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Apache: Inside the Cockpit of the World's Most Deadly Fighting Machine Hardcover – May 6, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Macy, retired after 23 years in the British army, does for the Apache helicopter's gunships what Dan Mills did for the infantry in Sniper One: he puts readers in the cockpit of an aircraft that requires great skill and attention to keep in the air. Macy takes readers to Afghanistan's Helmand Province: remote and mountainous, a center of the world opium traffic and chosen battleground of the Taliban. His squadron's eight Apaches faced both modern missiles and 19th-century rifles while supporting ground troops too few for a mission never clearly defined by the government. The book's climax comes when a British marine is listed as missing in action. In an unauthorized mission that reads like pulp fiction but whose details have been independently verified, Macy and another pilot fly into a Taliban fort to bring him out—dead. When the four crewmen are awarded the Military Cross, Prince Philip asks, Are you all mad? But since the days of Alexander the Great, Afghanistan has taught invaders two cruel lessons: never leave a man behind, and never count the cost. 16 pages of photos; maps. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“Puts you right in the cockpit with your finger on the trigger. A truly awesome read; and a climax that Hollywood couldn’t invent.” —Andy McNab, author of Immediate Action

“Macy is the real deal. Nobody could write that powerfully about combat, or emotionally about the men fighting with him, unless he has been at the gunship’s controls. A fantastic, totally exhilarating roller-coaster read.” —Sergeant Major Dan Mills, author of Sniper One

“A truly amazing portrayal of the technical, the emotional, and the courageous. Macy puts the reader in the cockpit of our most lethal attack platform.” —Dick Couch, author of The Sheriff of Ramadi and Chosen Soldier

“Apache is a fantastic read that puts you right in the middle of the combat zone.” —Jack Coughlin, author of Shooter: The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper

“Apache is at its heart a ground-busting infantry tale told from an entirely new perspective. By the time these gutsy Uglies land in an occupied Taliban fort to join the ground fight, there is no doubt that attack helicopter pilots are flying grunts. What happens next is extraordinary.” —Owen West, author of Sharkman Six

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press; 1St Edition edition (May 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802118941
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802118943
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Andre 2015 on May 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I could tell you what a terrific writer Ed Macy is and what a courageous soldier, marvelous pilot, and, and, and. All of that is true.
But what it basically comes down to in this book is being inside. Inside the monstrous machine none of us would ever set a foot in - even less get to fly the 46 million GBP thing.
You want to feel the thrill of first takeoff, Camp Bastion, Helmand Province? Burn your fingers on the stick and controls preheated by the Afghan sun, wipe the sweat off your face as you inhale the smell of metal and resin as the four thundering rotor blades race it across the desert, the twin Rolls Royce engines working at full speed.
All of that and more you find in here.
The book concentrates on a breathtaking rescue mission to retrieve a Marine MIA, where the Apaches must land right in the middle of a Taliban stronghold and come face to face with hordes of their unrelenting enemy.
But it has much more. The human side, the thrill, the comradeship, the pain, the fear, the technical - you name it, it's there. Because Ed Macy was one of the very few who mastered the craft of operating (not just flying) this machine.
And although after reading it you still won't be able to make your eyeballs work independently of each other like these guys can, at least you will have a sense of the courageous masterminds at work here.
Includes 5 maps, 2 detailed drawings of the Apache and numerous color photographs.
My highest respects go out to Ed Macy and his comrades.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By N. J. Fung on May 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
If anyone out there is a "egg beater" fanatic - or a Tank Killer enthusiast, then this is the book for you! This book is more than just an insight into the Apache Long Bow. It is a look at a very different "animal" that the Brits put together, and have put to very good use I might add! (Infidels should be proud!) The Apache is an American creation. But Ed Macy, who is more than just a pioneer in the field of flying/"owning" this machine, puts a very detailed spin on flying the British version of the Apache in Afghanistan while on the front lines. He chronicles what the Brits did in way of changing the Apache into a hard-charging, tank-killing attack chopper of their own. Plus, his is a first hand account of what type of "punishment" it takes to actually fly their version - because of the changes and "modifications" that their tech division made to the existing platform. (The US Army really should look into these improvements for their own inventory!)

From the moment I started this book, it was impossible to put down. When it ended, I was left with that sinking feeling that hits you when something so good has to come to an end. The writing of the story, in my opinion is top notch HANDS DOWN - all of it very eloquent and yet to the point with no frills or haughty attempts at false bravado (that people assume come with pilots). Any military personnel, chopper fanatic, or even just a curious layman can pick this book up and run with the story! And hot damn, what a story it is! When people review books like this, especially if they like them, tend to give away too much to the reader - so much so that the review ends up becoming a spoiler. I don't want to do that here. All I can say is
that if you pick this book up, you won't be sorry or disappointed!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michael Olson on June 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I was captivated by this true story of a British Apache helicopter pilot's career and experiences flying missions in Afghanistan in 2006. What impressed me with Ed Macy as a person was his focus on achieving his desire to fly in the military and especially the new Westland AH Mk1 Apache helicopter. A good summary of the challenge is given by this excerpt from the front cover overleaf -

". . . the deadliest, most technologically advanced helicopter on the planet. As strong as a tank . . . the helicopter is remarkably fast and nearly impossible to shoot down. . . . [With] weapons and cameras, the Apache pilot can spot prey from miles away . . . And it is the toughest aircraft in the world to fly - only the top 2 percent of pilots make it . . . hands, feet, and even eyes need to operate independently."

If it wasn't clear that this was a true story of one man's experiences, one could easily read it as a fictional novel filled with a character with beyond human capabilities. The action is palpable and the sacrifices Mr. Macy made to be a superior pilot in the face of danger are sobering and inspirational to reflect upon.

I have to admit having a passion for the virtual worlds of video games, human augmentation, and flight simulators so it is of particular interest to me how an Apache pilot becomes one with the machine. This is essential in order to manage the complexity of the controls, split-vision monocle, and the visual sensors that include low-light and infrared imagers. The daylight camera, for example, can magnify 127 times. There are over two hundred switches many multifunctional. The monocle over the right eye forced left-right eye independence as an efficient way to cram more information into the brain.
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