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Podcast: In conversation with a US TOPGUN instructor

written by Adam Thorn | September 23, 2020

In this special episode of the World of Aviation podcast, Adam and Boo speak to a man who taught US Navy pilots on the very same TOPGUN course that the movie was based on.

Backseater Dave Baranek enjoyed a 20-year career in the US Navy, rising up the ranks to command an F-14 fighter squadron of more than 300 people, with 2,500 flight hours in an F-14 Tomcat and 450 hours in the F-5F Tiger II.

So accomplished was his experience, he was even on hand to advise the crew of the movie while they were filming the iconic original.

Adam and Boo ask him about the pressure of being a backseater, the struggle to make it to the top, the mentality of fighter pilots and how he coped with finally retiring. He also talks about his new book, Tomcat RIO, where he charts his experiences.

Enjoy the episode,

The WOA team

Podcast: In conversation with a US TOPGUN instructor Comment

  • Great interview Bio. Nice to have another aussie interviewing you, aside from just me. 🙂

    And the book is awesome. The big huge size, the nice paper, the amazing photos and – of course – the fantastic stories.

    Go Tomcat & Fly Navy! 🙂

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