The tactical situation: a flight of two Ka-50 is prepping by fire the route that land forces will use to advance through insurgent-controlled territory.
The topic: sensors are good, but watching out of the cockpit is what keeps you alive.
|We stop well ahead every built up area to scan ahead.|
|Found a truck-mounted ZU-23-2 near the road. We fired at it, but the range was too high (3.4 km).|
|In search for a better angle of fire and a better range, we fly parallel to the road with the threat at our left.|
|At the new firing position, the range is still high. But the field of fire is extremely clear.|
|The new firing position and my sustained staring at the SHKVAL got us too close to a new built up are. Another AAA position fired at us and hit me.|
|The shark is bleeding smoke as I pull it out of trouble. The enemy AAA keeps shooting at us: see the tracer just below the rocket pods in my left pylon.|
|With all this damage, I'm surprised I could fly the shark out of the enemy fire.|
|Emergency landing. This is not going to look good in my pilot's file.|