Captain Michael Petridis, USAF
(ret.) “began flying during his senior year in college, while also a student in Air Force ROTC. He graduated from ROTC
as a “distinguished graduate” or placing in the top 10% of his class. Applying for and successfully being admitted
to the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program in Wichita Falls, Texas, Michael also finished as a distinguished graduate
in that year-long course. After finishing as “Outstanding Graduate” in his F-15 Eagle basic combat maneuvers course
of study, Michael was assigned to Camp New Amsterdam, Soesterberg Air Base, The Netherlands. He went on to subsequent assignments
in the U.S. with increasing levels of responsibility, including instructor pilot and mission commander pilot for large-force
employment scenarios. Michael later was awarded an officer exchange assignment with the Canadian Armed Forces as a CF-18 Hornet
pilot and mission commander, but serving in Germany at a Canadian military base. At that time, he was one of only nine pilots
who had ever been jointly combat-qualified in the Eagle and the Hornet. Michael received an Honorable Discharge after 11 years
of active duty military service. Michael’s aviation pursuits have led him into the civilian private jet market where
he now serves as a consultant for buyers of private jets, after having been an instructor, test pilot, and business owner
in the private jet industry. Michael is also involved in middle-market mergers and acquisitions as an advisor to business
owners. Michael received his MBA degree from Southern Methodist University and his Master of Aeronautical Science degree from
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is the proud father of four children and a Son of the American Revolution. He says
he is an avid golfer, but then confesses that he has yet to master the “windmill” hole.” Captain Michael
Petridis is the author of Fighter Pilot Follies.
According to the book description of
Fighter Pilot Follies, “You've seen the images from Hollywood. Macho, tough, with an almost
John Wayne air about him, the fighter pilot has been famously portrayed as a gallant warrior. Now, take a look behind the
scenes at a different look at the fighter pilot. Gone is the mystique and sense of danger. Instead is a fresh look at the
comical aspects of being a fighter pilot; events, scenarios, during war and during peacetime, that show quite a different
picture of the "hard as nails" image of the fighter pilot.
Fictitious callsigns such as "Maverick"
and "Ghostrider" are replaced with "Moe," "Larry", and "Curly." Yes, there are scenes
where these nonchalant, easygoing fighter-pilot types are racing through the sky, boring holes in the clouds, going supersonic;
but it's how and why they are there that makes the story interesting.
Shooting rockets at the wrong target,
scrambling to takeoff in the middle of the night from a dead sleep, ejecting from the aircraft after breaking it apart on
the ground, getting lost while airborne, frantically trying to strafe a Soviet jet --- these are all the stories about real
flying that never make the headlines of the daily paper.
Working hard and playing hard, the
fighter pilot genre is shown anew, much to the reader's delight. Those who have pressed the edge and lived to talk about
it know these stories; those aspiring to do so will simply be amazed, ready to stand in line for their turn.”