The Ace Factor: Air Combat and the Role of Situational Awareness
This is a second-hand copy of the book The Ace Factor: Air Combat and the Role of Situational Awareness by Mike Spick.
Condition: this is a used book in good condition. The dust jacket has been covered in a non-adhesive PVC cover to keep it safe (see product image). This can be easily removed as it is simply folded in place. The book is solid and well bound with little wear. The only internal markings are blue pen ink on the second page as it was obviously once given as a gift. The top outer edge has some foxing/age spots. Very faint signs the same are now showing on the side.
Condition: used (good)
From the inside flap:
What makes a fighter ace? Why are a staggering forty per cent of aerial engagements won by a mere five per cent of pilots? What gives this minority the ability to rack up scores so far beyond those of the other 95 per cent of pilots? These questions have often been asked but a definitive answer has had to await this book. It can be condensed into two words: situational awareness, or SA for short, that almost psychic ability the top-scoring aces have which enables them to be aware of everything going on in their immediate environment. It is the same sort of awareness which separates a top class rally driver from the average motorist.
Of course, many other factors contribute to the making of an ace; good eyesight and reflexes, flying ability, aggression, determination, coolness under fire and a superior aeroplane are some of the most important, along with training, morale and experience. However, many pilots possess most or all of these attributes without ever becoming aces. Luck enters into the picture too, of course - you have to have the opportunities to make the scores; but the fighter ace will usually create his own opportunities. The critical factor though is situational awareness, a factor which has only been given the attention it deserves in recent years. Almost impossible to quantify, it can best be demonstrated by example, and in this book Mike Spick analyses some of the combat situations which have created the great aces of the two World Wars as well as those of the Korean, Middle East and South-East Asian conflicts. He includes quotations to demonstrate situational awareness from some of the greatest aces of all time, as well as from other pilots who observed them in action. The end result is an important and revelatory study which will be read avidly by everyone interested in aerial warfare.