Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Scott O'Grady bad pilot who got rewarded for getting shot down over Bosnia now a politician?

Scott O'Grady has gotten all the glory and accolades when he was shot down over Bosnia in 1995 and survived  five days eluding capture by the Bosnian Serbs. The reality of the situation, however is much different as Scott O'Grady was a bad pilot who was shot down over Bosnia because he wasn't very good at his job. Just like John McCain (shot down three times over Vietnam, graduated at the bottom of his class) he has been rewarded greatly and seen as a hero while a the same time the true hero, an a Air force ACE pilot has largely been ignored by the media, Captain Bob Wright. Captain Wright shot down three Serbian fighters in an engagement known as the Banja Luka incident. He ran out of missiles and then turned over the mission to Scott O'Grady who promptly missed with his missiles and returned empty handed. Later, Scott O'Grady was shot out of the sky while on another mission with Captain Wright. Captain Wrights accomplishment has gone largely unnoticed, at the same time Scott O'Grady has parlayed his poor job skills into a book writing career and motivational speaking tour. He has now entered the arena of political hack, deciding to run for office in the great state of Texas. I am always amazed how bad military men are made into hero's in the Republican party (McCain, Bush Jr., O'Grady) while at the same time people like Tammy Duckworth and John Kerry get roasted for being real hero's.

I think Scott O'Grady owes something to the people of Bosnia for using his fame for personal gain while at the same time Captain Wright has largely been ignored. Also the fact that he was a part of one of the worst movies ever made that was about his "exploits" Behind Enemy Lines. It's time for Captain Wright to get his due and for Scott O'Grady to assume his true place in infamy.

Banja Luka incident

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Banja Luka incident
Part of the Bosnian War
Bosnia Feb28 1994 USAF F-16 Capt. Robert G. Wright.PNG
Feb. 28 1994 over Bosnian skies, a USAF F-16 flown by Capt. Robert G. "Wilbur" Wright
DateFebruary 28, 1994
Locationsouthwest of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina
ResultNATO victory

US Army Air Roundel.svg

Roundel of the USAF.svg
6 J-21 Jastrebs
2 J-22 Oraos
4+ F-16s
Casualties and losses
4 aircraft[1]none
The Banja Luka incident on February 28, 1994, was an incident in which six Republika Srpska Air Force J-21 Jastreb single-seat light attack jets were engaged, and four of them shot down, by United States Air Force F-16s southwest of Banja Luka, Bosnia.


Bombing of Novi Travnik

As part of Operation Deny Flight, a NATO Airborne Early Warning aircraft (NAEW) flying over Hungarian territory, detected unidentified contacts south of Banja Luka at 6:35 a.m.. Two NATO U.S. Air Force F-16s, "Black 03" and "Black 04",[2] of the 526th Fighter Squadron "Black Knights", 86th Fighter Wing based, at the time, at Ramstein AB Germany, were vectored to the area and intercepted six J-21 Jastreb and two J-22 Orao aircraft which were attacking the Bratstvo military factory at Novi Travnik.[3]
In accordance with the UN and NATO rules of engagement, orders to "land or exit the no-fly zone or be engaged" were issued twice but both warnings were ignored. While warnings were issued, the violating aircraft dropped bombs over their target, which was left in flames. In such circumstances NATO has a "single key", meaning that only one clearance was needed, so the Combined Air Operations Center was immediately able to clear the F-16s to attack.

 Air engagement

The Serbian Jastrebs headed northwards, back to their base. At 6:45 a.m., the NATO fighters engaged their opponents. Captain Robert G. Wright fired an AIM-120 AMRAAM, downing the first Jastreb which was flying at 5,000 feet. The remaining Jastrebs dropped to a few hundred feet, flying at low level to use the mountainous terrain to hide from radar and make their escape back to Udbina. Wright pressed on, closing to within AIM-9 Sidewinder range. He fired two of his heat-seeking Sidewinder missiles, and they were seen to hit the Serbian aircraft.
After he expended all his missiles and low on fuel, Wright handed over the chase to his wingman, Capt. Scott F. "Zulu" O'Grady, who had been flying top to cover his flight leader.
O'Grady dropped down to engage and fired an AIM-9M but it did not lock-on and missed. Black flight was now approaching "bingo fuel", the point at which a plane will not have enough fuel to return, so they pulled off to refuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker circling in orbit over the Adriatic. At the same time another pair of 526th Fighter Squadron F-16Cs, "Knight 25" and "Knight 26",[4] had been vectored to the area by the AWACS. At 6:50 a.m., "Knight 25" managed to get in behind the remaining three Jastrebs. He launched a Sidewinder, downing another Serb J-21 Jastreb.
By now the Serbs were close to the international border and the F-16s had to break off the pursuit because NATO was not empowered to engage aircraft outside Bosnian airspace. The remaining aircraft was able to land at Udbina Air Base in the Republic of Serbian Krajina in Croatia.
The USAF credited three kills to Captain Robert Gordon "Wilbur" Wright,[5] flying F-16C-40 #89-2137/RS, using an AIM-120 AMRAAM and two AIM-9 Sidewinders; and one kill using an AIM-9 Sidewinder to Captain Stephen L. "Yogi" Allen[6] flying F-16C-40 #89-2009/RS[7] of the same unit. The Serbs acknowledged the loss of five aircraft in the incident; the discrepancy probably stems from the fact that an additional aircraft crashed while trying to escape in low-level flight.[8]

Bosnian-Serb pilots

The Bosnian-Serb pilots involved in the incident were:
  • Capt. 1st Class Ranko Vukmirović[8]KIA.
  • Capt. 1st Class Zvezdan Pešić[8] KIA.
  • Capt. 1st Class Goran Zarić[8] ejected at low altitude, KIA.
  • Maj. Uroš Studen[8] ejected near Jajce, survived.
  • Capt. 1st Class Zlatko Mikerević[8] ejected probably near the villages of Bravsko and Crkveno, 9 miles west of Ključ, survived.
  • Capt. 1st Class Zlatan Crnalić[8] landed at Udbina Airport with his J-21 Jastreb 24275 badly damaged; the aircraft later re-entered service.
Scott Francis O'Grady (born October 12, 1965) is a former USAF Captain and former United States Air Force fighter pilot who gained prominence after the June 2, 1995 Mrkonjić Grad incident, in which he ejected over Bosnia when his F-16C was shot down by a Bosnian Serb SA-6 while he was patrolling the no-fly zone. He also participated in the Banja Luka incident where he fired upon one enemy aircraft. The film "Behind Enemy Lines" is loosely based upon his experiences.



The Mrkonjić Grad incident occurred June 2, 1995, near Mrkonjić Grad in Serb territory. He survived for almost six days by eating leaves, grass and ants, and avoiding Serb patrols while trying to contact Magic, NATO's airborne command center. He evaded capture and was rescued on June 8 by U.S. Marines of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit based on the USS Kearsarge.
"Behind Enemy Lines" is loosely based on his story. Although he gave it a positive rating on the film review television show Hot Or Not, he sued the film company in 2002 for making the film without his permission. O'Grady authored two books, along with Michael French and Jeff Coplon, detailing his experiences of being shot down over Bosnia and his eventual rescue — Return with Honor and Basher Five-Two (O'Grady's call sign).
The incident was later depicted on the documentary television program Situation Critical in episode #5 "Downed Pilot", and "Escape! – Escape From Bosnia: The Scott O'Grady Story" on the History Channel.

1 comment:

  1. Scott Francis O'Grady serviced his county like all of the other veterans. If he was shot down because if he was a bad pilot has nothing to do with the fact that he did his job as a US Air Force pilot. What's all of this criticism about anyhow. Do you have a personal grudge against O'Grady? There are expert pilots, good pilots and I'm sure there are probably not so good pilots. What does that have to do with the story?