- Hardcover: 216 pages
- Publisher: Specialty Press (March 29, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 188380910X
- ISBN-13: 978-1883809102
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,481,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Wrong Stuff: Flying on the Edge of Disaster Hardcover – March 29, 1997
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An aviation cadet during World War II, Moore finished training too late to see action then but made up for it with two tours of duty flying jets in Korea and a distinguished later career as a naval and civilian test pilot. He is eloquent on the number of things that can and, in the early days of jets, usually did go wrong in the air as well as on the virtues and vices of certain aircraft, the F7U Cutlass and the F8F Bearcat in particular, and he tells the story--one worthy of Monty Python--of experimentation in landing fighters with no landing gear on rubber flight decks and runways. His memoirs are breezy, anecdotal, and unrepentant about fighter pilots' traditional pursuit of wine, women, and song but also relay the story of mastering many suicidally dangerous skills and teaching them to others while remaining a loving husband and father--the story of a most deserving citizen of his country. Roland Green
First as a Navy combat pilot and later as an experimental test pilot, John Moore experienced adventures that are legendary in the aviation community. He is the flying fraternity's nine-lived cat with a knack for describing his adventures in a way that appeals to aviators, but is not overly technical. His story is salted with good humor and deeply emotional memories. A member of the exclusive band of naval carrier pilots, Moore has flown 104 aircraft types in military operations, testing and civilian aviation. But as he notes in the introduction, The Wrong Stuff is more about the people he met, and those he lost, along the way. The author choose The Wrong Stuff as his title because he "crashed a lot". Actually, he could have called his aviation memoir "The Right Stuff" because he's still here to tell these thrilling tales! The Wrong Stuff is "must" reading for all fans of aviation history and true-life adventure. -- Midwest Book Review
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Most irritating of all was Chapter Twelve, which dealt with the author's anger at the Tailhook scandal/witchhunt and which had absolutely, positively nothing at all to do with anything else in the book. The chapter didn't belong. It was a distraction. Had any editing been done on the book, it should have been deleted entirely.
There were some good parts, and the first two-thirds of the book would be quite nice with some serious re-arranging and reworking to present a coherent and orderly progression of events. The material about test-flying the Cutlass and the obscenely stupid FlexDeck program are must-reads, but the section on Apollo 1 adds nothing to the reams of material written about that tragedy, and the material on Mr. Moore's training runs hot and cold. As a minor note, the tendency to use technical terms without explaining them to the casual reader makes for difficult reading in some spots.
All in all, if I'd found this in a library first, I never would have bought it; now that I have it, I can't recommend it to others, but I won't be giving my copy away either.