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U.S. Air Force photo/Ronald Bradshaw

Video: Olympian Ted Ligety hitches ride on aerobatic F-16

By Natalie Crofts  |  Posted Oct 8th, 2014 @ 7:05pm


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HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Ted Ligety is known for traveling at high speeds on his skis, but Monday he had the opportunity to pull 9Gs in the air.

Ligety, an Olympic gold medalist from Park City, was invited by the U.S. Air Force Reserve’s 419th Fighter Wing to fly with one of its pilots during a training mission. A GoPro video caught Ligety’s reaction as he experienced extreme aerobatics in an F-16 at Hill Air Force Base.

“Ted is used to pushing the limits on the slopes and I look forward to showing him how we push the limits in the air,” pilot Maj. Shad Stromberg said before he took Ligety on the ride.

“During a downhill race, he can reach speeds of nearly 80 mph, and I think he’s going to be pretty impressed going Mach 1 while a couple thousand feet in the air. He’ll also get to see Utah’s mountain ranges from an entirely new vantage point.”

The flight over the Utah Test and Training Range lasted about one hour, according to the 419th Fighter Wing. In preparation for the flight, officials said Ligety received training and was outfitted with life support equipment.

The 419th Fighter Wing is based in Utah and has over 1,100 personnel who serve part-time in the military.

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