Air Force major becomes one of first pilots to fly a supersonic aircraft while pregnant
ABILENE, Texas (Gray News) – U.S. Air Force Maj. Lauren Olme is one of the first pilots to take advantage of a new policy that allows pregnant pilots to stay in the cockpit longer.
Olme is the 77th Weapons Squadron assistant director of operations and a B-1 Lancer pilot.
She said in a statement from Dyess Air Force Base that she was “honored to be one of the first to fly in an ejection seat aircraft while pregnant.”
The new Air Force policy allows aircrew members to request to fly during pregnancy, with no waiver required through the second trimester for uncomplicated pregnancies in non-ejection seat aircraft.
Pregnant aircrew members can also apply for waivers regardless of trimester or aircraft type.
“This policy is a huge benefit to the Air Force. They have deliberately made a change that provides female aircrew members the same opportunities as male aircrew members,” said Lt. Col. Charles Armstrong, 77th Weapons Squadron commander.
The new policy opens the door for pregnant aviators to continue logging flight hours so they don’t fall behind on their career progress due to pregnancy, according to Armstrong.
The policy allows for aviators to fly up to 28 weeks, but Olme’s medical team decided it best to stop around the 22-week point.
Baby Olme is one of the first at the Department of Defense to log 9.2 hours in a supersonic aircraft.
“I can’t overexpress how amazing it is that pregnant women now have the opportunity to fly in all types of aircraft,” said Olme, who garnered her passion for flying by watching her father fly as a pilot in the Air Force.
She met her husband, Maj. Mark Olme, 7th Operations Support Squadron bomb wing weapons officer, while attending the Air Force Academy.
They became fast friends, started dating in November 2011 and were married seven months after graduation.
“Lauren is an amazing lady, deploying a unit, developing a schedule, creating exercise scenarios, being a great pilot and leader, all while building a human,” said Mark Olme.
“I am not sure how she does it all, and with poise and grace. I am extremely proud of her, and I can’t wait to tell our child they got to fly supersonic in formation with mommy and daddy.”
Baby Olme is expected to arrive in April 2023.
Copyright 2023 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. TMX contributed to this report.