On a clear Detroit morning, just one day after the U.S. Army’s 236th birthday, Brian Olatunji took flight with the Golden Knights. It was a long wait for Brian O, who was previously scheduled to jump with the U.S. Army’s Parachute Team last fall until the worst Midwest storm cell in over 30 years kept the plane and Brian O’s skydiving ambitions grounded.
The Golden Knights is the U.S. Army’s official aerial demonstration team. Made up of real Soldiers the team travels around the United States performing demonstrations at major events connecting the Army with the American people. Taking Brian O on his wild ride were members of Team Tandem, who have jumped from a plane with everyone from former president George H. W. Bush to sports stars and actors such as Tiger Woods and Chuck Norris. Ensuring Brian’s enjoyment and safety on his aerial adventure were Airborne Rangers SSG Aaron Figel and SSG Reese Pendleton. After taking off from Selfridge Air Force Base, SSG Figel freefell with Brian O while SSG Pendleton caught all the action on camera. With Lake St. Claire as a backdrop Brian O and the Golden Knights free feel thousands of feet towards Michigan below.
Brian O was thrilled at the opportunity, “Exhilarating is the only way to describe the experience! Certainly something I would do again in a heartbeat! The Golden Knights are the best in the world and their professionalism is second to none. After all, SSG Pendleton hung outside of the aircraft like passenger 57 and was able to capture my enthusiasm and experience while free falling from 14,000 feet above the earth. Awesomeness!!!”