EDITOR’S NOTE: We were very excited to see this. It took a long time for the military to declassify the video, but it gives a real life account of what a dogfight is like in the cockpit.
On a January morning in 1989, a pair of F14s escorted the U.S. Navy’s Kennedy battle group as the fleet conducted maneuvers in the Mediterranean Sea approximately 130 kilometers north of Libya’s coastline. Radar alerted command that four Libyan MIGs had taken off from an airbase in Al Bumbah and had set a course directly for the carrier. Cock pit cameras capture the scene. [VIDEO BELOW]
When the MIGs were seventy miles out the US planes were ordered to intercept. As the American pilots closed the distance the F14s turned to indicate they didn’t intend to engage. The MIGs responded by mirroring the maneuver and took up threatening positioning known as “jinking.”
Five times the F14s took evasive actions only to be jinked by the Libyan planes until they pushed too far.
Transcript from Wikipedia: The E-2C had given the F-14 crews authority to fire if threatened; the F-14 crews did not have to wait until after the Libyans opened fire.
At almost 12:01 the lead Tomcat RIO said that “Bogeys have jinked back at me again for the fifth time. They’re on my nose now, inside of 20 miles”, followed shortly by “Master arm on” as he ordered arming of the weapons. At a range of 14 nautical miles (26 km) the RIO of the lead F-14A fired the first AIM-7M Sparrow; he surprised his pilot, who did not expect to see a missile accelerate away from his Tomcat. The RIO reported “Fox 1. Fox 1.” The Sparrow failed to track because of a wrong switch-setting. At 10 nautical miles (19 km), he launched a second Sparrow missile, but it also failed to track its target.
The Floggers accelerated and continued to approach. At 6 nautical miles (11 km) the Tomcats split and the Floggers followed the wingman while the lead Tomcat circled to get a tail angle on them. The wingman fired a third Sparrow from 5 nautical miles (9.3 km) and downed one of the Libyan aircraft. The lead Tomcat by now had gained the rear quadrant on the final Flogger. After closing to 1.5 nautical miles (2.8 km) the pilot fired a Sidewinder, which hit its target. The Tomcats proceeded north to return to the carrier group. The Libyan pilots were both seen to successfully eject and parachute into the sea, but the Libyan Air Force was unable to recover them.
The incident over the Gulf of Sidra occurred in the eighties when America had a Commander in Chief that didn’t do apology tours or make concessions to dictators. President Ronald Reagan didn’t pacify or appease those that posed a threat to national security. President Reagan looked evil in the eye and named it for what it was, “Mr. Gorbachev tear down that wall.” Ah but it was morning in America in the 80s.
Libya was ruled by the Muammar Gaddafi regime for decades, he loved to rattle his saber and appear on Libyan state run television to boast of his victories over Reagan and the west. He was responsible for terrorism and other atrocities including the oppression of his people, no argument there. After the US bombing of Libya in April 1986 designated Operation El Dorado Canyon, Gaddafi quieted down and didn’t trouble the U.S. anymore.
In fact as unpleasant as some might find it, he was a stabilizing force in the region. Much like a chicken snake that a person might tolerate living in their backyard, it may eat the occasional egg but it kills enough rats to justify allowing it to live. The same holds true for Mubarak in Egypt, both ruthless dictators but ISIS wasn’t running around cutting off heads prior to the Arab Spring.
Hillary Clinton and Obama come from a much different school of thought. Apparently they’d rather kill the snake and have the rats living in the house. During the Arab Spring they pulled support for Mubarak and he was overthrown. In an anti Gaddafi uprising led by the National Transitional Council or NTC, Obama’s State Department, with Hillary at the helm advocated for NATO’s military intervention that eventually led to Gaddafi’s death. That left the Muslim Brotherhood in control of Egypt for a time and Libya in chaos. Then one September day in a place called Benghazi, oh well as Hillary said “What difference does it make?”