Originally Posted by MonsterZero
By the way, an American journalist who was embedded with Afghan mujahedeen in the 1980s stated he witnessed numerous Stinger missile launches against Soviet aircraft and not a single hit. The Stinger was not a miracle weapon and it could engage well only under favorable circumstances.
The Stinger had a very short shelf life. They required maintance to work right. There is also a trick to shoot them. As an attack pilot I used to fly what we called "Redeye Tracking Missions". The grunts would have a few guys down there with practice shoulder held missiles and we'd fly by in a big figure "8" pattern and they would track us, listen to the buzzer and shoot constructive missiles.
I always enjoyed flying the mission. I recall once when the grunts (they were at 29 Stumps) radioed us and requested that we "fly by as low and as fast as you can!" They wanted to shoot their practice Redeyes at us.
My wingman and I were flying bran new A4M's. I recall saying, "Did you say as low and as fast as I CAN?" He said, "Roger".
We flew around Mt Hildago (anyone who knows the "stumps" knows Mt. Hildago) descended to 15' and headed to the locale of the grunts, who were standing in a parking lot near Camp Wilson. Now this is largely flat, open, sandy desert. We flew BY cactusand we were smoke'n! Flying just under supersonic speed, they never heard us coming. We flew within the distorting heat mirage. I was concerned that we'd hit a car antenna. When we passed over them, they slapped their hands over their ears and hit the deck! LOL.
We pulled up and did aileron rolls going straight up. Now that, folks, was exciting! Then we calmed down and flew the standard figure 8 pattern so the guys could get some practice. It was one of the most memorable moments in my life.