il semble que non finalement
les Libyens ont fait appel à des pilotes mercenaires pour effectuer des missions en F1
les deux F1 sont toujours actifs (cités comme les deux revenus de Malte)
la source n'est pas citée
Most are not going to believe this
I am not ex military. I have not flown any tactical aircraft except the back seat of an L39. I do have some acro time in various planes but thats about it. For the 23 years of my career i have been fortunate enough to do almost every type of civilian flying there is, but my dream was always to fly fighters, and now i have been able to do that.
When i was a kid, i used to spend hours if not days (was up all night) playing every single imaginable combat flight sim there was. I had the entire HOTAS set up on my desk, room was covered in pics of ever plane that began with an F. I knew this was wanted to do. I knew this from 7 years old.
When i turned 18 i tried to join the Navy. My idea was to get in, goto school, get the 4 year, and then would be launching off decks in no time. WRONG. My eyesight was less than 20/20, there was no PRK, no LASIK, no back seat to front seat program. My dream was over before it ever even started.
I went on to have (albeit mostly overseas) a very sucessful career and still have much more to go. However something was always missing. Buying an L39 was not a solution, 1000 bucks an hour is not realistic as i am by no means a super wealthy guy.
An opportunity came up in Libya in a Mirage F1. I sent my resume and got called back. First i thought who are these guys? Are they ISIS on the other end of this skype call?
I was on my way to an interview in Qatar, and having a place in Istanbul i figured it would be no skin off my back to go see them. A few days after arriving in Turkey i was off to Misurata, Libya.
I got in very late, around 0400. Met the other pilot who recently seperated from another air force and was flying the Cheetah, Mirage 3, and the F1. So he knew his stuff. However, he was told that i too was a former fighter pilot. How the hell was i to pull this off?
The base was run down and spartan. It was used as a flight training center for Ghadaffis people years ago. They had L39, Soko Galeb, Mig 23, 25, and the F1.
When i saw the planes the next day i was in awe. Sexy as hell, and they looked brand new! They were sitting for a few years, as right during the overthrow of ghadaffi these two planes were flown to Malta as part of a defection. And then later brought back.
Things were very relaxed at the base. It was quite amusing to see the Libyan pilots wearing flight suits and sandals. Safety was out the door. Bombs, many fused laying EVERYWHERE. Missles too. And many stupid practices like fueling up an L39 armed with rockets and having the truck in FRONT of the plane. One rocket goes off and…..BOOM.
I finally got to see the Mig 25 in person. What a friggin beast! But they are not used too often, and a few weeks before i came a crew ejected.
Getting back to the flying, i had spent 2 weeks studying the plane from the flight manual i bought online. I spent hours in the cockpit. It was old, but very cool. Finally i went on to engine starts which were quite simple as its only battery start. The next day i did taxiing which also very easy, and then the high speed taxi test.
This is where things got a bit scary. I was asked by the other guy to run up to 100 kias then abort. Well, its a good thing we had over 11,000 feet of runway. I got to 100 kias and when i went to come out of burner muscle memory took over and i was trying to rotate the throttle (you need to rotate it 45 degrees to go into or out of burner) but i didnt bring it back FAR enough. I wound up almost having to take off as i hit 145 kias before i got it to idle. Scared the hell out of myself.
Next morning was the day. We strapped in, did the comm checks on UHF red radio, and taxiied out. We went as a 2 ship about 5 seconds apart. In this plane when you hit 120 you rotate to 12 degrees and she should come off at 150. Airborne, im thinking WTF am i doing. It quickly went through my mind about all my ex fighter pilot friends telling me im gonna kill myself. But even quicker was having to not overspeed the gear, and flaps, and come out of AB at 300.
Wow, the view was amazing. Left downwind departure and i was looking outside. I looked inside and next thing i know im over 500 kias!! Ridiculous! My wingmen joined at my 5 oclock and we climbed to 20,000. The 2 major things i noticed different then flying the old 737 is ONE, there is no wind noise. In the Boeing you hear the wind grow louder. Here all you see is the ASI needle. And 2, you can kill yourself VERY VERY quickly in this thing!
Over the range which was about 35 miles south i did some rolls. Amazing. 360/sec. Full stick and you will roll twice. Put her into a 90 degree bank and pulled. Was quite cool to feel the G suit (which took me 15 mins to put on the first time!) inflate. 5 G was enough for me as a warm up.
15 mins of flying around and my wingmen and i lost sight of each other. Finally i got him but then got into the clouds. Thats when murphys law took over. The #1 Alt failed, couldnt reset. The STBY ADI failed. And then the pitch ladder in the "HUD" its really just a visor, showed me 5 degree bank to the right when i was level. AND THIS WAS MY FIRST FLIGHT EVER IN A FIGHTER AND TOTALLY BY MYSELF!! No sim, no 2 seat, just books!!!
Got the call from my wingmen that a sandstorm was approaching. Great. And i needed to be down at 3000 feet in like 5 miles and i was at 20,000!!! I pushed the nose down, and while trying to rest the alternator something told me to look at the ASI, MACH .97!!!!!
Ofcourse there are checks to do before going mach, like make sure the shock cones are working and in the auto position. I popped the boards and got her slowed. But man talk about not realizing! Again, We had Garmin GPS mounted on the dash, this is what the locals used for the bombing runs. So i hit direct to and headed straight to the airport and did a 7 mile final straight in. I just did not want to bother with the overhead, all my T38 friends kept telling me about being in the buffet in the final turn, but this F1 has slats and not sure that would have been an issue.
Anyway, flight completed. Next day we went to fly again and the radios failed. Then the O2 connections were broke and the only O2 we had was in the seat. Then the pickle button for the weapons wasnt working. Always something, and spares are hard to find.
Having never been in the military i was introduced to the BS that many of my friends had told me. They always said the flying is great, but all the other stuff is not. There was just so many little things, like if the techs pulled the planes out to go fly because we were told it was ok, the hangar chief would tell us put them back. Or when its totally VFR and the Colonel is telling us the vis too low!!!!
The biggest thing was my contract was written i would be bombing ISIS an Al Queda. That was just one of MANY lies i was told. In fact they wanted us to bomb the other RECOGNIZED govt which would Then the problems started, how the hell am i going to do bombing, ACM, formation, etc??? Plus, the client was told he was sold TWO COMBAT READY F1 pilots. Well my wingmen had never flown in The next day both govt signed a peace treaty, so now the main target was ISIS. But this treaty would not last and was broken quickly. The other issue is they KEPT our passports locked in a safe, and when my wingmen asked to go back as he was PROMISED because his wife was giving birth, the general said is it in your contract? This is war!
That was kind of the icing on the cake. Plus not getting paid as promised. So the next day i told them i need to go back to Istanbul to take care of something. This same day ISIS got to within 100 clicks of the aiport. over 1000 of them. EVERYONE was sent to bomb.
I made it back in one piece. I am now probably the worlds only civilian to ever fly a Mirage F1 with no TRAINING. I finally came clean with my wingmen and he did not stop laughing i swear for 40 min. Told me i have balls so big they should be in a wheelbarrow.
I will say i give you fighter guys ALOT of credit. This type of flying (and i have been exposed to very little) is very demanding. Its NOT easy. However, when applying for that job flying a 737 i still think having 3000 hours in the left seat of the Boeing as compared to the F15 guy with 1000 in an F15 does not compare. But all means technically speaking the Boeing guy SHOULD get the job.
So hopefully that will clear up that CIV versus MIL. Both are great. But its like boxing vs MMA, both are good at their respective arts. And i say this very humbly as i was able to atleast do both in a sense.
I know i will get TONS of thrashing, or telling me i am lying etc. How crazy, stupid i was. But then again i also got tons of "OMG, im so jealous, i want to do that, your my hero" And i have the videos and pics to prove it.
Its been an interesting vacation.