This book is a collection of "there I was" stories highlighting the experiences of Canadian Forces pilots who have had the opportunity of a lifetime to fly in the combat aircraft operated by former adversaries. Technical descriptions of key Soviet-built fighter jets such as the MiG-15, MiG-21, MiG-23, MiG-25, MiG-29, Sukhoi Su-22 and Su-27 are included for general reference. The Canadian Fighter pilots mentioned in the story have generously provided their observations and comments on their specific experiences of flight in aircraft such as the MiG-29 (NATO codenamed Fulcrum), Sukhoi Su-22 (codenamed Fitter) and Su-27 (codenamed Flanker), both in Canada and overseas. The stories as told first hand by the pilots who contributed them should provide interesting reading for aviation enthusiasts of all ages. An Annex listing aircraft known to have been brought to the West by defecting pilots since 1949 is also included. The Annex briefly describes pilots and aircraft and the circumstances that brought the various defectors to the west, including the MiG-15 flown to South Korea by Lieutenant No Kum-Sok and the MiG-25 flown to Japan by Lieutenant Viktor Belenko. Brief details of Soviet-built aircraft later flown in NATO opposition force flight test programs are also included.
Major Harold A. Skaarup, CD2, BFA, MA in War Studies, is a Canadian Forces Army Intelligence Officer with an interest in Military History. He has served overseas with 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group ( 4 CMBG) in Germany, with the Canadian Contingent of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Nicosia, Cyprus (CANCONCYP), with the NATO-led Peace Stabilization Force (SFOR) in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, with North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) and United Sates Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Kabul Multi-National Brigade (KMNB) in Kabul, Afghanistan. He is currently the Deputy Operations Officer at CFB Gagetown, and lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.