by Dave "Bio" Baranek          

Available in hardcover, softcover, e-book, and audio-book. Check out Amazon Kindle, B&N NOOK, and other e-book retailers.

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Navy Topgun Instructors, among the best trained and most respected of all aviators, are not born; they are made through their own determined efforts and the coordinated work of their predecessors. TOPGUN DAYS reveals in exuberant prose how a young man goes from aspirations to realizing his dreams.

Former F-14 radar intercept officer and Topgun instructor Dave Baranek (callsign: Bio) describes the commitment required to first master the mighty F-14 Tomcat fighter, and then the extreme demands placed on instructors once they report to the Topgun school. He goes from being waterboarded in survival training to performing at the highest levels while subjected to six-and-half times the force of gravity during gut-wrenching dogfights. He speaks of the long hours instructors put in to prepare their lectures, and reflects candidly on the untimely deaths of two of his associates in aircraft accidents. He describes his own struggle for his very life after ejecting from a crashing F-14.

TOPGUN DAYS is not only about trial, it is about adventure and triumph. Dave takes readers among the clouds with his vivid accounts of the incredible power and maneuverability these young men harness. The rewards include unforgettable action and the camaraderie of others who he respects. In Dave’s case, the rewards also include a bit of Hollywood fame as he helps to create that well known blockbuster, “Top Gun.”


  • Here's another story updating the idea of a sequel, "Top Gun 2":  K-Pop story. The second paragraph mentions "Tony Scott returning to direct," so that must be an old quote, but the rest of the article looks interesting.
  • If you're fascinated by the F-14 Tomcat's variable geometry wings, you may enjoy these stories.
  • Be sure to check out my aviation reading list, at the bottom of the Links page. I personally recommend these aviation-related books.
  • For background on the real Topgun squadron, see Part 4 of my online article about how the Topgun squadron evolved to stay in the lead in air combat training. The supplemental notes add detail to several topics and suggest further reading about the Topgun squadron. 
  • Prints of many aircraft photos from TOPGUN DAYS are now available from Stocktrek Images.
  • In Seattle? Pick up a signed copy of TOPGUN DAYS and visit a truly impressive aviation and space museum, The Museum of Flight.
  • In Las Vegas? Signed copies of TOPGUN DAYS are available in the gift shop at the National Atomic Testing Museum , which presents a fascinating time in our history.

What others are saying about TOPGUN DAYS:

  • From catapult shot to the red carpet, this book delivers. - Kai Ryssdal, host of public radio's "Marketplace" and former Naval Flight Officer
  • The movie was cool, but the real thing is cooler, isn’t it? ... What I particularly appreciated is how good he is at explaining. ... So I loved how accessible Dave made his world. - Sarah Morgan
  • Dave "Bio" Baranek brings "real world" experience and an edgy writing talent to the high-speed, high-G world of air warfare in the carrier-based F-14 Tomcat. - Robert F. Dorr, author of Mission to Tokyo and dozens of other aviation books
  • If you even remotely enjoy naval aviation, fast jets, or just good pilot stories you’ll love Topgun Days! -

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