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Robert Gandt    

Author & Pilot

Flying and Writing. These have been the dual passions of Bob Gandt's life. He published his first story at age sixteen - the same year he first soloed an airplane. Since then he has logged something over 25,000 hours, written sixteen books and published countless articles.

Gandt's flying career has been as eclectic as the subjects of his books. He has been a Navy fighter/attack pilot, weapons test pilot, flight instructor, air show performer, and airline captain.

At age 20 he was at the time the youngest aviator in the U.S. Navy. As a carrier-based attack pilot, he logged over 300 carrier landings and nearly 2,000 hours in the A-4 Skyhawk. In his 1997 deja vu work, Bogeys and Bandits (Viking Penguin), he joins a Navy F/A-18 training squadron at the same base where he had trained years before.

In 1965 he began his career as a pilot for Pan American World Airways. For the next 26 years he flew around the globe, domiciled in places like New York, San Francisco, Berlin, and Hong Kong. His 1995 book, Skygods, recounts the meteoric descent and crash of the once-great Pan Am.

In 1985 Bob and his partners, Harry Shepard and Carl Pascarell, formed the Redhawk Aerobatic Team. Flying their Siai-Marchetti fighter-trainers (rescued from a military boneyard in the Congo), they performed their formation aerobatic routine for over three million air show spectators.

Bob Gandt's first book, Season of Storms, grew from his acclaimed series in the Far Eastern newspaper, South China Morning Post, about the WWII battle for Hong Kong. Bob's long association with Pan Am and its romantic history inspired the 1991 book,China Clipper (Naval Institute Press), which relives the mystique of the great commercial flying boats. His fascination with warbirds and the high-adrenalin world of unlimited air racing provides the background for Fly Low, Fly Fast (Viking Penguin), the inside account of the 1998 battle for the unlimited air racing championship at Reno, Nevada.

Bob's first novel, With Hostile Intent, was released by Penguin Putnam in September 2001, followed by Acts of Vengeance, Black Star, Shadows of War and The Killing Sky. The sixth in the series of aviation thrillers, Black Star Rising, hit the shelves in January 2007.

In 1998 Bob made his screenwriting debut on the CBS series Pensacola: Wings Of Gold. Drawing on the material from his book Bogeys and Bandits, he worked as writer and technical consultant for the twenty-two-episodes, which starred James Brolin as the commander of a Marine F/A-18 training squadron.

With Delta Air Lines' 1991 acquisition of Pan Am's Atlantic routes, Bob changed uniforms and joined Delta as a Boeing 767 captain and international line check airman. He and his wife, Anne, live at the Spruce Creek Fly-In in Daytona Beach, Florida, where Anne heads up her real estate firm, Country Club Properties of Spruce Creek.

Bob's sixth non-fiction work, Intrepid, co-authored by Bill White, with a foreword by former naval aviator and presidential candidate John McCain, was published by Random House in the autumn of 2008. In November, 2010, Random House released The Twilight Warriors: The Deadliest Naval Battle of WWII and the Men Who Fought It. For The Twilight Warriors Gandt received the prestigious Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature in 2011.

During this same period, China Clipper, Bob's classic work on the age of the great flying boats, was republished by Naval Institute Press on the occasion of the China Clipper's 75th anniversary. In 2014, Bob's seventh novel, The President's Pilot, was published to great critical acclaim. A year later, with co-author Gary A. Scott, Bob published the ground-breaking Mastery: A Mission Plan for Reclaiming a Life of Purpose, Fitness, and Achievement.

Bob's sixteenth book, Angels in the Sky: How a Band of Volunteer Airmen Saved the New State of Israel, was published by W.W. Norton & Co. in October, 2017.

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