Air-Vice Marshal Ahmed Kamal El-Masnouri
Ahmed Kamal El-Mansourii in his MiG-21 battled against 6 Israeli F-4 Phantoms over the Suez Canal in Autumn 1973. He achieved an aerial victory, shooting down a Phantom in low flight over water.
The Israeli plane was hit by a rocket and due to the proximity of water. The Israeli pilot and navigation officer were killed instantly when they crashed into the water, having no time for ejection.
Ahmed and his wing man Hassan Lotfi engaged in the dogfight knowing that they are engaging in a prepared Israeli air ambush and fully aware of the consequences. They decided that there is a slim chance to emerge victorious if they made fast and accurate strikes against the Phantoms.
Ahmed said that it wasn't a suicide mission like Israel characterized, but a 3-year sequence of intense training under the guidance of the selected Soviet instructors.
Ahmed lauched from Beni Suef Air Base, guided by ground control and they had strict orders to stay away from entering the conflict. Flying low over the ground, Ahmed and Hassan were flying below radar coverage, listening to communications of Israeli pilots and waiting for the best opportunity to engage the 6 Israeli Phantoms.
Then, Ahmed decided to engage the Phantoms even if it meant the outbreak of war. Taking advantage of the confusion due to poor radar coverage, terrain, and confusion in Israeli communications with the troops in the field, two Egyptian fighters stalked the Israeli Phantoms at full speed, quickly consuming fuel. Meanwhile, another pair of MiG-21s also departed from Beni Suef to circle above as support to Ahmed.
Ahmed ordered his wingman to transfer to missiles under the full throttle and stream to the group of enemies aircrafts. When Israeli pilots saw two Egyptian MiGs on their radars, they thought to have an easy prey, but they were wrong.
With a distance of one kilometer Ahmed launched two missiles at 2 Phantoms, who served as a decoy to others Israeli planes who were at greater altitude and trying to get in behind the 2 Egyptian MiGs.
The first missile missed, but the second one hits one Phantom in the right wing. When Ahmed was in approximately 200 feet directly above it, he saw debris of the Israeli fighter which crashed in the water.
Knowing that others will go after them, he maneuvered to bring his plane face to face with 4 Phantoms. Due to his daring maneuver, the Phantoms were forced to break formation. As soon as the fight began, Ahmed (code name Jaguar leader), were shouting for support : "I am in the fight jammed with 5 Israeli Phantoms ... I need help." The nearest Egyptian planes were 150 km away. During which time, the 2 bold Egyptian pilots executed a series of extraordinary maneuvers to avoid the stream of cannon bursts, and arsenal of missiles hanging under the Phantom's external hardpoints.
Ahmed said that they survived due to extreme practice that extended for many months. Performing complex anti-missile maneuvers for 13 minutes of dogfight, Ahmed and Hassan realized that they will not have enough fuel to return to any airbase and that their death, or at best case ejection, is inevitable. The Israelis also realized that they will find themselves out of fuel and in fear of the expected Egyptian support, so they call off the dogfight and returned back to base. With less than 100 litres of fuel Ahmed started to look for a place to land on some of the roads that were still in Israeli hands near to the Canal.
Ahmed and Hassan didn;t want to leave aircrafts even when they knew that after the engine shutdown, the MiGs became uncontrollable. They wanted the aerial victory to be a complete one. Ahmed reported to command where they are landing and asked command to send a helicopter to pick them up.
Ahmed was the first to land.Just over the road, his engine spit out the last drops of fuel left and stalled. He manages to touchdown and brake. After a short slide he finds himself stuck in the sand beside the road, but without any damages to tha aircraft, or injuries.
Hassan was second to land just behind him However, because of poor assessment of the approach, he lands on some sand and starts rolling his aircraft which caused the aircraft to explode ending his heroic and patriotic life.