Jones is taking time off from competing to coach, and Smith helped form the new DeLand Fire team in January.
In addition to Smith and another DeLand resident, Ian Bobo, DeLand Fire also is made up of two former members of Arizona Blade: Thomas Hughes and Natasha Montgomery.
The annual competition usually draws a number of onlookers who flock to the airport grounds and crane their necks while watching the teams land. And monitors will be set up at the airport to allow spectators to view the aerial formations up close and personal, while their feet remain on solid ground.
"We always have a good crowd of several hundred people here to watch," Gaebel said. "We've already had a number of calls inquiring about it."
Guest teams from all over the world also will participate, mainly eyeballing the competition, while training here in DeLand's milder climate.
"They come here for the weather from Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Austria and Norway," Gaebel said. "This time of year they can't train at home."
Jumps will start at 8 a.m. each day and wind down at sunset Saturday and about mid-day Sunday.
And while organizers are keeping their fingers crossed the rain stays away from the area, they wouldn't mind some cool weather, Gaebel said Thursday.
"The cooler temperatures usually are even better because it doesn't get cloudy later in the day."
Charlene Hager-Van Dyke can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org 386-851-7927.