Phosphorous tracer sprays around the cockpit. I force down the lump in my throat-I do not want to again be shot down. But this is getting back upon my horse, yes?
Again, I duel the Sheikh’s men.
“711, off to the southeast. Two, have a care. Triple-A close.”
“712, report damage! Vasily, what is your status?”
“I am operational, lead, but I have little rudder authority.”
“712, cleared out of the target area! Divert to Gudauta!”
I call to the Georgians… “414, 711. Abort your mission. 712 is hit. I am winchester air to ground.”
But the Georgian flight leader refuses! He continues the attack with his wingman, strafing the fuel storage bins! They wish to avenge their fallen comrade, but they will sacrifice themselves in the process.