Get inside the cockpit with Dan Hampton, the military’s most decorated F-16 pilot, in this enhanced e-book edition of Viper Pilot. Exclusive to this edition are 11 video interviews, where Hampton talks candidly about his time as a Wild Weasel and about the fighter jet that kept him alive through so many dangerous skirmishes. In addition, an interactive “first-person” cockpit diagram lets you get deeper into the action, providing a visual companion to the book that leaves you feeling like you’re sitting in the iconic F-16 itself.
151 combat missions
21 hard kills on surface-to-air-missile sites
4 Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor
1 Purple Heart
Sure to rank as one of the greatest aviation memoirs ever written, Viper Pilot is an Air Force legend's thrilling eyewitness account of modern air warfare.
From 1986 to 2006, Lt. Col. Dan Hampton was a leading member of the Wild Weasels, the elite Air Force fighter squadrons whose mission is recognized as the most dangerous job in modern air combat. Weasels are the first planes sent into a war zone, flying deep behind enemy lines purposely seeking to draw fire from surface-to-air missiles and artillery. They must skillfully evade being shot down—and then return to destroy the threats, thereby making the skies safe for everyone else to follow. Today these vital missions are more hazardous than direct air-to-air engagement with enemy aircraft. Hampton's record number of strikes on high-value targets make him the most lethal F-16 Wild Weasel pilot in American history. This is his remarkable story.
Taught to fly at an early age by his father, Hampton logged twenty years and 608 combat hours in the world's most iconic fighter jet: the F-16 "Fighting Falcon," or "Viper" as its pilots call it. Hampton spearheaded the 2003 invasion of Iraq, leading the first flight of fighters over the border en route to strike Baghdad. In the war that followed, he engaged in a series of brilliantly executed missions that earned him three Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor; he notably saved a U.S. Marine unit from certain death by taking out the surrounding enemy forces near Nasiriyah. Two years 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. Hampton also flew critical missions in the first Gulf War, served on the Air Combat Command staff during the Kosovo War, and was injured in the 1996 Khobar Towers terrorist attack.
With manned missions rapidly giving way to remote-controlled UAV drones, Viper Pilot may be the last memoir by a true hero of the skies. Gripping and irreverently humorous, it is an unforgettable look into the closed world of fighter pilots and modern air combat.
Please note that due to the large file size of these special features this enhanced e-book may take longer to download then a standard e-book.
Hampton, one of America s most renowned fighter pilots a retired, decorated Air Force lieutenant colonel shares a brash and bold account of his 20 year military service in this fast-paced adventure memoir. He recounts his early education at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma, his personal experience of September 11th, and the hair-raising missions of two Gulf wars. A member of the Wild Weasels, an elite group of pilots who fly into enemy territory to draw fire so that threats can be exposed and eliminated, Hampton has amassed an almost unbelievable collection of tales, including how he survived the Khobar Towers bombing and countless other experiences "seeing the Elephant" as he engaged in close calls that forced him to acknowledge the probability of his demise. While military buffs and those who have endured combat will enjoy Hampton s fast, unfiltered tales, civilian readers may have a more difficult time, as each chapter contains so much military jargon that a glossary of terms has been appended at the end of the book. Still, Hampton s honest, audacious style makes for an entertaining read, and those instances where the author digresses, offering unfiltered opinions or a rare glimpse of life outside of the cockpit, are especially intriguing.
A Hollywood script couldn't touch this.
Dan Hampton is the epitome of every professional warrior: he immersed himself into his God-given talent from its inception and remained human throughout its path while staying true to his beliefs. He is typical of every successful engineer-type mindset we have all known, one who views the world through a different lens. Add to this Colonel Hamptons ability to place you, the reader, into the cockpit with him through every flight/every mission and you have a read you will not be able to easily set aside if you've any interest whatsoever in the development of a highly intuitive pilot-or, for that matter, an insightful, innovative human. Cocky at times? Yes-but humble without reservation, especially when faced with a learning moment.
In a nutshell?
An very intelligent writer taking you through his artistically and life changing-often deadly-dance in the skies of the world.
Very exciting read!
Viper Pilot is a great narrative of what it's like to train to become a USAF F-16 pilot and go to war. Lt Col Dan Hampton wrote the book without a ghost writer, so it's like sitting with the guy, having a beer, listening to him tell stories. I can just picture him demonstrating the yanking and banking with his hands as he speaks, LOL.
Dan's stories are very exciting, entertaining and not at all dry. He recounts tales of being in Gulf I and II, as well as what his role was on 9/11 and about training some Egyptian pilots. Really funny stuff from Egypt! I must admit I got a little lost in technical bits occasionally, but this book is as close to flying a fighter jet as I will ever come. Thanks, Dan.
"2Dogs" pulls no punches with his opinions and often is not at all PC. I like people who are not afraid to say what they really think. Dan Hampton is one of those people. I wonder how he got clearance to say as much as he did about some of the things civilians will never hear about.
Some people have said that Dan is a tad on the arrogant side, but I've been around military flyboys my whole life, and yup, they do tend to be that way a bit. Rightfully so! We need them to be that way to do the job that they do for us. And remember, this is HIS book, so it is logical that it revolves around "I" and "me".
However, I noticed numerous places where he credits and praises other members of our military forces. One of my favorite lines is where 2Dogs thanks a tanker pilot who flew into the war zone to rescue him, as the F-16 was coasting on fumes. "Pretty ballsy thing to do by a guy sitting in a big unarmed flying gas can."
Viper Pilot is a very good look into a world I will never see firsthand. I suggest you jump in and hold on!! The bad thing about books like this is that I finish them too quickly. I look forward to reading Dan's fiction.
Great Job, Dan!
I've read alot of combat avition books in my time. I'm a former Marine, and have been in the aviation field almost 40 years. This book is easily up in the top 10 of all I've read. Very easy to read, understand, and to immerse yourself in. I look fwd to his next book. SEMPER FI!!!