Dubai 2011: RAF Typhoon pilot outlines his longest mission
Wing Commander Dicky Patounas, the commanding officer of No3 (Fighter) Squadron, Royal Air Force, spoke at the Dubai Airshow and described his most memorable combat mission during recent operations over Libya.
Taking off from Gioia del Colle in Italy, Patounas met up with his wingman (in this event in a Tornado) off the Libyan coast, from where they were directed to Bani Walid. They located and attacked a tank, loitering in the area for an hour.
Reports of gunfire then resulted in them being vectored to Sirte, where they discovered nothing more lethal than a local firework display, patrolling for another hour.
The pair were then called to Waddon, where they attacked and destroyed two multiple rocket launchers and a pair of ‘technicals’ (armed pick-up trucks).
Patounas finally returned to base seven hours and 15 minutes after taking off, after four air-to-air refuelling contacts.
“It was like taking off from Oslo, finding a tank in London, watching fireworks in Paris, and then attacking technicals and MRLs in Luxembourg, before finally flying back to land in Oslo,” Patounas said, in an effort to illustrate the distances involved.