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No Escape Zone: One of the Most Gripping Escape Stories of the Modern Era: One Man's True Story of a Journey to Hell Paperback – 7 Jun 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere; New Ed edition (7 Jun. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751531022
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751531022
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.3 x 18.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 354,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

The first inside account of the Fleet Air Arm by one of Britain's real-life TOP GUNS - Lieutenant-Commander Nick Richardson

About the Author

Nick Richardson was a Lieutenant-Commander in the Fleet Air Arm until October 1999. He still lives in Yeovil near Fleet Air Arm HQ.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
When I reported for the shareholders' meeting - a session colloquially known as 'hairy shoulders' - shortly before eight o'clock on the morning of 5 January, it was situation normal: no one had told us anything about anything, even though we already knew something was up. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 July 2001
Format: Paperback
I found this book to have a slow start,but with relevent pieces of information to keep you interested for the reality of the situation to come.Nick must have wondered what and where the hell he was after ejecting out of a multi-millon pound jet fighter into the unknown wilderness that was war torn Bosnia.The ending is so gripping i was late back from my dinner hour at work!!!!!whoops....
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 April 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a excellent book. I gave 4 star because of few reasons. If the title of this book was, "my life in RN", or "how to fly the Sea Harrier"... it would definitely win all 5 stars. But the title is "No escape zone", and on the cover of the book is also written, "one of the most gripping escape stories of the modern era".
It has a slow start, on 180 pages Mr. Richardson describe how to fly the Sea Harrier, he explains ways of dropping bombs, how to fly against more superior at that time MIG-29, combat training... but this is not the book about that. In my opinion, this book is about how he was shot down over the city of Gorazde, and how he and the SAS team got trough enemy lines to safety. The story about that is written on only 120 pages comparing with the 180 pages of introduction.
In this 120 pages, he describes who was who in this war, who did what, how people of Gorazde under siege lived and fought against superior enemy, and he describes it well, although this was not his war (his statement).
Despite of my remarks, this book is worth reading, and I highly recommend it. You will read it in one breath especially the last 100 pages. I did.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Phil Parry on 23 July 2001
Format: Paperback
I bought this on Saturday afternoon and finished it in the early hours of Monday craving for more! I just could not put it down.
Facinating, exciting, funny, and ultimately thought provoking insight into the life of a navy pilot and life on board a carrier.
It also made me appreciate a bit more the people on the frontline who put their lives on the line - so easily glossed over when watching the TV news footage. Deepest respect for all of you.
If I have one critism, it would be that the majority of the book builds up to the shooting down of the author over Bosnia, and not enough to the events that followed and the ultimate conclusion.
That said, it doesn't stop it from being the best read of the year for me so far ...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MarthaChristmas on 2 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback
I don't know how much help Nick Richardson had from a ghost writer, if any, but this is a humdinger of a book. The first half is full of Fleet Air Arm minutiae that will strike a chord with anyone who has even a passing interest in this kind of thing, but it is, of course, the more dramatic finalé that truly grips you. And it really is mesmerising stuff. Coming across as a rather refined British officer type, Nick has a rather sober take on things, and his empathetic tone comes across as genuine and well thought-out.
I thoroughly loved No Escape Zone, and I can't recommend it enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Unsworth on 11 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Actually this wasn't so much a 'slow' start as a technical one full of aircraft and training/operational detail that might not be to the taste of everyone who buys a book which is advertised a 'gripping escape story.'
I am quite interested in the 'training' side but have to admit to skim reading some of the first part of this book. However, having read 'Tornado Down' and 'Bravo Two Zero' which are also stories of surviving in enemy territory I was not disappointed by this account and admired Nick Richardson's straight forward, unassuming style.
This is quite a roller coaster of a book because the second part is a breathtaking account of a pilot wrenched from his technological world and finding himself alone in a desperate, war torn place where it is difficult to even distinguish friend from enemy.
Maybe the title/ blurb is a little misleading but for anyone who is a fan of this kind of true-life account 'No Escape Zone' is a must read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Seaweed on 17 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
In 1994 the author was a Sea Harrier pilot in 801 Squadron aboard HMS Ark Royal in the Aegean. Responding to a request for support from the ground, he was shot down over Bosnia on 16th April. This is the gripping story of the events leading up to that, and of his subsequent escape from a country hostile on every side, told by a man with his neck on the line both in the air and on the ground. It is a brilliant example of the can-do spirit of the Fleet Air Arm. It is also a salutary reminder of the usefulness of fixed-wing maritime air power.

Richardson rightly points out that in 1994 the Sea Harrier was the only British fast jet capable of air defence, ground attack and reconnaissance, and that unlike RAF fast jet pilots those of the Fleet Air Arm were trained in all three roles so could be called upon for any task, indeed could swing roles in flight is appropriately armed. The FAA has its full share of the Royal Navy's long tradition of willingness to go anywhere and do anything, and it's people's readiness to hop in and make one at the drop of a hat.

At the time of the events described the Sea Harrier FRS1 was awaiting replacement by the FA2 mark, and was in many ways obsolescent. This showed in many ways, from the extraordinary multi-tasking required of the pilot of a single-seat aircraft with no auto-pilot - there is Richardson trying to fold his map with one hand and fly through turbulence with the other - and in its radar and weapons system, massively inferior in range and capability to its potential opponent over Bosnia, the MiG-29 Fulcrum with its Doppler radar. On the way to war 801 were able to sidestep to Decimomannu in Sardinia for much needed steep dive training, where there was also an opportunity to practice against German MiG-29s inherited from the DDR.
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