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Army Golden Knight parachutist killed in training jump; death under investigation

The U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)
March 15, 2023

A member of the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights parachute team died on Monday after being injured in a training jump.

The media was alerted of the death on Tuesday.

Sgt. 1st Class Michael Ty Kettenhofen died from the injuries he sustained during the jump at Homestead Air Reserve Base in Homestead, Florida, according to a statement from the U.S. Army Recruiting Command.

More specific information about the mishap was not released. The accident is now the subject of an investigation, according to the statement.

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The Golden Knights parachute team commander, Lt. Col. Andy Moffit, said Kettenhofen was “loved, admired, and respected by all those who knew him for his sense of humor, joy of life and accomplishments as a senior non-commissioned officer and demonstration parachutist.”

“The U.S. Army Parachute Team is deeply saddened by the loss of one of our own,” Moffit stated. “Our hearts and faith are with his family and friends as we grieve and heal with them. Ty will be honored and remembered as a Golden Knight, Soldier, and friend.”

The Golden Knights parachuting team, part of the Army’s recruiting efforts, performs at festivals and air shows across the country, as well as freefall formation skydiving competitions. Kettenhofen joined the team in fall 2020 and had made over 1,000 jumps with the U.S. Army, according to the statement.

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The Golden Knights’ next appearance is slated for an April 1-2 event hosted at Homestead Air Reserve Base, where Kettenhofen’s accident occurred, according to the team’s website.

Homestead Air Reserve Base is the Golden Knights’ official winter training site, where members practice and update their certifications ahead of the upcoming season, according to a press release from the base. The team’s home base is Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

The Golden Knights is comprised of 95 members spread across the headquarters, an aviation unit, and four parachute units, according to the release.

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.