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Viper Pilot: A Memoir of Air Combat Paperback – 5 Jun 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (5 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006213034X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062130341
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.1 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 299,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“A rare riveting memoir of a highly decorated fighter pilot that’s packed with grit, swagger, and great humor. Do not miss this one!” (W.E.B. GRIFFIN & WILLIAM E. BUTTERWORTH IV)

“Hampton’s one of the most decorated pilots in Air Force history. ... We may never see his like again.” (New York Post)

“Offers a gripping cockpit view of modern air combat ... Hampton is a vivid writer and an unabashed warrior. ... An outstanding work.” (Booklist (starred review))

Viper Pilot is an awesome adrenaline rush. If you love action packed modern day war stories then strap yourself in and get ready for a gut-wrenching, g-force defying thrill ride!” (ALEX KERSHAW, bestselling author of The Liberator and The Few)

Viper Pilot is fantastic. Lt. Col. Dan Hampton offers a personal, irreverent, no-holds-barred look into the life of an Air Force fighter pilot. A great read!” (DALE BROWN, former USAF Captain and New York Times bestselling author of A Time for Patriots)

Viper Pilot is an instant aviation classic. Dan Hampton’s thrilling portrayals of combat missions kept me glued to the story, and he has captured the essence of Wild Weasel fighter operations as no one has before.” (BRIGADIER GENERAL DAVID L. MOODY (Retired USAF))

“Dan Hampton’s Viper Pilot truly impressed me--if you’re a combat vet, it’s sweaty palms again; if not, strap in and get ready. Filled with lots of action, here’s a real and up-close look at modern fighter combat, told straight from the cockpit.” (COLONEL JACKSEL BROUGHTON (USAF, Ret.), recipient of the Air Force Cross for extraordinary heroism and author of Rupert Red Two: A Fighter Pilot's Life)

“Dramatic. ... Viper Pilot delivers 300 pages of aviation fireworks.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“The best air combat memoir I have ever read... An incredible look into the unique culture of Wild Weasels.” (Tyler Rogoway, Foxtrot Alpha, a Gawker Media site)

From the Back Cover

151 combat missions
21 hard kills on surface -to -air missile sites
4 Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor
1 Purple Heart

First into a war zone, flying behind enemy lines to purposely draw fire, the wild weasels are elite fighter squadrons with the most dangerous job in the Air Force

One of the greatest aviation memoirs ever written, Viper Pilot is an Air Force legend's thrilling eyewitness account of modern air warfare. For twenty years, Lieutenant Colonel Dan Hampton was a leading member of the Wild Weasels, logging 608 combat hours in the world's most iconic fighter jet: the F-16 "Fighting Falcon," or "Viper." He spearheaded the 2003 invasion of Iraq, leading the first flight of fighters over the border en route to strike Baghdad. Earlier, on 9/11, Hampton's father was inside the Pentagon when it was attacked; with his dad's fate unknown, Hampton was scrambled into American skies and given the unprecedented orders to shoot down any unidentified aircraft. Viper Pilot is an unforgettable look into the closed world of fighter pilots and modern air combat.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent book, and Dan Hampton is a humorous and seasoned individual with independent thinking. He shows that he can criticize his own military leadership and government, which I found surprisingly refreshing. It is a good book describing the role of an F16 pilot in air-to-ground missions.
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Format: Paperback
If you're an avid follower of combat aviation or you simply know that a plane is something that flies, then you will enjoy this book. It has unmatched detail of the exact things Lt Col. Hampton did in his cockpit in response to the maze of threats that was Iraq in both Gulf Wars, as well as his experiences in his various training schools and fighter pilot rituals. Reading a hands on perspective from someone who flew over the US hours after 9/11, personally bombed Saddam Hussein's helicopters and has 151 combat missions to his name is an unmissable read.

I fully recommend to anyone seeking an exciting series of story accounts from the front seat - literally.

Buy it!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The topics are interesting and, albeit in the past, offer a glimpse of the tedious work not normally associated with the image of the attack pilot. However, you can feel the heart is not there. Dan Hampton shows emotions only when he berates the French or the drone 'pilots'.
It gets old pretty soon. Thumbs up as a war hero, not as a writer.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a thoroughly good read. A personal story of a fighter pilot ,involved in both Gulf Wars. Q. How do you know when a fighter pilots in the room? A. He'll tell you. And boy, does he. However, as a personal memoir it conveys a great deal of the complexity of flying and fighting a fast jet. Recommended
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Format: Hardcover
Five "White Knuckled" Stars! "Viper Pilot" is the true story of Lieutenant Colonel Dan Hampton's experiences as a master F-16 Viper pilot who flew over 150 combat missions. In true edge-of-your-seat action, the opening scene has Hampton, 8 hours in the air and having refueled 5 times, running dangerously low on fuel but diverting to aid ground marines under heavy Iraqi fire, the Iraqi's then begin firing on Hampton's low-lying Weasel, and then fade out...to Chapter 1. He gives the uninitiated readers a seminar on the evolution of war and aircraft, to the dawn of the F-105G in Vietnam (after earlier models had sustained heavy losses from SAMS), aircraft weapons, anti-aircraft weapons, tactics and training, and real life jaw-dropping engagements. He takes the reader through Undergraduate Pilot Training, quickly past 'Holloman widows', to Advanced Survival Training, EWOs, FNGs, wingman duties, the art of briefing, the stringent pilot selection pool, Fighter Weapons School, Khobar towers, the evolving nature of the surface-to-air (SAM) missiles and 'Triple A' threats; the 1960s "Iron Hand", Rolling Thunder, Operation Linebacker I and II missions; and beyond to hair-raising engagements in the two Iraqi wars. Hampton's descriptions of combat puts the reader in the cockpit with him, in flight suits freezing from his own sweat, early cockpit photos show the pilot's viewpoint and fuctional gauges, and the reader even knows what is in his 'bag' on a fighter that can pull 10 Gs. And, oh yes, he completes the opening scene with some harrowing runs on the enemy, and some gut-wrenching refueling and landing scenes. A great wartime Viper pilot read with some profanity. "Sierra Hotel". My Highest Recommendation. Five "YGTBSM" Stars! (336 pages, with Iraq map, over 40 photos of aircraft evolution, missiles, target photos, cockpit photos with details, personal photos, and a detailed F-16CJ schematic. Reviewed in Kindle text and text-to-speech.)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You felt you were in the cockpit with the Pilot, best aviation book I have read since THE BIG SHOW by Pierre Clostermann.Writing style made the story really flow and the end was reached almost too quickly. Great Read asnd as a Private Pilot I enjoyed every word.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hampton writes 'You'll know if there is a fighter pilot in the room.' and this succinctly describes his memoir. They'll be some who see Hampton as confident, others will see him as arrogant. Personally, I think you need to be arrogant to work in the atmosphere that Hampton forged a successful career. I'm not sure I find him likeable, but I suppose that isn't really the point of this book. His tales of daring missions are at times, too matter-of-factly brushed off. I'd also like to hear more about his progression through 'Top Gun' school. Whilst promising so much more than it delivers, 'Viper Pilot' is nevertheless a very entertaining read, even when Hampton strays into politics.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A book that truly puts you in the cockpit of an aggressively flown F16. Vivid recollections of missions in great detail by someone who is very straight talking and opinionated. I put this book on a par with battle of Britain memoirs, maybe more so as the descriptions if combat are more detailed and fresher and the theatres more accessible.
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