Stand Well Clear: More Adventures in Military Aviation.
Author D. K. Tooker, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel, served for 25 years, participated in significant combat events, and accumulated many accolades during his career, including two Distinguished Flying Crosses. He also wrote The Second-Luckiest Pilot (Naval Institute Press, 2000). Stand Well Clear, his more recent book, is a collage of 19 adventures of flyers. Using a credible, easy-to-understand writing style, Tooker focuses on both aviation and the Airmen who flew the missions. Because he actually experienced many of his stories, he writes from a unique vantage point. From nearly running out of fuel in a supersonic jet to commuting in a Cessna 150, he offers a wide array of flying experiences. Some of the tales teach lessons to up-and-coming flyers; others provide proof of the old saying "better to be lucky than good." Although the flying episodes certainly highlight the book, Tooker does occasionally "leave the air" to tell some stories about the flyers' ground exploits as well.
Likely, flyers will relate directly to his style and delivery. I enjoyed Tooker's "pilotspeak" and was pleased that he included epilogues indicating the current status of the aviators about whom he writes. Sadly, some of them died in ground or air mishaps.
The book's relevance to the Air Force community lies directly in the history of the aviation stories, especially the mishaps. Each of these could easily fill hundreds of pages, but Tooker does a nice job condensing them to a few relevant pages. Overall, Stand Well Clear is an easy read--just the right length for the aviation enthusiast to put in a briefcase and read on his or her next commercial flight.
Lt Col John Wood, USAF
Air Force Fellow, RAND
Santa Monica, California
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|Publication:||Air & Space Power Journal|
|Article Type:||Book review|
|Date:||Mar 22, 2008|
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