EP 356: Into the Danger Zone w/ Top Gun Founder Captain Dan Pederson
On the 50th Anniversary of the Navy's legendary fighter pilot school known as Top Gun, the founder Captain Dan Pederson discusses how the pilot losses he witnessed in the Vietnam War led to the formation of Top Gun, how he and the other original "9 bros" got it up and running in just a matter of weeks with little or no funding, and what they looked for in new recruits. He recalls the days before Top Gun when aerial combat training was banned by the military and how he and his fellow pilots learned their skills at a secret fight club in the sky off the coast of San Diego. He talks about getting to train against real Russian MIG fighter jets at the most classified location in America, the mental and physical stamina required to perform the kind of aerial acrobatics taught at Top Gun, and the toll that it can take on a pilot’s personal life. Plus Dan shares what the famous movie Top Gun gets wrong, he reveals the absolute worst weather to fly in, and he offers a few choice words about the Pentagon’s current reliance on the costly F-35 fighter jet.
Order Captain Dan Pederson's book TOP GUN: AN AMERICAN STORY on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Please take our annual podcast listener survey and register to win a $100 Amazon gift card at www.podsurvey.com/kick. Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.