This book was excerpted in the New Yorker a month ago and the story was so replete with errors and failures to grasp the realities of carrier work and carrier aviation that I was aghast. Two examples will suffice: the aircraft he called an "F-18" is actually an F/A-18, denoting its dual purpose as a fighter (F) and as an attack aircraft (A). This is no trivial, nitpicking distinction but represents a multi-billion-dollar decision by the US Navy to address a serious issue. Then there is the matter of safe 'traps' (landing aircraft are 'trapped' on the deck by the tailhook catching one of the wires stretched across the flight deck for this purpose). It is made possible, in safety, by a series of critical inventions: the Fresnel mirror landing aid that enables the pilot to see his orientation vs. the deck, the presence of the LSO (Landing Signal Office) who advises the pilot as he approaches and the AOA (Angle of Attack) indicator seen by the pilot and by the LSO that ensures a safe approach speed. The steam catapult, angled flight deck and mirror landing aid were invented by the Royal Navy in the 1950s and adopted by other nations (the first US Navy carrier to use these features was the Antietam).
This reviewer questioned why they would have such a writer undertake the task and notes his many professional failings as a competent journalist. Good question. Dyer has the reputation (earned or not) and got the gig, plus a book contract and New Yorker material. What a pity he didn't have the skills.