Bronze Star recipient gets the ride of his life

Air Force Staff Sgt. Phillip King was nominated for a ride in one of the Air Force Thunderbirds' F-16s after he received a Bronze Star for his service in Afghanistan.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Phillip King has guarded many F-16s before, but he has never ridden in one.

On Thursday, the 25-year-old Bronze Star recipient from Summerville got the ride of his life at Charleston Air Force Base for his valor of saving a convoy of American and Afghan forces in Afghanistan in 2006.

Air Force Thunderbirds Advance Pilot Tony Mulhare zoomed down the runway and straight up to the sky with King in tow in his F-16 Fighting Falcon before twisting and turning in thrilling aerobatics in a run-up to Saturday's "Wings Over Charleston" Air Expo 2008.

"The amount of pressure on the body was intense," King said. "I started blacking out once and he backed off and I came back. It was amazing."

The air show starts at 10 a.m.

Read more about the air show and King's flight in Friday's edition of The Post and Courier.