Originally posted by Zaphod58
Originally posted by arbiture
When the US struck targets in Serbia and Croatia in the 1990's, and you may remember we lost one of our early F-117"s The pilot was Scott Grady.
Wow. SO wrong. Scott Grady was an F-16 pilot that was shot down and survived for three or four days hiding from the Serbs before being rescued.
First off his name is Captain Scott O'Grady. And Zaphod is right. He was the F-16 pilot shot down in Serbian held Bosnia, not in Serbia like most
people think. This happened in 2005. And he was on the ground nearly six days, not three or four. Sorry this is off topic, but I hate when people
confuse these two stories. I've even heard news agencies confuse them. so here goes:
Captain Scott O'Grady, in his F-16 equipped with HARM missiles, was shot down in Bosnia by Serbian forces using 2 SA-6 missiles, one that detonated
between him and his wingman and the other that hit him. After four days on the ground, he finally radioed for help. SERE training tells us not to
radio for help right after you go down. So he did it right in a sense (see below). The Marines came in late on Scott O'Grady's fifth day to rescue
him, taking fire on the way back to the ship.
Now after the initial story of heroism, a lot of stories came out about O'Grady. First, he was only wearing a t-shirt and his flight suit in his jet,
not what he needed to eject from the plane and survive. Second, he didn't know how to use his survival radio or the GPS to contact the planes he
could see flying above him to tell them where he was. Also, he ran to the wrong reference point on his map. And all this is after the mistakes he made
while flying. Rumor is the Serbs had locked on to his F-16 a few times before they shot at it and O'Grady didn't realize it and kept circling in the
same area. Whether or not you believe this in my opinion is irrelavent. This man showed his courage after he was shot down by evading for almost six
days and getting rescued. However, if these stories are true he probably would have been rescued a lot sooner.
Now for the F-117, which happened four years later in 1999. His name was Lt. Col. Dale Zelko. The stealth fighter had a callsign of Vega 31. Zaphod
is right in what he says but there was more to it. He was shot down inside Serbia after dropping his two bombs, with the bomb bay door opened for a
second, allowing the Serbian forces to catch a glimpse of his aircraft on radar. Next was the same route Zaphod mentioned. The RCS cross section on
the F-117 is said to be 100 times greater with a standard turning maneuver which is why on a bombing run I heard that the F-117 can't deviate or bank
more than three degree's either way. The turns were unavoidable with the strict flight route they had to take. Anyway, the real story is what the SAM
was doing there in the first place.
One quick note, it was a KC-135 that first reported he went down. I don't know about that. I know where the A/R tracks were and we wouldn't have
been that close to SAM's being a HVAA aircraft.
Three things went wrong. Actually more than three but three main ones. An unconfirmed report, but one that was commented on by General Richard Hawley,
Commander of ACC, said that an RC-135 could not track three of the four SAM sites it was tracking and was slow to tell the commanders of the problem.
Second, there were two F-16CJ's in adjecent airspace with HARM's on them. They could have kept the SAM site from emitting and stopped the downing.
But because of massive cloud cover, they were recalled, and only F-117's and B-2's were allowed to fly in that far that night, which leads to the
third. The third factor was the EA-6B that was flying with the stealth was 80-100 miles behind him, because of the flying restrictions in Serbia,
rendering his jammers ineffective.
Basically, it took Serbian forces a lot of things to be able to down this aircraft. First, it was reported the jet took off out of Italy to the enemy.
Next was the tight route it had to take, and the turns it had to make, showing it's RCS. Also, Serbs were using Low frequency radars on the SA-3's,
which in theory could have seen the stealth, depending on who you believe. Former F-117 pilots and industry experts say that you can see the plane
with low freq radars when it's directly above you or seen from the side. Combine all this with being able to see the stealth when his bomb bay doors
opened and they fired a shot off that hit the plane.
In my opinion, a lot went wrong in this, obviously. But I will say that it was mostly a lot of luck on Serbia's part, along with quick learning, and
Another cool thing to know is not very many people know another F-117 was damaged when a SA-3 detonated close to his aircraft. And after all was said
and done, they fired over 800 SAM's at NATO aircraft, downing only the F-117 and an F-16.
I know it's long, but I can't stand when the two stories get mixed