February 7 , 2018 – FRN –
Details of the Russian pilot’s last battle in Syria have come to light. The pilot of the second attack aircraft that was accompanying him has spoken to news media. Despite the order to leave, he could not leave his commander behind. Until running out of fuel, he continued to fire on the terrorists below.
The second pilot noticed the militants on the ground – the recording of radio talks between the two chronicles the last flight of Major Filipov.
“His voice did not even flinch when I said: “They’re working you! Get out! Maneuver!”
The MANPAD missile launched by the terrorists had hit the engine of the leading aircraft, his plane was rapidly losing height. The pilot attempted to keep the plane in the air as long as possible.
“They got me. They got me good. Call the search and rescue team, “- ordered Roman Filipov.
“He said it calmly, as if it was something ordinary” said the second pilot. “Then he ordered me to disappear into the clouds.” But the pilot, of course, did not leave, because “to abandon the commander is the last thing anyone would do”.
“I’ve always covered the commander in the air – and now I had to do it on the ground when he had already ejected. I stayed in the area and performed several attacks, I targeted cars that were approaching the olive grove where Roman was.” He destroyed two cars, while transmitting emergency coordinates to the base in Khmeimim, summoning the search and rescue service.
The second pilot eventually was forced to leave due to emergency-level fuel balance, which was enough only to return to the airfield.
Filipov was a pilot of the first rank, with 1300 flight hours. He had about 80 sorties in experience. This was his second business trip to Syria – the first was during the liberation of historic Palmyra.