Authored by Dave Baranek
You’re in the cockpit of the legendary F-14 Tomcat fighter, blazing along at twice the speed of sound seven miles above the ocean and the carrier that hurled you off its deck. You’re practicing dogfighting with “aggressors,” guys on your side flying F-16s. You’re patrolling the tense skies above Iraq, and with the push of a button you can launch the 100-mile Phoenix missile that can blow a foe to scrap before you even see him. You are an expert in fighter tactics and aircraft carrier operations, and it all leads to your command of an F-14 fighter squadron of more than three hundred people.
Sounds like a week’s worth of daydreams, but it’s all real-life in the career of Dave “Bio” Baranek, and he shares it with you in the exciting, superbly crafted new book, Tomcat Rio. Dave – callsign “Bio” – pulled his readers into the exciting world of the F-14 and the Navy’s TOPGUN program with his popular books Topgun Days and Before Topgun Days. Now he’s back with the rest of the story, as he reaches the top level of expertise and proves it, not just in graded competitions but also where it counts, where you shoot at them and they shoot at you.
Dave also shares the challenges he faced. A deadly foe called complacency. Learning a whole new mission late in his career. The unexpected trials that come with leading a squadron in the dynamic environment of Naval Aviation. This third volume is full of adventures, lessons, and inspiration. If you are a casual reader, you’ll turn the last page as a dedicated Tomcat fan.
To make it all even more real, Tomcat Rio includes dozens of Bio’s best and most acclaimed photos. Photographer George Hall hailed one shot as “one of the best Tomcat photos ever taken.”
In words and pictures, Bio immerses you in rich detail. He pipes you aboard as a member of an F-14 squadron. You share the camaraderie of Type A personalities. You plan risky missions, going toe-to-toe against America’s most volatile foes. You can almost smell the pungent jet exhaust, almost feel the gut-wrenching G’s of a dogfight, as Tomcat Rio pitches you into the thick of it as only Bio can tell it. Strap in! You’re going for one fantastic ride.