Real Life 'Top Gun' Pilot Flies Supersonic While 19 Weeks Pregnant
Air Force pilot Major Lauren Olme is taking her baby to new heights and record speeds!
Lauren and her husband, Major Mark Olme—a real-life “Top Gun Couple”—recently shared an unforgettable experience flying in formation together. “Flying in formation with my husband, going super-sonic together while I carried our child, is something I’ll never forget,” Olme told People of flying while 19 weeks pregnant. Mark added, “Looking over and knowing that I’m following my wife and baby around in that other airplane beside me was just…awesome. I was so proud of her.”
While old rules would’ve kept Lauren grounded for much of her pregnancy, new Air Force policy will allow Lauren to continue flying until the 28th week of her pregnancy. “Our fight to retain and recruit top talent demands that we’re not needlessly grounding our aircrews,” Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones told People.
“You’re always working toward being the best, and I didn’t want to fall behind,” Lauren said. Lauren, a flight instructor with her husband at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas, expressed her gratitude for the policy, saying, “I’m so thankful that I get to keep living out my dream.”
Since this new change has been set in motion, Lauren has clocked more than 9 hours flying with her baby, sometimes flying faster than the speed of sound. Initially concerned about potential risks to the baby, Lauren’s doctor and the Air Force medical team determined the risks were low up until the 28-week mark, allowing her to continue flying.
Lauren even received a custom maternity flight suit, providing more room for her growing belly. “I stayed in the normal flight suit that was just a size bigger until my coworkers started telling me that I was stretching the bandwidth of it, so I got a maternity flight suit with a little bit more room in the belly area,” Lauren said.
When asked about her future plans, Lauren said she plans to return to flight after her 12-week maternity leave and will be outfitting baby—due April 21—in plenty of “B-1” plane-themed onesies!
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