After an intensive pilot training of 3 years in the RAF the author is stationed as a fighter pilot in an operational squadron. About this training period and the first year with the 54th squadron of the RAF as a fighter pilot on the Sepecat Jaguar the author wrote a diary with the most important happenings in chronical order.
The diary is not only about the flight training itself but reports also about the ancillary matters during this period. The daily report of Trevor Edwards experiences gives you a good image of the flight training but describes also the social live of pilots during and after their work. In the beginning he is somewhat critical about all that happens around him and he lacks self-confidence whether he will succeed. But gradually the training program becomes more intensive and complex and his self-confidence grows. He graduates successfully in all classes of the basic flight and the operational training, but experiences also setbacks regular. Edwards is not restraining his comments on his own failures during the growing complexity of the assignments. The stress hits him knowing that failure will be punished by being washed out from the training. Therefore it is not surprising that in the free hours regular debaucheries take place. The dairy shows you a good picture of what a pilot trainee experiences and what is expected from him.
Before he may call himself an operational fighter pilot many tests and qualifications should be successfully completed and it takes around 3 years before he receives his wings. After that it takes a full year of training in an operational squadron before he is qualified as a fighter pilot and is allowed to operate in NATO operations. Real technical matters are not part of his diary. Sometimes a short italic explanation is given about a detail that needs more attention but you do really not miss it. The flying stories are exiting enough. I also presume that many parts of his training are classified. I myself was surprised about the high pace and demands of the flight training.
But the whole training takes 3 years and this is really necessary to train a pilot for front missions. At the end Trevor Edwards is selected as pilot on the Sepecat Jaguar a fighter bomber and remains in the RAF for 12 years. After his final placement and qualification in an operational squadron his diary stops, but maybe there will be a next book of his adventures of that period. That for sure will be also a nice book to read.
For everybody who wants to know more about the training to become a fighter pilot in his own air force ( pilot training in the NATO are basically standarised) this book gives a good picture of what he may expect during his training. A lot of flying, nice events, a good pay but also a lot of studying, hard training and sometimes hair raising narrow escapes while you may be sent home during every stage of the training. But sure it´s worth it, flying a fast jet is and stays the most beautiful job in the world and you will have to work hard for it, isn´t it.