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 navy's and Marine Corps' best fighter pilots 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 audiobook ends with his reflections on his career as a skilled naval aviator and his enduring love of flight.
Topgun Days: Dogfighting, Cheating Death, and Hollywood Glory as One of America's Best Fighter Jocks is a focused description of one man's exhaustive climb to the pinnacle of his career as fighter pilot. This autobiography by Dave Baranek will prove enjoyable to those generally interested in military life as well as those who wish to live vicariously through an expert fighter pilot. Baranek explains the patience and discipline required to ascend the fighter pilot career ladder. He segues into his life as role model for Hollywood's glamorized version of topguns. Assigned to create action footage for the Tom Cruise vehicle Top Gun, Baranek himself briefly becomes a pop phenomenon. Baranek's pride and sincerity can be heard in narrator Jeremy Arthur's entertaining recital.
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- Mr. Duncan James Hardy