Air Warriors

Book Review



Air Warriors - The Inside Story of the Making of a Navy Pilot


Douglas C. Waller


Simon & Schuster, New York,  NY



Reviewed By:

Frank Fogg

Review Date:

June, 2001


Air Warriors tells the story of Navy pilots training for their job. It is a paperback book of almost 500 pages.

This story covers the training that naval aviators must master to become Navy pilots. The author developed much of the information  from first hand experience, both through interviews and by actually riding along  in the rear seat of several airplanes. He includes a wealth of photographs taken  during his research into this subject including training simulators, shipboard  photographs, and aerial shots.

Get more information about Air WarriorsThe  story begins with by examining the trainees as they pass the basic qualifications.  It tells of the difficulties they have with the basic qualifications and mastering  the book-based information. The cadets also have to pass rigorous safety training  prior to their first flights.

Extensive time is given to the short period from when the  pilots step into their first aircraft with an instructor until they solo. The author gives us deep personal glimpses into how the trainees feel and the background motivations that keep them going. He also shows us the added difficulties faced  by women training for this dangerous occupation. He describes each trainee's feelings as they get to take the stick for the first time and some of the mistakes  they make along the way.

The book also covers some of the more advanced training  issues including jet aircraft training, bombing practice, dogfighting, and carrier landings. He describes the difficulties the students have with juggling a number  of technical factors to be successful in these areas while flying an aircraft at over 400 miles per hour. We also see the impact of this stage of training on the students' personal lives.

I found this book rather refreshing. Having personal experience with naval aviation, I found the descriptions to be completely accurate including the organization of the training outfits and the special "buzz  words" the pilots use to describe their environment. The author succeeds  in presenting a no-nonsense picture of the difficult process of qualifying to be a pilot in today's Navy. This book should be read by anybody wishing to have  a future as a military pilot since it gives an accurate picture of what they can expect.

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