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Viper Pilot (Enhanced Edition)

A Memoir of Air Combat

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


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.

From Publishers Weekly

Mar 04, 2013 – 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.


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Customer Reviews

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!!!

One of the Best!

I've read all the modern fighter aircraft books and this is one of the best. He describes several missions and adds all the details that modern fighter aircraft enthusiasts love. Definitely recommend for future fighter pilots!

High on ego, but...

As another vet who flew the Harm loaded viper in anger, found Hampton's rendition high on ego and bravado, but low on perspective - and, more importantly, low on substance worthy of the "America's best fighter pilot" claims. While we should appropriately say thanks for Hampton's service, don't think it would be tough to find hundreds, more likely thousands, with a more compelling story...

Viper Pilot (Enhanced Edition)
View in iTunes
  • $14.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Oct 02, 2012
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings