Sunday, April 20, 2014

Bad Tactics Make Widows. And Great Pictures - DCS SU-25T

It is a shame that the most remarkable screenshot of my entire simulation flight career came from such a poorly executed mission.

A Georgian infantry man aiming his SAM at my SU-25T. From this range, I can count how many cigarettes he has tucked in the odd open pouch of his chest rig. This is hands down the best screenshot I ever took. And the most stupid thing I ever done. 
The Kodori Gorge (far background below). I have bombed this place many times. Today, though, things got more intense than any time I can recall. 

The TV-based target acquisition of the SU-25T allows me to peak onto target areas from ranges up to 40 km.
I love that bluish-greenish color that the Russians use to paint the cockpit of their warbirds.
By now I can distinguish two men on the road. At this distance, I can't lock onto them.

Altitudes and ranges shrink, features become more evident to the naked eye. The only thing growing is the risk.

I was ordered to keep distance from the target area because of the risk of MANPADS. Shoveling a 9A4172 Vikhr onto dismounts doesn't make me proud, but I am not here to save face.

A few seconds later, the magnitude of what's happening glows the HUD and the Shkval monitor. I am flying straight onto a MANPAD.  He fires his pipe. I sink onto my seat.

Thank Lord for the invention of flares ...
And for the slowness of this Georgian man picking up and priming a new tube.

The scene is more complex that what I could grasp at that time. A couple of Georgian helicopters were landing onto the enemy position.

Egress. Flying up the walls of the gorge.

Without any finesse, my second pass is with another 9A4172 Vikhr missile. The second MANPAD is destroyed.

In my third pass, I engage and destroy an enemy vehicle with S-25L guided rockets.

During a fourth pass I engage the enemy helicopters. This UH-1H took two Vikhrs before exploding.

Out of fuel, I RTB with plenty of unused ordnance.

Landing the SU-25T is always a thrill. I roll onto Gudauta like a boss with the pylons loaded and the flaps fully extended. My aircraft looks like a predator hoarding all the air of the world beneath his wings, just seconds before touching down his nest.
Only when you have flown up there among those mountains you understand the joy of looking back at all of it from the safety of the plains.
Engaging targets in the Kodori Gorge is always challenging. It's a narrow space and is very difficult to break in time to be in peace with the commandment of not overflying a target. It's doable, obviously not as I did today.



Aurelio M. said...

Great story ... make me enthusiastic to play again with LOMAC.
Thanks !!!

Stian said...

WOW - screens 8 and 13 are amazing (the explosion and the rocket firing). I love this stuff.