November 28, 2006

(Vid) US Plane Shot Down, Pilot’s Body Still Missing.

UPDATE 09/19/2007: Al Qaeda in Iraq's Islamic State of Iraq front group release second Troy Gilbert video.

UPDATE: As if on cue, the "Iraqi resistance" (which, in Falluja, means al Qaeda linked organizations) claims they shot the F-16 down with a "Strela" rocket. I speak a little Russian, and strela means "arrow" and is a Soviet made portable SAM. No word on the body of the pilot yet.

UPDATE II: Al Jazeera TV claiming that The Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC) and Mujahideen Army, in a joint statement, claim downing of plane. Odd, since the MSC no longer calls itself the MSC, but rather "The Islamic State of Iraq". The group formerly known as the MSC, though, is an al Qaeda-Salafi-jihadi umbrella organization.
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Update III: The Military has identified the missing Pilot as:

The Department of Defense announced today the identity of an airman listed as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown (DUSTWUN).

Maj. Troy L. Gilbert was the pilot of an Air Force F-16C engaged in support of coalition ground combat operations that crashed approximately 20 miles northwest of Baghdad Nov. 27.

Gilbert is assigned to the 309th Fighter Squadron, Luke Air Force Base, AZ and currently deployed to the 332nd Expeditionary Wing, Balad Air Force Base, Iraq.

Hat Tip: Opinion Bug.

We pray for his family and demand his return and that he is treated respectfully.
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The pilot of the F16 which crashed in Iraq on Monday is still missing. A video has emerged taken just after the crash. The video is posted below (warning: graphic). In it, what are described as "locals" by the MSM can be seen disrespecting the plane. They also show the body of the dead pilot. US forces are searching to recover his remains before they can be disrespected any more.

CNN: The Air Force F-16CG fighter jet crashed Monday outside of Baghdad while flying on a low-level "strafing run" -- firing on targets on the ground at a low altitude -- a U.S. military official in Baghdad said….

…A Pentagon source said the plane was operating near Falluja, which is about 30 miles west of Baghdad.

Al-Jazeera, the Middle East-based television news network, has aired video showing what it said was the smoldering wreckage of the F-16. The video shows pieces of the aircraft including the tail which displays the aircraft's number and an "Air Combat Command" logo.

It said the video was shot in Karma, which is about nine miles (15 kilometers) northeast of Falluja.

Mohammed Al-Obeidi, an Iraqi who lives in the nearby town of Karmah, told The Associated Press he saw the jet flying up and down erratically before it nose-dived and exploded in a farm field.

He said other U.S. warplanes rushed to the crash site and were circling around it.

The F-16 was deployed to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing at Balad Air Base, Iraq.

The plane may have been hit by small arms fire, had a malfunction or simply sucked a bird into the intake for its single engine as in this video. The “up and down” motions described is the pilot trying to gain altitude to eject safely and also avoid a stall. The nosedive described is the stall. Sounds like this man made a valiant effort to save his plane and probably was just too low to eject safely.

This is not consistent with a missile shoot down, there would have been no up and down motion. Our enemies in Iraq have used a limited number of Russian SA7 shoulder fired missiles but that would have been obvious. Enemy claims of a missle strike are possible but doubtful.

Note CNN describes the men in the video as locals and not insurgents. But the one places his foot on the plane’s insignia, a show of disrespect. They also run like rabbits at the sound of approaching US warplanes. It also shows what appears to be the body of the pilot, and that he ejected from the plane prior to impact. How and when the pilot’s body was removed is not clear. However one of the men forgets to cover his face so I’d say someone will be looking him up real soon.

The insurgents may have taken the pilot’s body to extract a ransom to raise funds or for propaganda purposes. These terrorist war criminals have been known to murder pilots when captured. Also they have used the body of a dead pilot for propaganda purposes. These actions are war crimes and we should treat the enemy for what they are: terrorists & war criminals.

Video below:

Update 10/05/10 by Howie: Per request of Major Troy Gilbert's family the video has been removed as Troy's body is visible in the video. If you need a copy or the link email Howie.

Note: CNN had the best coverage on this so I had to hold my nose and post it.

Alternative sources : ABC and Reuters

Hat Tips: Northern Watch and Doubletap.

By Howie at 10:20 AM | Comments |