In discussing his military career in Mission to Mach 2: A Fighter Pilot’s Memoir of Supersonic Flight, Earl Haney focuses on his fascinating Air-Force career, relating stories from his days as a pilot, “top-gun” instructor, in the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and from this test pilot adventures. As a member of the “Thunderbirds” and an admired fighter pilot with more than 200 missions, Mr. Earl — as the engaging Haney was known — played a central role in a significant period of aviation history.
Written with Lee Courtnage, the exciting and accessible Mission to Mach 2 chronicles Haney’s experiences flying supersonic jets during the Cold War, Vietnam, and afterwards. He was a pilot in an amazing time, even though — let’s be honest — is there really not an amazing time to be a fighter pilot? The age of supersonic jet planes had matured during Mr. Earl’s service and he got to fly many of the new airplanes, while putting himself in mortal danger with his courage and stamina stretched to their limits.
Mr. Earl also tells about his time in the world famous “Thunderbirds” where he flew the F-100 plane, as well as exciting stories from his combat days, test pilot days, as well as being a respected instructor in the Fighter Weapons School and valued commander in the military.
Mission to Mach 2 is filled with bizarre incidents, tactical scenarios, and wonderful anecdotes. Mr. Earl seems to be a very private man as there is very little about his home life. There is the obligatory chapter about his childhood, his beloved mother, a little about the rough life of a military family and about his sons, of whom he is obviously very proud.