Watch: How U.S F-15 Pilot Take Down Iraqi Mig-29 In An Intense Dogfight
In January 1991, during the operation desert storm, a USAF pilot had to face a very difficult situation in his fighter pilot career. Colonel Cesar Rodriguez had to try and avoid being shot by an Iraqi MiG-29.
Colonel Rodriguez and his team had to assume that this enemy miG-29 pilot is the biggest enemy and they had to be in their A-game to beat him.
The MiG 29 which was on the back of the USAF F-15 pilot was just a few seconds away from blowing Colonel Rodriguez out of the sky. Colonel Rodriguez knows that he is very well visible through the MiG-29 radars and he decides to go on to full defensive mode.
As for safety precautions, Colonel Rodriguez turns left and dives down at great speed. Rodriguez knew he has a bigger chance of surviving by confusing the MiG’s radar and disappearing. MiG-29’s radar is made to look into a clear sky where there is less clutter, so Colonel Rodriguez forced the enemy pilot to look down where it is hard to recognize him. Escaping the MiG-29’s deadly grasp was the only chance he had to survive.
Since Colonel Rodriguez was in defensive mode, he had to rely on his wingman who was about 3 miles behind him. Wingman could see the MiG-29 well from behind and he took action quickly. He locked into the MiG and took him out with his AIM-7 missiles. Seconds later USAF pilots could see the MiG being destroyed.
End result was one less MiG to deal with and Colonel Rodriguez made a radio call, “Splash! Splash coming out westbound!” But was it the end? Even though they downed a one MiG-29 fighter Colonel Rodriguez was alerted by the Boeing E-3 Sentry AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) aircraft that there is another MiG-29 just 10 miles away.
This time it was different. Since the F-15 pilots knew the threat earlier, they had 2 options. They could turn south and run away or turn north and fight. Colonel Rodriguez made the brave decision to stay and fight. The F-15 and the MiG-29 engaged in an intense battle chasing each other’s tails. Suddenly the second MiG-29 pilot followed the same strategy as Colonel Rodriguez and decided to fly down towards the desert to outmaneuver the F-15’s radar.
Then Rodriguez sees the MiG-29 trying to take a hard turn back up. He saw how the Iraqi pilot did everything he could with his full afterburners to turn his nose back up. But it didn’t happen and the outcome was that he just turned into a fireball in the desert.