• The Team
  • The Planes
  • The Show

Lt. Colonel Jerry "Jive" Kerby, USAF (ret.) – Team Lead (L-39)

Jerry D.Kerby retired as a Lt. Colonel from the United States Air Force in 2006 after 23 years of service in the USAF with over 3400 hours in the F-15 Eagle and over 400 hours in the F-4 Phantom. After graduating at the top of his pilot training class, Jive was awarded an F-15 Eagle training slot and eventually went on to graduate from the USAF Fighter Weapons School in the F-15C. During his 7 operational tours in the F-15C, he amassed numerous TOP GUN awards, including the Top Element award for the 1992 William Tell Air To Air Competition. A combat veteran, he led over 20 missions in Desert Storm (SOUTHERN WATCH) as an overall Air-to-Air Mission Commander. Jive was also a military liaison and instructor pilot for the Royal Saudi Air Force and was instrumental in establishing the first ever F-15 Fighter Weapons School for that country.

During the final two years of his USAF career, Jive transitioned to the F-4 Phantom as the Commander of the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron and became the USAF's first F-4 Heritage Flight Pilot. Jive is the only civilian Certified Flight Instructor in the F-4 (non-military) in the U.S. and is also a CFI in the T-33 Shooting Star, T-28 Trojan, the L-39 Albatross, MiG 15/17, and the MS760. He holds a Surface Solo and Formation Aerobatic card in the F-4, L-39, T-33, T-28, MiG 15/17, and MS-760 and has performed in over 250 air show performances. Since his first solo flight on his 16th birthday, Jive has amassed a total of over 12,000 flight hours in over 50 different types of aircraft.

Lt Col Kerby is currently the Team Lead for the Black Diamond Jet Team.




Jared "Rook" Isaacman – Right Wing (L-39)

Jared Isaacman is the founder and CEO of United Bank Card, Inc. (UBC), a premier payment processing organization based out of Hampton, New Jersey. A graduate of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, he is considered to be one of the banking industry's most influential business leaders. He has been recognized as one of the country's leading entrepreneurs by TV programs such as The Today Show, ABC News, Bloomberg as well as publications like The Green Sheet, Transaction World, Inc. Magazine, BusinessWeek, and others.

Isaacman has also been named as a finalist for the Ernst Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2006, 2007 and 2008 and was the youngest person ever named to the list of "Industry Leaders" by the credit card industry's leading publication, The Green Sheet.

Isaacman started UBC in the basement of his family's house when he was only 16 years old. With the help of his father and business partner as well as his first employee, Brendan Lauber, who now serves as the company's CTO, he built the company into the industry leader it is today. Under Isaacman's hands-on leadership, UBC has become one of the largest payment processors in the nation, providing merchant services to over 110,000 business locations and processing in excess of $9 billion in credit card volume annually. Consistently recognized as a leader in innovation, United Bank Card was named one of the fastest growing private companies in the U.S. for five consecutive years (2005-2009) by Inc. Magazine and was ranked by Deloitte on their list of fastest growing technology companies in the Connecticut, New Jersey and New York area in 2008.

In addition to guiding the strategic vision for United Bank Card, Isaacman has demonstrated a commitment to philanthropic giving. He has organized a charity poker tour which is hosted at 4 major industry trade shows and donates all proceeds to the Goodwill Rescue Mission for the Homeless and The Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Jersey. He also launched “Pennies for Humanity�, a program that allows United Bank Card's merchants to contribute a portion from every credit card transaction they process to their preferred charitable organization. Isaacman, a jet pilot in his spare time, raised over $100,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Jersey by piloting two record-breaking flights around the world.

As an Airline Transport Rated Pilot (ATP) and Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), Jared Isaacman has accumulated over 3300 flight hours and has fully embraced his passion for aviation. His personal fleet of aircraft, owned by JDI Holdings, LLC, includes a T-28C Trojan, (4) L-39 Albatross, (2) Mig-17, (1) J-35 Draken, (3) A-4 Skyhawks and a Canadian T-33 Shooting Star. Isaacman is a minority investor in 26 North Aviation, a part 135 charter company, operating business jets across the nation.

He co-founded and flies the right wing position on the Black Diamond Jet Team.


Doug "Tut" Demko – Left Wing (L-39)

Doug Demko began his aviation career while attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona, FL. During his time Embry-Riddle, Tut was an instructor in various types of aircraft and taught ground school classes for the university. Upon graduation, Tut entered corporate aviation business. He currently holds type-ratings in 15 different business jets, including the Gulfstream II, Gulfstream III, Citation Mustang, and Citation III jet aircraft. Currently, Tut is the Director of Operations for 26 North Aviation, a premier aircraft management company based in Allentown, PA. In addition to his corporate aviation type-ratings, Tut also holds type ratings in L-39 and T-28 experimental aircraft. He has over 5000 hours of flight experience. Together with Jared "Rook" Isaacman, Tut is the current record holder of the fastest time around the world Eastbound, having broken the previous record in 2009.


Major Sean "Stroker" Gustafson, USAFR – Slot (L-39)

Major Sean K. Gustafson is currently an Active Guard Reservist (AGR) serving at Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, where he is the Functional Area Manager (FAM) for F-16 and F-35, Training and Tactics Division at HQ AFRC. He establishes and coordinates command policy, procedures and guidance for all AFRC F-16 and F-35 issues and overseas Reserve involvement at 8 Fighter Wings. In his capacity as a FAM, he serves as the Joint Operation and Planning Execution System (JOPES) interfaces between the COCOMs, MAJCOMS, and AFRC.

Major Gustafson was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He served for two years as a Private in the US Army as a Calvary Scout from 1990 to 1992 at Fort Carson, Colorado. He received his commission from the United States Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps at University of Central Florida, graduating with a degree in Civil Engineering. He earned an additional Masters degree from TUI University, graduating Suma Cum Laude. Major Gustafson served in multiple capacities at the squadron, group, wing, and MAJCOM level as an active duty member, Traditional Reservist (TR), and AGR. He is a senior pilot with over 2,400 fighter hours in the F-16 and is on military leave from a US legacy airline, where he flew the MD-88, B757, and B767-ER aircraft. He flew combat missions in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, NORTHERN WATCH, and NOBLE EAGLE. He led 10 ONW combat missions as Mission Commander. Major Gustafson also served as Detachment Commander in South Korea as an Air Liaison Officer to the US Army. Major Gustafson has extensive knowledge of the European and Asian theater, serving for three years in Germany and a year in South Korea. Major Gustafson is the first-ever Reservist pilot to fly for the United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds. He served as the #4 Slot Pilot for the 2009 and 2010 season.

An experienced combat fighter pilot, Major Gustafson has over 3700 combined flight hours in the T-37, T-38, F-16C/CJ/C+, MD88, 757, 767 and L-39.

Sean Gustafson currently flies as the number four (slot) pilot on the Black Diamond Jet Team.

Major John "Slick" Baum, USAF – Dynamic (L-39)

John “Slick” Baum is currently Active Duty in the US Air Force, serving as a Strategic Communication Fellow in Washington DC. He was selected to attend George Mason University to earn a Masters Degree in Communication which was followed by an assignment with the Secretary of the Air Force’s Public Affairs Office.

Major Baum is from Lake Ronkonkoma, NY and enlisted in the USAF in 1993 as an Avionics Sensors Specialist. He has maintained F-15C, F-15E, F-16 and A-10 aircraft at NAS Keflavik Iceland and Moody AFB, GA. Slick was awarded an AFROTC scholarship to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where he graduated with honors, receiving a BS in Aeronautical Science in 1999 and a Masters of Aeronautical Science in 2008. Upon commissioning, Slick attended Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training and graduated F-16 RTU as the Distinguished Graduate. He was recognized as the 31st Fighter Wing’s Wingman of the Year (2003) and Flight Lead of the Year (2004). He quickly upgraded to FAC-A, Mission Commander, and F-16 Instructor Pilot. He was accepted to Fighter Weapons School in 2005. Slick served as a Block 50 Weapons Officer at Cannon AFB, NM and quickly returned to Nellis as a Weapons School Instructor in 2007. There he was the F-35 Tactics Development Team Lead, Chief of Standardization and Evaluation, and winner of the USAFWS Tuskegee Airman Award in 2008. Slick was also requested by COMACC to fly the #2 Position as a Demonstration pilot for the 2009-2010 Thunderbird Team. Major Baum is a command pilot with over 4500 hours in over 15 aircraft. He has flown 57 combat missions over Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, receiving the AF Combat Action Medal and 2 Air Medals for engaging the enemy.


Captain Dale "Snort" Snodgrass, USN (ret.) – Lead Solo (MiG-17)

Captain Snodgrass is currently an internationally recognized Air Show Pilot and renowned Naval Aviator. Famous for his tactical expertise in the F-14, he remains current and experienced in fighters from WWII/Korea, such as the P51, F4U, F86, through more modern era aircraft such as Mig 17/21, A4 and F5. Having served as board member of three nationally recognized aviation museums as well as the International Council of Airshows, he is a respected guest lecturer and was recently honored by the National Air and Space Museum as the featured speaker at the annual VADM Don Engen Memorial lecture series.

Born in 1949 and the son of a Test Pilot, Dale Snodgrass grew up in Eastern Long Island NY. He attended the University of Minnesota on a NROTC Scholarship, was as an All American member of the Varsity Swim Team, and graduated in 1972 with a BS in Biology. Captain Snodgrass retired June 1999 after 26 years of Naval service.

Some of Captain Snodgrass's Navy career highlights include the following:

  • The first Navy Flight School Graduate to be selected for F-14 Tomcat training

  • The first non fleet experienced pilot to carrier qualify in the F-14 (both day and night)

  • Navy Fighter Weapons School Graduate and Instructor (Top Gun)

  • Navy's Fighter Pilot of the Year in 1985

  • Grumman Aerospace’s "Topcat" of the year in 1986

  • Flew 12 operational Fighter Squadron/Wing tours including Command of Fighter Squadron 33 during Desert Storm

  • Wing Commander for all of the Navy's F-14 Squadrons (14)

  • Over 12,500 total flight hours

  • Highest time F-14 Pilot with 4890 hours in the Tomcat

  • 12,000 hours in fighters and 1287 Carrier Arrested Landings

  • Led 34 combat missions in Desert Storm as overall Strike or Fighter Lead

  • Tomcat Flight Demonstration Pilot 1985-1997

  • Legion of Merit (3) for superior performance in positions of great responsibility

  • Bronze Star for Leadership and Valor during Desert Storm

  • Meritorious Service Medal (2) for exceptional service in a position of senior leadership

  • Air Medal (3) for Valor during Desert Storm

  • Navy Commendation Medal (3) for Valor during Desert Storm

  • Various Service and Campaign Ribbons and Awards

As Fighter Wing Commander, Captain Snodgrass was responsible for the dramatic transformation of the Tomcat Community into the world of precision strike. Spearheading the integration of the Lantern Targeting pod by using a unique fleet prototyping rule, he was able to not only prove the concept but force streamline acquisition that enabled deployment of the capability in only one year.

Following his Wing Command tour, Captain Snodgrass was hand selected by CNO to direct the Navy's Legislative Affairs Congressional House Office. Upon his retirement from the United States Navy in 1999, the Chairmen of the House Armed Services hosted the ceremony in the HASC committee room and along with CNO and the Secretary of the Navy served as an honorary speaker.


Commander Mike "Buick" Eberhardt, USN (ret.) – Opposing Solo (MiG-17)

LCdr. Mike Eberhardt joined the US Navy after completing college in 1985. His primary flight training was at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas flying the T-34C then he moved on to the T-2C and TA-4J based at NAS Meridian, MS. Upon receiving his wings in 1987, Buick was assigned to the F-14B "Tomcat" based at NAS Oceana, Virginia. Aboard the USS Saratoga, Buick flew over 100 combat hours during missions in support of Operation Desert Storm. At NAF Atsugi, Japan where he flew the F-14A, Buick lead air strikes to practice ranges at Pusan AB, S. Korea earning an Air Wing Strike Leader qualification. He was chosen for three Instructor tours in the TA-4J "Skyhawk" at NAS Kingsville, TX and NAS Meridian, MS, also flying both TA-4J and T-45 at CNATRA (Chief of Naval Air Training), NAS Corpus Christi, TX. Buick left active duty in 1999 to fly 747-200s with Atlas Air, but he returned just prior to September 11. His last assignment was aboard CVN-71, USS Theodore Roosevelt based at Naval Station Norfolk working in Air Operations. After 22 years of active duty, Buick retired from Naval service and returned to Atlas Air as a First Officer on the Boeing 747-400, where he flies cargo around the world, covering every continent except Greenland. Mike has flown more than 9000 hours including 542 carrier landings.


Lt. Col. Mike "Smitty" Smith, USAF (Ret.) – Alternate Solo/Slot

Mike was born October 29, 1964 in Marlin, TX. He began flying at age 5 with his dad, a CFII, and began logging time at age 14. He graduated from Marlin High School in 1983. In 1989 he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography from Texas A&M University. He was a member of the Corps of Cadets, commanding officer of company C-2 his senior year. Commissioned an Ensign in the US Navy, May of 1989, Mike began flight school in Pensacola, Corpus and Kingsville TX. Graduating 1st in his class June of 91, Mike selected F-14 Tomcats and transferred to Oceana, VA to begin training. Upon completion, he was detailed to VF-33 Starfighters during their workup cycle. Mike subsequently served in VF-84, VF-103 and VF-101 where he completed his time in the Navy as a Tomcat instructor. He was the team lead and one of three F-14 demonstration pilots for the 1998 and 1999 Airshow seasons, performing for over 6 million people and showcasing the Navy’s airpower.

Resigning his commission in the Navy, Mike was hired by the 111th Fighter Squadron, Houston, TX, and began flying the F-16. He served in the Texas Air Guard and USAF for ten years, retiring in 2010. He flew missions in support of Operations Provide Promise, Iraqi Freedom, Noble Eagle and homeland defense missions while in the Navy and Air Force. Lt Col Smith has 132 hours of combat time over Iraq and Kosovo, leading numerous CAS, strike and recce missions and has 305 carrier arrested landings.

Mike has flown numerous civilian single engine aircraft including his RV-4. Military aircraft include T-34C, T-2, TA-4, F-5, F-14, F-16, F-104, L-39. Lt. Col. Smith, USAF (Ret.) currently resides in the Houston area with his wife and two children and is a pilot with a major U.S. airline.


Phil "Sniggy" Adornato

Support Team
Media Pilot/Safety Observer

Philip Adornato was born in Austin, TX. As the son of an United Airlines pilot and flight instructor he grew up flying and earned his private pilots license at 17. He went on to earn his CFI, CFII and MEI by the age of 19 and began flight instructing while attending Kutztown University majoring in Criminal Justice. While there he flew skydivers, towed banners and gliders, and flight instructed. At 21 he began work as a corporate pilot for United Bank Card while instructing Jared Isaacman and others within the company. He is typed in CE-510, CE-525S, LR-JET, G-100, IA-1125 and the L-39. He current is the media/advance pilot and safety observer for the Black Diamond Jet Team.

Mike Robinson

Mike "Bloke" Robinson

Support Team
Narrator/Life Support/Logistics

Originally from England, Bloke took his first flight lesson at age 9 with his Father & joined the Royal Air Force ROTC program, logging more than 120 hours in Gliders, Motor Gliders and Single Engine Piston Aerobatic aircraft before he was old enough to drive. He is a graduate of Tewkesbury High School & in 2000 was a distinguished graduate from the University of Gloucestershire with a Bachelor Degree in Public Services.

As the Flight Operations Support Director for a fleet of F-104 Starfighter aircraft at NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, Bloke has been directly responsible for the Research & Development (R&D), Operational Test & Evaluation (OT&E) of numerous payloads for a diverse spectrum of United States (NASA) & International partner (JAXA/ESA) programs (Space Shuttle / International Space Station (ISS) / Orion / Constellation / Aries) & currently serves as a consultant to several commercial companies for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) NANO/PICO Satellite launch programs. He has also served as the Chief of Standardization & Evaluation (STAN/EVAL) for NASA's Airborne Science Program; Aircraft Catalog (Supersonic Category) liaising directly with the United States Air Force & United States Navy Test Pilot Schools.

Bloke is a commercial rated pilot with over 3,000 hours in 26 types of aircraft including the F-104 Starfighter, L-39 Albatross, T-27 Tucano & numerous civilian aircraft. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics, advisory board member of the Federal Aviation Administration's Commercial Space Transportation Action Committee (COMSTAC) & member of the Survival & Flight Equipment (SAFE) Association, Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) & Aircraft Pilots & Owners Association (AOPA).

Carl Falcione

Carl “Opi” Falcione

Support Team
Narrator/ Logistics/Avionics

Carl "Opi" Falcione is the team's Logistics and Show Planning Coordinator. Originally from Canonsburg, PA he enlisted in the United States Air Force in October 1990, and spent his first ten years of active duty service at Langley AFB, VA working Avionics systems on the Boeing F-15 A/B/C/D Eagles with the 48th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, and the 27th Fighter Squadron. During that time period, OPI became a combat veteran, deploying multiple times to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Turkey in support of Operations Northern/Southern Watch. In 2000 he was selected for retraining, and assigned to work Avionics systems on the Block 40 F-16 Viper at Hill AFB, UT. During his time at Hill AFB, he continued to serve in combat environments, serving on three tours to Balad AB, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also served on a one-year remote to Osan AB, Republic of Korea in 2002-2003. However, Opi is most recognized these days for his most recent assignment, spending the final two years of his AF career as the Superintendent of the Viper West F-16 Demonstration team. His enthusiasm and passion for the air show community is second to none, especially for programs like the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation, and he will tell you that his time with Viper West was the most rewarding and satisfying time of his entire career in the AF!


Mark "Jet Guy" Hancock

Maintenance Team
Team Chief


Scott "Scooter" Yoak

Maintenance Team
Deputy Team Chief


Kevin "Cowboy" Killian

Maintenance Team
Crew Chief


Joe "JJ" Johnson

Maintenance Team
Crew Chief


Aero L-39 Albatros

The Aero L-39 Albatros is a high-performance jet trainer aircraft developed in Czechoslovakia to meet requirements for a "C-39" during the 1960s to replace the L-29 Delfín. It was the first of the second-generation jet trainers, and the first turbofan-powered trainer produced, and was later updated as the L-59 Super Albatros and as the L-139 (prototype L-39 with engine Garrett TFE731). The design is still produced in an evolved state as the L-159 ALCA, more than 2,800 L-39s have served with over 30 air forces around the world. The Albatros – the most widely used jet trainer in the world – is versatile, seeing duty in light-attack missions as well as in basic and advanced pilot training.


Canadair CT-33

The T-33 was the most widely used jet trainer in the world. A two-seat version of the USAF's first jet fighter, the F-80 Shooting Star, the T-33 continues to serve in various armed forces today. In Canada, the T-33 was designated the CL-30 Silver Star and the Allison turbojets of the original were replaced with Canadian built Rolls-Royce Nene 10 engines. The type still serves as a trainer for both countries. Limited numbers were also produced for export, some being modified to carry light armament. While only 1,718 P-80 Shooting Stars were built, nearly 7,000 T-33s saw active service around the world. Until recently, the T-33 continued to serve in Canada as a target tug and general utility aircraft, having been re-designated the CT-133. Additional examples are still in active military service in Japan and several other nations. About 50 are in the hands of warbird operators, mostly in the United States.

The Show

As the headline act for over 20 show sites and with more than 65 performances per year, the team delivers 30 minutes of thrilling air show excitement. The performance features a precision formation acrobatics performed in our five arctic camouflage L-39s and CT-33. At times, all six aircraft come together to demonstrate formation flying at its finest. Our pilots demonstrate unbelievable skill as they maneuver the aircraft only inches apart from each other.

The team's signature 30 minute headline performance includes the following maneuvers:

  • Diamond Loop flown with 4 aircraft inches apart
  • Diamond Clover Loop flown with 4 aircraft inches apart
  • "Make-A-Wish Roll" flown by 5 aircraft
  • Diamond Roll flown with 4 aircraft inches apart
  • Tail Slide flown by a single aircraft demonstrating zero airspeed and tumbling back down to earth
  • Echelon, Belly and Banana photo passes
  • Formation changes in the middle of high-G maneuvers