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Topgun Days: Dogfighting, Cheating Death, and Hollywood Glory as One of America's Best Fighter Jocks Paperback – October 1, 2012
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The author is a retired Naval flight officer, who made several cruises aboard various carriers as the radar operator in the back seat of an F-14. One of those cruises included an ejection when the ship’s arresting gear failed to arrest the F-14 before it went overboard. Even more challenging were his two assignments to the Topgun program, the Navy’s elite fighter-training school, first as a student, then in the coveted position of an instructor. During that second assignment, he also helped with the Navy’s support and the flying sequences of the classic movie Top Gun. (See above for the correct spelling.) The author is a straightforward, even plain writer, but he also has an eye for detail, and gives those details in full measure about experiences for which there is an abiding, even devouring, curiosity among aviation buffs. They will enjoy. --Roland Green --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Dave Baranek isn’t just an observer in this world; he has flown with and taught the best.” (Ed Ruggero, author of The First Men In)
An engagingly written retrospective.” (Barrett Tillman, author of Victory and Clash of the Carriers)
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These guys are real heroes and incredibly talented and this book demonstrates the talent and commitment necessary to be a top pilot. But it doesn't read as a fast action book but rather a summation of the job of the pilot/instructor.
As a side note, two of the TOPGUN instructors with Bio went on to get four stars in the Navy.
Bio has captured a piece of history and time very well.
I loved the look into the world of high performance aircraft and aircrew. Topgun attracted a lot of attention from the movie, and the chapters on the shooting, editing and release of the movie are good, but most of the book is a factual account of the life of a naval aviator and Topgun instructor from student days onward.
Recommended for anyone who wants to know what it is really like to fly in a high performance jet.