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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
I received my copy of 'Special Forces Pilot' the day after publication after having waited patiently for publication. I first heard about the book in our local newspaper (The Whitehaven News) as the author is a local resident and have been eagerly awaiting publication. The wait was not disappointing and I finished the book in two days. It is a well researched, fast...
Published on 19 Oct 2008 by Mr. T. Needham

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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars adequate
A little dissappointed to be honest. Having flown off both carriers and been a SeaKing man myself at the time, I was expecting something different I suppose. Bottom line is the juicy intelligence bit is in a few well worded paragraphs in the last chapter. The rest of the book is filler and very very samey: I briefed for this and got airborne then I briefed for that...
Published on 4 Nov 2010 by zoros


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, 19 Oct 2008
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I received my copy of 'Special Forces Pilot' the day after publication after having waited patiently for publication. I first heard about the book in our local newspaper (The Whitehaven News) as the author is a local resident and have been eagerly awaiting publication. The wait was not disappointing and I finished the book in two days. It is a well researched, fast paced personal account of flying operations during the Falklands War and includes, for the first time, first hand detailed information about the insertion of an SF recce patrol into mainland Argentina. I would fully recommend this book to anyone interested in military aviation, military history or just true adventure stories. Hats off to Col Hutchings DSC.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From a veteran's perspective, 26 April 2009
By 
Edward Featherstone "Ed Featherstone" (Berkhamsted, Herts UK) - See all my reviews
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During the Falklands War I was in charge of flying in HMS Fearless, the Commando Assault Headquarters Ship in San Carlos Water. Many of the SF missions staged through my flight deck and on occasion I sat in on some of the briefings. I was aware of the outline of Dick Hutchings mission and knew it was happening but until now I have never known the details. From an insider's viewpoint I found the book fascinating and highly readable. The story of the mission on the mainland should have been told sooner and now there is a clear difference in the facts of the published accounts. Dick Hutching's exciting book has the ring of authenticity for me. One issue it highlights once again are the quite serious errors made by the SAS in the campaign. Here was a professional SF outfit with a high reputation questioning the navigational competence of similarly professional Fleet Air Arm helicopter aircrew. The failure of the SAS transit of the glacier in South Georgia and subsequent final rescue by Ian Stanley in a lumbering Wessex 3 helicopter was another. Then there were the three SBS troops killed one night during an accidental encounter with the SAS. Pebble Island was a huge success but they must be balanced by several avoidable failures, including the landing on the Argentine mainland.Dick Hutchings and the rest of the crew did as much as they could to achieve sucess. But the loss of the aircraft and the unavailability of three valuable aircrew may not, in the end, have been worth it.
One issue in the book where Dick is unequivocal and detailed in his criticism is the Vulcan raid on Port Stanley airport which he characterises as a failure and a waste of resources. Rowland White in "Vulcan 607" paints an entirely different picture. It would be interesting to hear further debate on this operation. At the time I thought it was just a ploy by the Chief of the Air Staff to get some good publicity for the RAF at a time when the purpose of having a separate Air Force was being questioned, as it still is....
Ed Featherstone
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional book!, 7 Jan 2009
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Ian Annand (UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a highly readable book full of previously unpublished information on the Falklands war, especially from a Fleet Air Arm perspective. There have been some superb books already written about the Sea Harrier experience, for example Sea Harrier over the Falklands and Hostile Sky's - but this book tells the story of front-line helicopter operations - and especially full information on the author's part in Operation Mikado.

I hope many others will go on nd read this superb book!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT READ, 28 Mar 2009
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This is the first book i have read to do with the Falklands War and it has to be said that this is one of the best military aviation books i have read yet. It takes you through the eyes of the pilot during SAS insertion missions and then the one way mission which went wrong. This book doesn't give any great detail on the actual concepts of flying but it describes the action vividly, more importantly it describes the war as sea very well. It takes a while to get into the book as the start is failry slow and dull but once you've past that stage the book comes alive and is very difficult to put down. As a result of reading this book i will with out a doubt be reading more books on the Falkands War.

GREAT READ
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Operation 'Certain Death' - The Truth Revealed, 27 Feb 2010
By 
Richard Hutchings (Cumbria) - See all my reviews
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It has been said of the Falklands War that never in the field of human conflict has so much been written, by so many, about so few. Indeed, more than 200 books have been published about that brief but important war in 1982, many by the veterans themselves. So you may think that there is little left to say about the hostilities between Britain and Argentina in the South Atlantic for control of the Falkland Islands. Incredibly, however, as pointed out by Prince Andrew in his foreword, the vital role played by helicopters in the 74-day conflict has been largely overlooked. That anomaly is rectified by Colonel Hutchings in his fascinating memoirs. A Royal Marine Sea King pilot serving with 846 Squadron aboard HMS Hermes, Hutchings certainly had an eventful war. Besides inserting and extracting Special Forces patrols throughout the Falklands, he was also involved in the capture of the Argentine spy trawler Narwhal, and the SAS raid on Pebble island. But of greatest interest is undoubtedly the chapters that deal with Operation MIKADO, the ill-fated but daring attempt to infiltrate an SAS team into the Argentine mainland to spy on the Rio Grande air base in the extreme south of the country, which was home to the Argentine Navy's deadly Exocet armed Super Etendard strike aircraft. Hutchings was the pilot who volunteered to fly the SAS in, and he presents for the first time the true story of a mission that was dubbed by some SAS soldiers `Operation Certain Death' and which, for the past 28 years, has been shrouded in myth and rumour. Cleanly written, this is a gripping account of one helicopter pilot's war and an essential buy for students of a conflict which, more than a quarter of a century on, still exercises a powerful hold on the British public's imagination.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Facts behind the smokescreen of the fog of war, 28 May 2014
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This review is from: Special Forces Pilot: A Flying Memoir of the Falkland War (Kindle Edition)
An excellent read which lifted the veil as to what really happened at the sharp end during the Falklands War. Would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in the South Atlantic conflict.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What really happened on the ill-fated Special Forces insertion into Argentina during the Falklands Wae, 26 May 2014
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This review is from: Special Forces Pilot: A Flying Memoir of the Falkland War (Kindle Edition)
Written by a Royal Marine Pilot who spent his time the Falklands War flying a Sea King helicopter in one of the busiest jobs going, Colonel Hutchings gives a gripping insight into some of the behind-the-scenes work inserting Special Forces at night in and around the Falkland Islands. The book culminates with his account of the previously highly-classified and mis-reported operation to fly a Special Forces team into Argentina to try and remove the threat to the Task Force from Exocet missiles. Hutchings was the Pilot-in-Charge, and describes the build-up to the operation, through to his team's successful Escape and Evasion in Chile, in a modest and matter-of-fact style which lets readers form their own opinion about the rights and wrongs of some of the decisions made.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Got it in one!!, 16 May 2014
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Mr. C. Evans "Sean Dillon" (Mid-Glam, Sth Wales UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Special Forces Pilot: A Flying Memoir of the Falkland War (Kindle Edition)
Col H you nailed it!! I had the pleasure of being one of your passengers during the conflict and you after 32 years you took me right back (the inflight entertainment wasn't that good either)!! My thanks for your work for those several weeks in 1982 will we forget? will we as heck like! The mess has copies and the verdict is Nice One Boss!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Falklands flying at its best, 5 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Special Forces Pilot: A Flying Memoir of the Falkland War (Kindle Edition)
A very interesting account and a well written book overall. First hand tales of missions mainly flown from ships to put ashore the SAS and SBS troops, but a fascinating write-up of the mission to the mainland of Chile. Recommended to anyone with an interest in Falkland War aviation, and military helicopters in general.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing story, brilliantly written, 25 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Special Forces Pilot: A Flying Memoir of the Falkland War (Kindle Edition)
What a career! Fascinating stories to tell and a personal view from someone on the frontline. Made all the more impressive if you read another account of the same operation to Argentina by Peter Ratcliffe, "Eye of the Storm, 25 years in action with the SAS".
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