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Another day's work in the stratosphere
on 14 April 2013
This autobiography follows the career of NASA test-pilot Don Mallick, from basic training to the cockpits of some of the fastest jets ever built (of the ones we're allowed to know about, anyway).
Mallick's skill and professionalism really come across, as he describes the perils of Navy carrier flying, and later the detailed test work in experimental planes like the XB-70 Valkyrie and the Blackbird.
He also shares some of his personal story, and remembers colleagues who did not survive this dangerous work.
I particularly liked the story of the lunar-lander test & training machine (which almost killed Neil Armstrong). Mallick was one of the very first to fly this contraption, and makes clear his concern that it was rushed into astronaut training without the proper degree of testing.
The book is written in a forthright, unassuming style. Although not very basic in its explanation of aeronautical terms (which would be annoying for the more knowledgeable), it can be well enjoyed by the 'armchair' pilot or aviation enthusiast.