• Topgun Days

  • Dogfighting, Cheating Death, and Hollywood Glory as One of America's Best Fighter Jocks
  • By: Dave "Bio" Baranek
  • Narrated by: Jeremy Arthur
  • Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (290 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Dave Baranek (callsign "Bio") was one of 451 young men to receive his Wings of Gold in 1980 as a naval flight officer. Four years later, seasoned by intense training and deployments in the tense confrontations of the Cold War, he became the only one of that initial group to rise to become an instructor at the navy's elite Fighter Weapons School. As a Topgun instructor, Bio was responsible for teaching the navy's and Marine Corps' best fighter pilots how to be even better. He schooled them in the classroom and then went head-to-head with them in the skies.

Then, in August 1985, Bio was assigned to combine his day-to-day flight duties with participation in a Pentagon-blessed project to film action footage for a major Hollywood movie focusing on the lives, loves, heartbreaks, and triumphs of young fighter pilots: Top Gun. Bio soon found himself riding in limousines to attend gala premieres, and being singled out by giggling teenagers and awed schoolboys who recognized the name "Topgun" on his T-shirts. The audiobook ends with his reflections on his career as a skilled naval aviator and his enduring love of flight.

©2010 David Baranek (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Topgun Days

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Top Gun or Topgun

I admit it, I’ve watch Top Gun the movie over and over. I love it. So when I had to a chance to read how it was put together I jumped at it. I had no reviews to help me (I really depend on reviews) so I felt a need to write a this review.

Bio (his call sign and it is in the credits I checked) our author tells us about how he learned to be a REO. A reo is the weapons officer in the back seat. Bio tells us about having to eject on a failed landing attempt. Bio relates how they study and study and study to fly those jets with such safety and menace.

Top Gun the school according to Bio didn’t have a trophy given to the winner of the class. Tony Scott took some liberties with that one.

I think the preparation for the flights, the preparation for the teaching of the classes our author lets us know that being in a fighter jet is for in shape young men and women that are well trained and dedicated.

When I listen to a book some go by real fast, and that usually means to me it was riveting. This book flew supersonic by me and of course, I did stream the movie this weekend to check the credits and see exactly what Bio was talking about.

If you liked the movie this book is for you.

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Very interesting and enjoyable

Very interesting story and generally well told. occasionally repeating information and the way times are narrated wind me up.

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Great Book- Easy listening

Not so technical and detailed with a lot of characters to keep track of like some books are! The kind of style I enjoy when I can’t put my mind too deep into something! A little more humour in the book and inflection in the narrator’s voice would be nice - but he did a great job. Writer did not come across as arrogant! Easy to understand and pleasant to listen to…

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Up close and personal Topgun!!

I would recommend any Topgun fan listen to Topgun Days. Dave “Bio” Baranek thoroughly covers his time at Topgun and provides amazing insight to the Topgun movie production. Lots of little nuggets of behind the scenes movie knowledge. Baranek also clearly walks the reader through the true Topgun experience!!

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Inside look at flying for the movie!

Enjoyed this narration of F-14 flying. The best of the best! A top pilot's memoir of duty, opportunity, and flying at Miramar!

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Audio narration not the best but...

F-14 Tomcat! Anytime Baby! I loved Dave Bio's Baraneks' story! What a storied career! ✈🇺🇲⚓

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Outstanding

I thoroughly enjoyed this listening. I loved the information about the filming and production of the movie.

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Well written and whole book was interesting

Bio experience's was an insight not many Enlisted personal or general public would ever get to live though his thoughts.

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A compelling look at Topgun.

Loved it. Well worth the time invested. The author speaks from experience and training as he describes his journey from an F-14 Tomcat RIO in the Fleet to his time as a Topgun student expanding skills. Later he becomes one of the elite Topgun instructors as he shares what it's like to be among the elite of Topgun.

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Excellent inside look

This was on my wish list when I noticed Audible was promoting the story. It was particularly interesting to me as an aviation enthusiast. The author is a former student and instructor who gives the reader a good inside look at the program. For we civilian pilots and enthusiasts, it's probably pretty good high level look at the program. The narrative is not very technical, so even if the reader is drawn because of being a fan of the movie, it will still give a behind the scenes insight.

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  • M.G.Scotney-Jones
  • 01-25-17

Amazing!!

What a great listen! If you are a Top Gun fan, this is the best book. A real great insight in to the real life of a Topgun instructor and F14 REO!
Also, the description and insight from an Aviators perspective on the filming of Top Gun is great. Really interesting facts.

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  • Mr. Duncan James Hardy
  • 09-11-15

Brilliant

A must listen for anyone interested in aviation or anyone who is interested in Topgun. One if the most exciting books I've listened too.

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  • @ZennyReadsAlot
  • 03-11-22

Awesome as playing with the boys

So #TopgunDays by Dave "Bio" Baranek. So you want to know what it's like to fly the F-14 and play with the boys? Then this book is right up your street. Just as action-packed as #TopGun the quality of writing is matched only by the fighter jet on afterburn. 📚5/5🌟 #BookReview

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  • Mr
  • 12-04-21

Loved it!

I found it really interesting, good level of detail.
Looked on his website for some of his photos - they're really good for setting the scenes.

I feel the need, the need to go and watch the Top Gun movie again now (for about the zillionth time)...

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  • Mr T Lilley
  • 09-23-21

Great story - a must for any Top Gun fan

Really enjoyed listening to this on my commute. A few military terms pronounced slightly differently to how I’d expect them to be, but otherwise a decent narration.

Thoroughly recommended.

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  • Oatmung
  • 08-14-21

A great job but not a great story...

Very little action - more a list of things the author did while working at Top Gun. Some interesting insights to the filming but overall, disappointing. I am sure he had an amazing time as a Radar Intercept Officer but it doesn't make for great reading/listening.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-13-21

Great book about the real topgun in the '80s

The book describes the days of a Radar Intercept Officer in an F-14. the RIO is the author, David Baranek. the story is written and narrated very well, it takes you back to a laid-back 80's era. i strongly recommend this audio book, or the printed book to any aviation enthousiast!

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  • Abe
  • 08-12-21

didn't even finish the intro

sorry to say that there was too much own trumpet blowing right from the start.

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  • L. Nicklln
  • 12-09-20

great stories from the back seat

bio has some great tales and some great insight into the world of naval aviation.
not too heavy in the technical stuff but enough to keep enthusiasts interested

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  • Simon Sproull
  • 08-04-22

Dave "Bio" Baranek is worth following

If you are into Jet fighter aircraft and the people who make it all tick, then Dave Baranek (Call Sign BIO) is someone you want to follow and listen to. His Podcast (one of) "The F-14 Tomcast" is fantastic, and after listening to Bio & Crunch ((and Vince "Jello" Aello's Fighter Pilots Podcast)) you will see how their training and personalities make their deliveries so interesting. unfortunately l was hoping for more with this book, more on the flying day to days with being in the US military. This book was good, but l wanted more. I will have to buy both of Dave's newer books to continue my Jet aero learning.