Keebsbooks

Welcome to my website! Here you can find out about my books, about me, and about other books you may enjoy. Thank you for visiting!

Philip Keeble

open source web page builder
Mobirise

About the Author

Philip Keeble was born in 1947 in Beaconsfield, England. Educated first in Slough, Buckinghamshire and later Fareham, Hampshire; he started work as an industrial chemist with the Southern Gas Board in the Poole Gas Works before leaving to joining the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary.

In 1965 he got accepted for pilot training with the RAF and had a 28-year career in the service flying mainly reconnaissance, instructional duties and fast combat aircraft in a wide range of overseas theatres.

Flying Experience:
Total. 5680.
Types/Hours:
Tornado F3/1098
Phantom F-4/1324
Hawk T1/25
Hunter/82
Jaguar/34
Bulldog/658
Chipmunk/630
Canberra/1492
Gnat/120
Jet Provost/197

Qualifications:
Qualified Flying Instructor – Piston & Fast Jet
Instrument Examiner - Fast jet
Air Combat Leader/Instructor - Fighters

On leaving the forces he became a civilian military simulator instructor both in the UK and in Saudi Arabia and was Ordained as a Deacon in the Church in Wales in 2013 (retired).

Mobirise

My Latest Book

Title: “Patrolling the Cold War Skies – Reheat Sunset”.

Book Overview:

An RAF pilot’s view of the Cold War, which conveys the excitement, danger and comedy of flying during that momentous historic period. Crafted to satisfy all aviation enthusiasts, novice and professional alike.

The Cold War is the hot topic of the moment. This book covers 28 years of patrolling the Cold War skies in Reconnaissance Canberras and Air Defence Phantoms and Tornados. 
Flying in the heat of East Africa and the Far East to the cold of Norway and the Falkland Islands, this essential book covers a huge period of relevant global and military aviation history .

Handsomely illustrated with high-quality images from an acclaimed international aviation photographer and the author’s personal collection. The book has been met with critical acclaim as can be seen on the Amazon Website.

I have three ‘RAF Form 414’ in my possession - my Royal Air Force Pilot’s Flying Log Books. These log books are a record of what aviating in the RAF during the Cold War was like, not so much in prose but in hard facts; facts that bring back memories of flying incidences and the events leading up to them… exciting sorties, dangerous emergencies, stupid moments, funny occasions, operational practices and so on.

However, these documents need a chronicler to tell the full story. So, Patrolling the Cold War Skies sets out to put flesh on those bare facts in an exciting, amusing and anecdotal way. There are episodes that are capricious and rascally; whilst other sections have a rather more serious theme, together they provide a contrast in showing a balance to the many sides of flying; the thrilling, the amusing the hazardous and the professional.

These log books cover ten different types of aircraft right from my initial days in 1965 learning to fly on the Chipmunk piston trainer, right through to the final days, flying the Tornado fighter and ending in 1994 when I retired. I risked my neck and got into more than a few scrapes. I flew very low, very high and very fast with an imprudence that at times was right on the edge of sensibility but come any war I was ready, willing and able to fight for my country.

As I wrote this book the memory of some events made me chuckle, some brought me out in a cold sweat and some brought a lump to my throat. I may have forgotten some of the finer details over the years and thus any mistakes are fully mine but I can vouch for the veracity of every single chapter even the outrageous ones.
I advise all my readers … to “strap your selves in securely and hold on tight, for this could be quite a ride”.

My Next Book

Title: “Per Ardua – Training an RAF Phantom Crew”.

This has been selected to coincide with the Centenary of the Royal Air Force on 1 April 2018 and the 60th’ anniversary of the McDonnell Douglas Phantom II, the F-4 "Per Ardua" links to the RAF motto but relates to the content of the book as it means "Through Adversity".

Genre: Military aviation.

Flying the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom was a young man’s dream but the path from “Civvy Street” to operational on a fighter squadron was long, arduous and beset with obstacles. To succeed meant the chance to fly one of the most iconic combat aircraft that ever took to the air but not every fledgling aviator who began the journey fulfilled their ambition to wear the coveted “Op. badge”.

“Per Ardua – Training an RAF Phantom Crew” describes how Cold War aircrew assimilated the skills needed to fly and fight the complex fighter jet. It follows the progress through every stage and explains why it cost millions to train each pilot and navigator. Philip Keeble and David Gledhill, both former Phantom aircrew, recount the challenges and the emotions encountered during the rigorous training process in a totally frank yet light hearted way that will leave you wondering how anyone achieved the goal.

Bio: Co-authored by Philip Keeble, and David Gledhill, both previously published authors.

Philip Keeble Philip Keeble was born in 1947 in Beaconsfield, England. Educated first in Slough and later Fareham where he started work as an industrial chemist before leaving to joining the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary. In 1965 he was accepted for pilot training with the RAF and had a 28-year career in the service, flying mainly reconnaissance and fast combat aircraft in a wide range of overseas theatres. On leaving the forces he became a civilian military simulator instructor both in the UK and in Saudi Arabia. He was Ordained as a Deacon in the Church in Wales in 2013 but has now retired. 

David Gledhill is an aviation enthusiast and aviator. Having been awarded his pilot’s licence at the age of 17, he was commissioned in the RAF in 1974 and trained as an air navigator, before converting to the F-4 Phantom in the Air Defence role. After tours in the UK and Germany, he went on to be a radar tactics instructor on the Operational Conversion Unit. One of the first instructors on the new Tornado F2, he eventually became the Executive Officer on the OCU and OC1435 Flight flying the Tornado F3.

Why is this book different?
The F-4 Phantom has a cult following and this book builds on David Gledhill's previous titles on the subject all critically acclaimed. There are few books that investigate how a fighter crew was trained during the Cold War and none that look at the Phantom training quite so specifically. It benefits from inside knowledge of the process as both authors flew the iconic jet and both were instructors at the training unit and so speak with authority.


Key Events linked to publication:

The Centenary of the RAF on 1 Apr 2018

The unveiling of the Phantom "Black Mike" at RAF Cosford as an element of the RAF Centenary celebration.

The 60th anniversary of the first flight of the Phantom on 27 May 2018.

Future Novels

A trilogy of novels under the collective title of “Combat Ready”. They are a blend of geopolitical reality fused with military flying drama, all three are set in a Cold War context and woven together in a blend of fact and fiction.

Genre: techno thriller.  

Part One: “Battle of the Baltic. 

The novel centres around the crews from 64(R) Squadron flying the RAF Phantom FGR2 and picking up on the idea that nuclear Armageddon was just a heartbeat away in the Cold War the story speculates as to what might have happened if the 1986 Reykjavik Conference in Iceland between President Reagan and President Gorbachev had gone so very differently.
It starts in the Falkland Islands and ends with a battle in the Baltic against the Soviet Air Force.

Part Two: “Grey Ops”, is a sequel and takes some of the aircrew characters from the F-4’s of the 64 Squadron environment and places them some time later flying the Tornado F3 ADV on 56(F) Squadron.  

Part Three: “Spy Flight”, is the third and final part of the trilogy, it is a prequel set in the mid 1960s and centres around events in the Middle East and Vietnam , the action is flown in Canberra PR9s with crews from 39(PR) Squadron.

Mobirise

Links to other sites of interest

See David Gledhill’s catalogue of his great books at
David Gledhill Author and Aviator

Daily Mail online article about Patrolling the Cold War Skies
Mail Online

Article on TheDrive.com featuring interview with me
How Sly RAF Tornado Crews Repeatedly Killed U.S. Navy F-14s And F/A-18s In Training

Review of Patrolling the Cold War Skies
Robin Buckland's Military Model Scene

Aircrew Interview video
Q&A With me on YouTube

Website made by Nick Lee from just solutions
just solutions

You can contact me by email by clicking here:
Send email