Harrier: How To Be a Fighter Pilot

Harrier: How To Be a Fighter Pilot


Brought to you by Penguin.

Paul Tremelling was just seven years old when he watched the Royal Navy's Sea Harriers leave their home base in Somerset to do battle against the Argentine Air Force in the Falklands War. Two decades later he would join this exclusive club, one of an elite band of Fleet Air Arm fighter pilots, charged with standing in the way of Her Majesty's enemies.

This is the story of what it takes to make it in the dog-eat-dog arena of fighter combat. In the cockpit or crew room, the pressure is relentless, the humour merciless. It's no place for the faint-hearted.

Whether landing on a pitching aircraft carrier deck in the middle of the night or screaming in to save the lives of heroes under fire in Afghanistan, there was no room for self-doubt; only honesty, confidence and do-or-die hard truth. Big Boys Rules.

In return Tremelling and his fellow airborne warriors enjoyed levels of exhilaration and job-satisfaction that would almost unimaginable in any other walk of life.

Either Winston Churchill or George Orwell (or maybe neither of them ...) is reputed to have said 'we sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm'.

For nearly twenty years, Tremelling was one of those men. And never happier than when he was in the cockpit of the legendary British jump jet.

Combining visceral action with sharp intelligence, laced with acerbic humour, Harrier pulls no punches in bringing to life the hi-octane, unforgiving world of the fighter pilot, in the air and on the ground.

Strap-in ...

© Paul Tremelling 2022 (P) Penguin Audio 2022


  • This is a searingly honest, keenly observed, well written and extremely funny military memoir and a must read for anyone interested in the tight brother and sisterhood of fast jet jockeys. It's a rare insight into a world hidden from view by operational security and corporate PR and all too often only revealed years too late . . . It's insightful, unapologetic and, at times hilarious
    RAF News

About the author

Paul Tremelling

Paul Tremelling joined the Royal Navy in 1996 and flew the Sea Harrier on 800, 801 and 899 Naval Air Squadrons. Qualifying as an Air Warfare Instructor, he transitioned to the Harrier GR9 and served on the Naval Strike Wing, a unit where he became Senior Pilot. Selected for exchange duties with the USN, Tremelling flew F/A-18E Super Hornet with VFA-25, The Fist of The Fleet. He fitted in three desk tours, two Battle Staff jobs and operational duties in Afghanistan and off Libya. He was Mentioned in Despatches following an action fought in Afghanistan.
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