Nick Richardson - "No Escape Zone"


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Published in 2000, I happened on a library copy a couple of days ago - I haven't seen it brought to notice before. This is N R's account of service as a Sea Harrier pilot in 801 Squadron aboard HMS Ark Royal off Bosnia in 1994. He was shot out of the sky by a SAM while trying to bomb two Serbian tanks and goes on to tell us of his adventures and scary misadventures before finally being (nearly not) lifted out by a French Puma, together with an SAS team, at dead of night.

If this were fiction it would be a brilliant adventure story. As it is, it is the tale of one of ours with his neck on the line, and he tells it well, in a pacy narrative which includes various vignettes of life on board the Ark. It is also a primer and tutorial on how to fly a Harrier including several errors the pilot can make which may be the end of both him and aircraft, and an introduction to the FAA of his day.

My copy goes back to the library shortly but who likes to buy it, see

If this were a pukka review I would give it 5 anchors. he nearly lost a small chip off the last anchor for a couple of Americanisms ('fantail' and 'battle stations') but he was Supplementary List so I shall let him off. Plus he was a brave bloke, not only to take the risks all FAA aircrew do, but for the honesty when he tells us how scared and diorientated he was on the ground in Bosnia.
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