Dave "Bio" Baranek enjoyed a successful and satisfying twenty-year career in the United States Navy, starting with assignments to F-14 Tomcat squadrons and later assignment to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Baranek retired from the Navy in 1999 and now works as a defense contractor in the Washington, D.C. area. He lives in Burke, Virginia.
Topgun Days: Dogfighting, Cheating Death, and Hollywood Glory as One of America's Best Fighter Jocksby Dave Baranek
Dave Baranek (callsign "Bio") was one of 451 young men to receive his Wings of Gold in 1980 as a naval flight officer. Four years later, seasoned by intense training and deployments in the tense confrontations of the cold war, he became the only one of that initial group to rise to become an instructor at the navy's elite Fighter Weapons School. As a
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Dave Baranek (callsign "Bio") was one of 451 young men to receive his Wings of Gold in 1980 as a naval flight officer. Four years later, seasoned by intense training and deployments in the tense confrontations of the cold war, he became the only one of that initial group to rise to become an instructor at the navy's elite Fighter Weapons School. As a Topgun instructor, Bio was responsible for teaching the best fighter pilots of the Navy and Marine Corps how to be even better. He schooled them in the classroom and then went head-to-head with them in the skies.
Then, in August 1985, Bio was assigned to combine his day-to-day flight duties with participation in a Pentagon-blessed project to film action footage for a major Hollywood movie focusing on the lives, loves, heartbreaks, and triumphs of young fighter pilots: Top Gun.
Bio soon found himself riding in limousines to attend gala premieres, and being singled out by giggling teenagers and awed schoolboys who recognized the name "Topgun" on his T-shirts. The book ends with his reflections on his career as a skilled naval aviator and his enduring love of flight.
The paperback and Kindle editions include more than fifty rare full color photographs of fighter jets in action.
- Skyhorse Publishing
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Reading "Topgun Days" brought me as close to getting to Topgun as I have been able to get despite my best efforts. Imagination is a wonderful thing and the beauty of books is our imagination gets to take full flight. For a short time, I was 22 years old and chasing my dreams of flying F-14's, catapulting off a carrier, punching holes in clouds and then slamming back on board with an "OK 3-wire" instead of being a 48-yr old sales guy flying a laptop. I was banking and yanking over the Californian desert trying to line up a MIG kill and making sure to not run into the mountains instead of sitting in the back of a passenger jet heading to some distant city knowing the plane was on autopilot. I was giving lectures on aerial combat tactics to other fighter pilots instead of lecturing tech guys on the benefits of protecting data in the event of a disaster. For anyone who's ever wondered what it would be like to fly a front-line fighter jet, survive an ejection over the ocean, be a Topgun Instructor teaching the art of aerial combat, dogfight against the best pilots in the world and generally live the dream of ultimate flying, then this book will give you the ride of your life. So, thumb's up, salute and hang on!
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