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Download Viper Pilot: The Autobiography of One of America’s Most Decorated Combat Pilots Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Viper Pilot: The Autobiography of One of America’s Most Decorated Combat Pilots, by Dan Hampton Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.02941176470588 out of 53.02941176470588 out of 53.02941176470588 out of 53.02941176470588 out of 53.02941176470588 out of 5 3.03 (102 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dan Hampton Narrator: John Pruden Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 makes 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 20 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 US 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • 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
  • 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, New York Times bestselling author
  • “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 (Ret.), recipient of the Air Force Cross for extraordinary heroism and author of Rupert Red Two: A Fighter Pilot’s Life
  • “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 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 (Ret.)
  • “A colorful memoir.”

    Kirkus Reviews
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Judy | 2/9/2014

    " This non-fiction book was packed with action! I admit I skimmed through parts of it because of the technical language, however, it provided a great insight to US military air flying and tactics. I also appreciate that Hampton wrote this himself and never included any classified information regarding personnel, missions or locations. Bravo to him. I also liked his tone throughout the book - adding his perspective on how things ran stateside, what bases were like around the world and his sense of humor. This was a book a little outside my usual read, but I'm glad I picked it up and learned a few things about F-16 fighter jets. Oh - and Dan Hampton is not a bad looking guy - be sure to check out all of his flight suit pictures (think Maverick only taller) in the middle. :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ned Frederick | 1/14/2014

    " It's one of the best of many jet jockey books I've read. A lot of the details of flying a fighter in combat and getting down into the weeds on all the things pilots have to do to stay alive while completing their missions was fun and interesting. It's sure to become a classic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Mark Rendahl | 10/29/2013

    " Great read! Feels like you're right there in the cockpit "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kryssi Paulo | 10/9/2013

    " Although the author did a good job at explaining and his tone was quite humorous at times I still could not get into the book. So after 4 months I gave up trying to read it. "

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About the Author

Dan Hampton flew more than 150 combat missions during his twenty years as a Wild Weasel fighter pilot. For his service in the Iraq War, Kosovo conflict, first Gulf War, and elsewhere, Hampton received four Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor, a Purple Heart, eight Air Medals with Valor, five Meritorious Service Medals, and numerous other citations. He is a graduate of the USAF and USN Fighter Weapons Schools and the USAF Special Operations School. A recipient of several awards for tactical innovation, Hampton pioneered air-combat tactics that are now standard and was named his squadron’s Instructor Pilot of the Year six times. A graduate of Texas A&M University, he has published articles in the Journal of Electronic DefenseAir Force Magazine, and Airpower, as well as several classified tactical works for the USAF Fighter Weapons Review.