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Mission to Mach 2: A Fighter Pilot's Memoir of Supersonic Flight

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0786463169
ISBN-10: 0786463163
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Colonel Robert Earl Haney served in the United States Air Force from 1952 to 1982--a long and decorated career. Lee Courtnage lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Mcfarland (April 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786463163
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786463169
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,263,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Mis­sion to Mach 2: A Fighter Pilot's Mem­oir of Super­sonic Flight by Earl Haney and Lee Court­nage is Mr. Haney's mem­oir about his mil­i­tary career. The mem­oir mostly focus on Haney's fas­ci­nat­ing Air-Force career.

Famed pilot Earl Haney relates sto­ries from his amaz­ing career as an Air-Force pilot, "top-gun" instruc­tor, the Viet­nam War, the Cold War and from this test pilot adven­tures. As a mem­ber of the "Thun­der­birds" and an admired fighter pilot with more than 200 mis­sion Mr. Earl played a cen­tral role in a sig­nif­i­cant period of avi­a­tion history.

Mis­sion to Mach 2: A Fighter Pilot's Mem­oir of Super­sonic Flight by Earl Haney and Lee Court­nage is an excit­ing book, very read­able and engag­ing. Earl Haney, known in the Air Force as Mr. Earl, flew super­sonic jets dur­ing the Cold War, Viet­nam and afterwards.

Mr. Earl was a pilot in an amaz­ing time, even though let's be hon­est, is there really not an amaz­ing time to be a fighter pilot? The age of super­sonic jet planes was matured dur­ing Mr. Earl's ser­vice and he got to fly many of the new air­planes putting him­self in mor­tal dan­ger and his courage and sta­mina stretched to their limits.

Mr. Earl also tells about his time in the world famous "Thun­der­birds" where he flew the F-100 plane, as well as excit­ing sto­ries from his com­bat days, test pilot days, as well as being a respected instruc­tor in the Fighter Weapons School and val­ued com­man­der in the military.

This mem­oir is filled with bizarre inci­dents, tac­ti­cal sce­nar­ios and won­der­ful anec­dotes. Mr. Earl seems to be a very pri­vate man as there is very lit­tle about his home life. There is the oblig­a­tory chap­ter about his child­hood, his beloved mother, a lit­tle about the rough life of a mil­i­tary fam­ily and about his sons which he is obvi­ously very proud in.

Disclaimer: I got this book for free.
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Format: Paperback
Mission to Mach 2 is an autobiography of Air Force fighter pilot Colonel Robert Earl Haney, and is a very worthwhile read. Haney (in collaboration with Lee Courtnage) has an excellent ability to convey the lasting impressions of flights that occurred more than a half-century previous. It is an indication of the strength of passion that high performance flying has on a person's emotions.

Many lives were greatly affected by the great depression of the 1930s and so it was with Haney. His humble beginnings were in a home torn by an alcoholic father and held together by a strong willed mother and her hard work and love for her children. The character developed during his youth should be an inspiration and motivation to the younger generation. For us older folks, it is an affirmation of the qualities that we know lead to success. His revelations reveal the traits of integrity, leadership, self-discipline, responsibility, and accountability that are woven throughout the narrative and are models to be emulated along with duty, honor, country, and a quiet religious faith.

While many of us were bitten by the flying bug as young children, Haney didn't see the light until after he had enlisted in the Air Force. Upon seeing a flight of F-86s, he was motivated to get into the aviation cadet program. He relates the high dropout rate in pilot training and the high mortality rate experienced in the early supersonic age.

Amid the serious nature of the fighter pilot's environment, Haney periodically provides a bit of subtle humor to relax the reader and this enhances the enjoyment of the narratives. His frequent brush with death showed his resolve to remain in control during periods of extreme stress.
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Col. Harry's book is, quite simply, a wonderful book about life and integrity. I gave it 5 stars because of my gut reaction when I finished the book-I felt very good inside for the time I spent sharing Col. Haney's life.
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Mr. Earl was one of my bosses in the Air Force, so I lived a small part of this book with him. He is a very modest man, so I had to read his book to get the whole story of his career, even though I shared an office with him for a couple of years. His book brought back many memories in establishing the Air Force's independent testing agency. During his tenure we were testing many of the Air Force's new weapon systems. The developer thought their product was perfect, the operators wanted them in the force immediately, and our organization wanted them right! His description of his earlier life, training, and flying is mesmerizing. He was probably one of the most skillful fighter pilots ever. Read this book--you won't be sorry!
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