Naval aviation, which for me was A-6 Intruders, was the great adventure of my life. It was one of those rare instances when the reality lives up to its advanced billing. Actually, the reality was better than anything I dreamed it could be. I have certainly had other great adventures, including marriage, the practice of law, fatherhood, civilian flying, and writing. Still, naval aviation was . . . well, let me tell you about it.
I was awestruck by my instructors in flight school. They were mostly fleet pilots doing an instructor tour, except for a few plow-backs who desperately wanted to get to the fleet, and many were combat veterans. They were really old, positively geriatric, in their mid- to late-20s, with a few old crocks in their early 30s.