US pilot to Iranian pilot; “you really ought to go home”

| September 19, 2013

The Washington Times reports the story of an ancoounter between a US pilot and an Iranian jet that was closing in a US drone flying in international air space last Spring. The Aviatonist recounts the background;

The episode happened in March 2013, few months after a two Sukhoi Su-25 attack planes operated by the Pasdaran (informal name of the IRGC – the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution) attempted to shoot down an American MQ-1 flying a routine surveillance flight in international airspace some 16 miles off Iran, the interception of the unmanned aircraft failed. After this attempted interception the Pentagon decided to escort the drones involved in ISR (intelligence surveillance reconnaissance) missions with fighter jets (either F-18 Hornets with the CVW 9 embarked on the USS John C. Stennis whose Carrier Strike Group is currently in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility or F-22 Raptors like those deployed to Al Dhafra in the UAE.

The Washington Times;

The Aviationist reports that in March a U.S. MQ-1 drone came close to being intercepted by an Iranian F-4 Phantom combat plane, but the Iranian aircraft stopped short after a warning by an American pilot.

“He [the Raptor pilot] flew under their aircraft [the F-4s] to check out their weapons load without them knowing that he was there, and then pulled up on their left wing and then called them and said ‘you really ought to go home,’” [Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Air Force chief of staff] said.

From Business Insider;

Anyway the U.S. pilot achieved to scare the Iranian pilots off and save the drone. A happy ending worthy of an action movie.

Well, at least the trips troops are proving to our enemies that we aren’t to be fooled with.

Category: Terror War

Comments (33)

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  1. Greyhawk says:

    Er, um… we’re escorting drones?

  2. Old Tanker says:

    Did Goose flip him the bird?

  3. Ex-PH2 says:

    Nice to see my tax dollars at work.

  4. Old Trooper says:

    @3: Yeah, I thought that was the whole idea behind drones; you didn’t need to put humans in harms way. If we’re going to start escorting drones, then just get rid of the drones and have actual pilots fly sigint missions, like the good old days.

  5. Smitty says:

    thats not even a fair fight. and F-4 vs an F-22? that phantom is like 18 F’s short in that fight. he needs to go find some more F’s

  6. rb325th says:

    @5 and the US Pilot was not giving any F’s about it either

  7. Ex-PH2 says:

    OldTrooper, exactly what I was thinking. If we have drones, why are pilots up there with them?

    I have never thought machines can possibly replace humans in anything, with the exception of tedious, repetitive things like parts assembly. Machines have neither the curiosity nor the initiative of the human mind, no matter how advanced their programming may be.

  8. NavCWORet says:

    Sorry, I call bullshit. At what point are drone pilots authorized to contact foreign fighters in flight and issue such a snarky remark, and if they were being escorted, where was the escort ?

  9. A Proud Infidel says:

    An F22 vs. an F4? That sounds like a brand new Porsche vs. a 1966 Thunderbird!

  10. PintoNag says:

    @8 You need to re-read the article. It was the ESCORT that contacted the Iranian pilot, not the drone pilot.

  11. Smitty says:

    machines are better than humans at chess. proven fact that even the greatest chess grand master is no match for the top computer

  12. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    @11 I welcome our new robot overlords…

  13. PintoNag says:

    @12 There’ll be a backlash eventually. Maybe not in our life time, though.

  14. Smitty says:

    dude, is this how terminator started?

    i do have to question the need for million dollar drones being escorted by multi muliion dollar jets. why not just send the damned jets? screw the drones, if the jets have to be up there to protect the drones, stick a camera on the jet and call it a twofer

  15. streetsweeper says:

    Wonder if (because of an earlier comment made)it went something like this one that supposedly occurred over Iraq:

    Conversation overheard on the VHF Guard (emergency) frequency 121.5 MHz while flying from Europe to Dubai.

    The conversation went like this…

    Iranian Air Defense Radar: ‘Unknown aircraft you are in Iranian airspace. Identify yourself.’

    Aircraft: ‘This is a United States aircraft. I am in Iraqi airspace.’

    Air Defense Radar: ‘You are in Iranian airspace. If you do not depart our airspace we will launch interceptor aircraft!’

    Aircraft: ‘This is a United States Marine Corps FA-18 fighter. Send ’em up, I’ll wait!’

    Air Defense Radar: (no response …. total silence)

  16. MustangCryppie says:

    Of course can’t be sure, but wouldn’t be surprised if the fighters were going to be flying drone or not. When I was deployed to the North Arabian Gulf a dog’s age ago, the fighters flew a LOT. And they ran into Iranian aircraft pretty often. Did not take much to get the Iranians to turn tail and run either. They knew very well who the better fighter was.

  17. PintoNag says:

    @15 Simply BEAUTIFUL! 😉

  18. OldSoldier54 says:

    Sky Net … no bueno.

  19. Ex-PH2 says:

    Chess moves by computers are simply a matter of programming every move ever made by anyone in a tournament into a computer, which the CPU then processes and chooses the most logical move to use against the human opponent.

    Sorry, Smitty, but Data was never anything but a machine that mimicked a boy – a real, live boy.

  20. ByrdMan says:

    “Technical knowledge has now become an integral aspect of the Iranian psyche.”
    -Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

    Fortunately, it has not become an integral aspect of their Air Force

    I wonder why they’re not flying the Tomcats we sold them back in the 70’s?

  21. Krag says:

    @11 – If the fate of the nation rests on moving pieces on a set grid with defined movement and attack rules, by all means turn it over to a computer. For everything else, we never have all the data necessary for a computer to generate good results, so we need a human brain combined with human intuition.

  22. DaveO says:

    When was the last time the Iranian army fought something more sophisticated and capable than unarmed people protesting in the streets?

    Not the little hit squads, like the one taken out by US troops in Iraq a few years back, and those we find in the Balkans – but their Army, something larger than a platoon?

    Besides shooting unarmed civilians and planting bombs to be detonated from far away, when has the Iranian done shit? 1988?

  23. They need to start printing this on the rear-view Mirrors of Iranian Fighter aircraft

    As far as the F-14s they ran out of parts long ago. They used them mostly as CnC aircraft in the war with Iraq because their radar/ electronics were so much better at the time.

  24. FatCircles0311 says:

    Yeah I don’t believe this for one second.

    DoD has been relieving commander’s at the cyclic rate for years for petty reasons while hot shot pilot does something like this?

    lol right……

  25. Mr Wolf says:

    Is true. I can vouch. Ain’t the only one either…

    amirite Jonn?

  26. Jonn Lilyea says:

    Yeah, if Mr Wolf says its true, its true.

  27. malclave says:

    If the fate of the nation rests on moving pieces on a set grid with defined movement and attack rules, by all means turn it over to a computer.

    Even then all that would happen is it comes really close to launching a preemptive nuclear strike until some kid hacks into it and makes it play tic-tac-toe against itself.

  28. Do all Iranian pilots understand English, do all American pilots speak persian farsi, or do all Iranian fighter planes have in flight radio translators? Seems a little far fetched to me

  29. Sporkmaster says:

    Iran is still using the F-14 as of 2012. It look like it will be modernized to keep them in the fleet.

  30. malclave says:


    They might speak English… isn’t that the international standard for air traffic?

    Even if not, it’s certainly plausible for an F-4 pilot who just had an F-22 show up on his wing to decide he is outmatched and has someplace else he should be.

  31. Malclave, now that I think about it, if you are educated enough to be a fighter pilot in Iran, you are probably educated enough to know English

  32. Mr Wolf says:

    English is, indeed, the standard for air traffic control (ATC). There are SO many weird stories to be told, not too far from this one, overheard on comms channels. In the cockpit of one flight coming into a ME country, heard a Egypt Air pilot completely ignore ATC instructions and bring a 757 in badly. He was singing.

    The ATC finally broke down and began screaming in Arabic at the pilot.

    The pilot kept singing. And flying. Who the hell knows what the co-pilot was doing, if he even was in the cockpit.

    He landed fine, but not before making quite a few other flights divert off, and the ground controllers worry he might just NOT make it.

  33. Anonymous says:

    @28 You would be surprised at how many of the educated/royalty class(And that’s exactly what a pilot in any gulf nation is) Most of them will speak fluent English, and depending on the country usually have degrees from first world countries like Britain and the U.S., although probably not so with the Iranian ones. The problem stems with the fact that they have no one to maintain their aircraft while the princes go play fighter pilot