“Top Gun Days” by Dave ‘Bio’ Baranek
This was Bio’s first book, published in 2012.
It was also my first exposure to Bio and his exciting stories about becoming a Naval Flight Officer & RIO in the magnificent F-14 Tomcat.
Amongst other topics, Bio talks a lot about his involvement in the making of the famous (original) Top Gun movie, starring Tom Cruise.
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.
Click to buy “Topgun Days” on Amazon here.
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