Category

Military

“Paco” Chierici

By Author, Fun, Military, Movies No Comments

If you loved Top Gun, you’re going to love this episode! F-14 Fighter Pilot Francesco “Paco” Chierici joins Gary Scott Thomas to get our adrenaline going by taking us through the excitement of a “dog fight.” Oh, and did we mention he’s an author, trainer, and video game script writer? He’s lived quite a life so far!

**A dogfight, or dog fight, is a form of engagement between fighter aircraft

In This Episode:

Key Takeaways:

  • How he got the name Paco
  • Being the FNG 
  • What Gforce feels like
  • Dog fights*
  • How to prevent the air from getting the air sucked out of his lungs
  • If there’s a fear 
  • The violence in the cockpit
  • The artistry involved in an aerial dog fight
  • How many people it takes to carry out the mission
  • The real legacy of the first female fighter pilot in the U.S. military to die in a crash
  • How he navigated the geopolitical aspects of the book
  • His thoughts on drones’ effects on pilots
  • One of the coolest moments he experienced
  • Being a fighter pilot trainer
  • Writing a script for a video game
  • His book Lions of the Sky

Quotations:

“I’m one of the very few people in the Navy who never actually got a call sign. I just used my nickname the whole time. So I, they tried. I even crashed an airplane. They couldn’t come up with a call sign.” ~Paco Chierici

“I don’t know why I write. I don’t know why; I just can’t not write.” ~Paco Chierici

“I started when I was 21. I didn’t have any fear. I mean, not really. I had a fear of failure more than anything, but I wasn’t afraid of crashing an airplane.” ~Paco Chierici

“It is so fun. It just washes everything else away. There’s nothing like the feeling of going like 700 miles an hour, a hundred feet off the ground, weaving through a canyon to make you feel Bulletproof.” ~Paco Chierici

“Some famous athlete said, you know, an athlete dies twice, right.” ~Paco Chierici

“You die when you stop playing your sport, and you die when you die, obviously. And that’s the same for a fighter pilot. If you’re lucky, you die twice. If you don’t die flying an airplane, you have to hang up your boots. And that sucks because you feel like you’re giving up something that you’ve dedicated your entire life to.” ~Paco Chierici

“The way I write and the way I tell stories is that I want the reader or the viewer, like with the documentary, to feel like they’re involved in the story.” ~Paco Chierici

Guest’s Bio:

During his active duty career in the U.S. Navy, Francesco “Paco” Chierici flew A-6E Intruders and F-14A Tomcats, deployed to conflict zones from Somalia to Iraq, and was stationed aboard carriers including the USS Ranger, Nimitz, and Kitty Hawk. Throughout his military career, Paco accumulated 3,000 tactical hours, 400 carrier landings, a Southwest Asia Service Medal with Bronze Star, and three Strike/Flight Air Medals. Unable to give up dogfighting, he flew the F-5 Tiger II for a further ten years as a Bandit.

Guest’s Contact Info:

https://www.lionsofthesky.com