Maj. Whit Collins is the Lead Solo Pilot for the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, flying the No. 5 jet. He earned his commission in 2006 as a graduate of The Citadel’s Air Force ROTC program. While studying Computer Science, he enjoyed playing intramural soccer and was president of the school’s aviation club. He is also an avid kite boarder, enjoys snowboarding and playing guitar. Before joining the Thunderbirds, Collins served as an F-16 Operational Test and Evaluation Instructor Pilot at Eglin AFB, Fla. He has logged more than 1,500 flight hours as an Air Force pilot, with more than 150 combat hours. Collins is in his second season with the team and hails from Warner Robins, Ga.