Tom mostly a noncommissioned officers and they spend four years someone a five metre sections of the team okay and is about 44 jumpers actual. Performers not on the team and we have. We have a ten section that performs ten parachute jumps for such BAT's. And distinguished individuals us are saying military families we have competition team. We have our administration seems OK and that the demonstration is going to be following that shows the gold demonstration came. Okay end and that's the that you already explained what what we're what we're gonna say yes sir. You know you you talked about the practice and when you have information. And you have so many people jumping at at the same time and and making sure everything works and gets together like a puzzle. Time passes that test would be an incredible amount of practice time this and and you know. Forming it beforehand. So the army. It's it's. The army has has a train plus you've crawl walk run so every time you do something you you know first they. You do is slow we knew you and you walk ending immensely. Do you run. And that's that's kind of that's exactly how we approach this guy means crawl walk run vs Sarah take control your body you forgot how to. How to fly with another person then more people and then and then he's keep adding more skills are more skills and the next thing you know you jump for us you know thirty people or something in the air and just second nature after the great thing him. Well listen I appreciate you joining us so we wish you good like you're gonna do two shows a day right. Yes sir unearned Saturday Andre is out at 11 o'clock in the morning and 230 in the afternoon well I wish you well and thanks for joining us and death. I want to. Pass along any information piece from one of our listeners again saying thank you for your service keep an idea I say the same thing do you say thank you so much thanks for having us and his eyes SA including paying you know. We really appreciate the you know the support that. We've been shown here and you know for the men and women of the military. Clara and again thank you appreciate your.