Ofira Air Battle - Battle

Battle

Soon after take off, the MiGs began bombing the runways. Nahumi ordered Shaki to dump the detachable fuel tanks and to take the west end of the base while he would take the east one. Nahumi then shot down one MiG with a Sidewinder missile. He turned back toward the base and crossed the path of two MiGs bombing it. These rose and flew away. The base's MIM-23 Hawk battery held fire to avoid hitting the Israeli aircraft, and two MiGs dived down to destroy it. Nahumi started to chase the leading MiG flying as low as possible and fired his Gatling gun but missed. The MiG aborted its bombing mission. Nahumi tried to chase it, but found out his left engine had suffered a compressor stall, presumably following a cannon burst. After a short period of flying on one engine he managed to restart the engine and broke away from the MiG to attack its partner's tail. The MiG turned sharply toward him. Nahumi pulled up until he was facing the MiG and shot it down as it passed by. The second MiG fled.

Nahumi then saw another pair of MiG-17s attacking a communications unit near the bay. These were startled to encounter Nahumi and one of them fired its air-to-surface missiles at the Phantom, who shot it down with a guided missile from a distance of 600 meters. Shaki, meanwhile, had shot down three planes and was looking for the fourth, when MiG-21s attacked. One of them found itself in an inferior position and descended at a speed of 500 knots to sea level, hit the water and bounced back up twice, before pulling up and flying away. Shaki was running out of fuel and decided to land on the damaged runway. Nahumi was then blinded by a flash of light reflecting from another pair of MiGs trying to escape. Nahumi shot one down and its partner fled to the safety of the mountains. Nahumi had also almost run out of fuel and decided not to give chase.

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