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  • Hodder Paperbacks
  • Hodder & Stoughton

Sweating the Metal: Flying under Fire. A Chinook Pilot's Blistering Account of Life, Death and Dust in Afghanistan

Alex Duncan

2 Reviews

Rated 0

True war & combat stories, Prose: non-fiction, Warfare & defence

The action packed true story of the Chinook helicopter force in Afghanistan.

With bullets flying, wounded soldiers scream out in pain as the Chinook comes in to land in one of the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan. At the machine's controls is one man and if he doesn't stay calm then everyone could die.

That man is Flt Lt Alex 'Frenchie' Duncan and he's been involved in some of the most daring and dangerous missions undertaken by the Chinook force in Afghanistan. In this book he recounts his experiences of life under fire in the dust, heat and bullets of an active war zone.

At 99ft long, the Chinook is a big and valuable target to the Taliban, who will stop at nothing to bring one down. And yet Frenchie and his crew risk everything because they know that the troops on the front line are relying on them. Sweating the Metal is the true story of the raw determination and courage of men on the front line - and it's time for their story to be told.

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Praise for Sweating the Metal: Flying under Fire. A Chinook Pilot's Blistering Account of Life, Death and Dust in Afghanistan

  • with action so real your Dad will be spitting sand out of his mouth, this gripping account of a Chinook pilot's bravery under enemy fire in Afghanistan will transport him right to the frontline. - News of the World

  • 'Sweating the Metal is a description of the Afghan war from the cockpit, the highs and lows of combat-flying at its most dramatic'. - Daily Telegraph

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Alex Duncan

Flt Lt Alex 'Frenchie' Duncan DFC was born in 1976 to a French mother and Scottish father. Brought up near Paris, he came to England in 1995 after obtaining his baccalaureat having secured a Bursary from British Airways to read aerospace engineering at Manchester University. In August 2000, he was commissioned into the Royal Air Force and selected for rotary wing training, qualifying as a Chinook pilot and joining A Flight, 18 Squadron. He has amassed over 2,000 hours flying the Chinook and has seen service in the US, Norway, Italy, Morocco, France, Germany, Holland, Northern Ireland and Cyprus. He has also undertaken operational tours to Iraq and Afghanistan, where he was commended for gallantry. In 2008, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross - the air equivalent of the Military Cross and one of the highest awards for bravery - for two actions less than a week apart. First, he prevented the assassination of Gulab Mangal, the governor of Helmand Province after his Chinook was ambushed by the Taliban and hit by a hail of rocket and machine-gun fire. Just six days later, he led a formation that twice flew into heavy enemy fire to drop vital troops during an air assault.

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