Dave “Bio” Baranek was one of 451 young men to become a Navy flight officer in 1980, but he was the only one from that group to become an instructor at Topgun, the Navy’s elite Fighter Weapons School. He was so good that Hollywood came knocking on his door, and asked to assist with the making of “Top Gun,” which earned $353 million and helped make Tom Cruise into a superstar.
Baranek’s new book, “Topgun Days,” describes his experiences as a regular guy thrown into the crazy world of Hollywood, and the daring, hot-shot moves that got him into Topgun in the first place. The book includes a variety of tales, including how he got used to airsickness during dynamic maneuvering in training school; faceoffs in the air at 700 mph; how Topgun students receive their call-signs (“Bio” is short for bionic, which rhymes with Baranek, Dave’s last name; his mom’s reaction when he received his first jet with his name printed on it (she complained that it said “Dave” instead of “David”…. and he never brought her on-site again; and how the first few takes of some of the scenes in “Top Gun” had to be completely redone because they were inaccurate or improbable. The book also includes dozens of photos of planes, flights in action, scenes from the movie set and a glossary of flight terms and Topgun information.
For more information: TopGunBio.com.