Flight of the Intruder
In this riveting story of naval aviators at war over Vietnam, veteran A-6 Intruder pilot Stephen Coonts captured as never before the full drama of modern aerial warfare. With extraordinary realism he straps the reader into the cockpit of an A-6 to experience the fear and exhilaration of life at full throttle: thrilling cat shots off a carrier...treetop-level races against pursuing MIGs...treacherous night landings in crippled planes.
With unfailing honesty he puts the reader inside the hearts and minds of the pilots who "drive" these powerful, hi-tech machines to reveal a world unknown to those outside the naval aviators' fraternity. From the good-natured raillery of the ready room to the shared dangers in the air to the manic release from combat stress in the bars of the Philippines, the airmen's special brand of camaraderie--the one stabilizing force in their otherwise precarious lives--is described here as only an insider could.
More than an exciting adventure story, FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER probes beneath the glamorous surface to examine the psychological tolls of war. Through the memorable characters of Jake Grafton and his squadron buddies Tiger Cole, The Boxman, Sammy Lundeen, and New Guy, Coonts explores the ways in which naval aviators attempt to cope with the intense pressures of their profession.
For Jake, a once-innocent love of flying has given way to guilt and frustration--and an urgent need to give meaning to the deaths he feels responsible for. the consequences of his conduct lead up to a final, gut-wrenching scene that will leave readers thinking about this moving novel long after turning the last page.
Stephen Coonts made an auspicious debut as a writer with this lucid, authentic, and deeply reflective book. This was his first novel. It spent 28 weeks on the New York Times bestseller lists and launched his writing career. FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER became an instant classic of modern naval aviation. It is often cited as one of the best flying stories ever written. If you ahve never before read a Coonts' adventure, this book is the place to start.