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If You Ain't a Pilot...

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  76 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Cockpit chaos and classroom camaraderie fuel the entropic adventures of Second Lieutenant Ray Wright and his fellow classmates of UPT Class 88-07 at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. Though competing against one another for the flying assignments of their dreams, like the fearsome F-15 and F-16 fighters, a good mission sometimes takes a backseat to a good party or punc ...more
Paperback, 456 pages
Published July 15th 2016 by Wright & Wright Publishing
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Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I rate this book 5 stars not because his writing skills are top notch but because they're so human and it really makes think how it must be being a student pilot ...more
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book before leaving for Columbus AFB to begin pilot training and thouroughly enjoyed the stories and writing style of the book. I gave a copy to my parents to read to give them a better perspective of what I was going through. After now graduating from Columbus and reflecting on my experience, I reread the book and got even more out of it because I now understand the technical terms he uses and what all the acronyms mean. It was interesting to see that the training done there today, ...more
Dan Harris
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding book

I loved reading this book. I attended USAF Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) at Williams AFB, AZ in 1979 - 1980 as a member of UPT class 80-05. Although I was at a different base, the similarities of his experiences to mine are uncanny.

This book brought back many memories of the year long adventure of pilot training; a year of hard work and extreme stress, but some of the best experiences of my life. Where else does a young non-pilot got to take a multimillion dollar, supersoni
Jul 28, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barely enough flying to keep me interested

Not a book about flying. Semi-entertaining, (semi-boring), memoir of jet school, family and friend anecdotes and low expectations. 20% flying. Really makes one wonder about the student pilot selection process, not to mention instructors! This book makes them all out to be nuts, misfits or sad sacks. Not the normal perspective on pilots. The title, intentionally ironic, is the effacing view of the mindset. Did need to be pared down a lot, but ok if you ar
Carl D. Eliason
Apr 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although a much earlier grad (Class 67A) I found it an enjoyable read.

Well written. Obvious the author would become a FAIP and had quite a few experiences doubt one student in a single class could have had all those experiences.
William Alexander Cleaver
You ain't shit if you don't write review

I enjoyed Ray's easy going style of recounting his adventures. It always felt like I was there with him. Actually I couldn't put my kindle down.
Nathan Peters
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book is a true reflection of how a pilot would travel through pilot training in the time. It was refreshing to read a collection of stories where the main subject did not always perform perfectly and detailing the stdps taken to scrape through.
James R Jackson III
My life is only interesting to me and mine. just doesn't get it. It's really ok to only be interesting to yourself. Just don't make the rest of us pretend to be interested.
Ray Oliver
Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Took me back to Moody AFB and UPT class 65C. Hardest 53 weeks of my life, and a period I think of with very deep emotions.
Dec 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Other than the parties, which I guess you had to be there, I loved this book. The author writes quite well. I'd recommend it. ...more

Brought back a lot of good memories. Ray Wright is a great storyteller. Laughed out loud several times. Loved it!
Teresa Howell
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book!
Robert Segals
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best flying books I’ve read

I greatly enjoyed this book! The book is the narrative about Ray Wright’s year training to fly jets on an Air Force Base in Mississippi. Unlike any other book I’ve read that talks about the training pilots go through, his book is a wonderful narrative about both the training, the people, the environment and the hijinks and the bumps along the way. He has a forthright way of telling his story, all in the first person. His story of a bunch of 20-year-olds find
Michael Hinderlie
This author helps us wanna-be fighter pi!ots

The book puts you in My Ray Wright's pilot seat. He tells the ups and downs of USAF pilot training. Wright describes the give and take between student , instructor and fellow students. You can feel Wright's tension as he tries to get ahead of his aircraft. In the beginning the plane is flying him. As he becomes more experienced you can tell Wright's confidence as he begins to really control his aircraft. The book is funny and enjoyable. Read this book
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
WOW! What an amazing book and great memoir! Ray did such a great job writing this and was able to keep me wanting more. You do not need to be in the military to appreciate the selflessness sacrifices that our military and pilots give up to keep us safe. Thanks RAY!! I won this great book on GoodReads and like I do with most my wins I will be paying it forward by giving my win either to a friend or library to enjoy.
Regina Stone
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Oct 15, 2020
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Aug 30, 2020
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Nov 28, 2019
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As an Air Force pilot, Ray Wright flew over 1,000 missions in the supersonic T-38A Talon. Before reporting to Columbus as a student in 1987, Wright graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Humanities - American Studies. He was born and raised in Peace Dale, Rhode Island. Ray, his wife Rachel, a 1991 graduate of the Mississippi University for Women, and their ...more

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