Libya pilot rejects orders, crashes plane

2011-02-23 18:10

Tripoli - A fighter pilot disobeyed orders on Wednesday to bomb the opposition stronghold of Benghazi and ditched his plane after he and his co-pilot ejected, a Libyan newspaper reported on its website.

The Russian-made Sukhoi 22 crashed near Ajdabiya, 160km west of the city which has fallen to anti-regime protesters, a military source said, quoted in Quryna newspaper.

"Pilot Abdessalam Attiyah al-Abdali and co-pilot Ali Omar al-Kadhafi ejected with parachutes after refusing orders to bomb the city of Benghazi."

On Monday, the pilots of two Libyan fighter jets landed in Malta and defected after they had been ordered to attack protesters in Benghazi.

The two men told Maltese military officers that they were senior air force colonels and one of them requested asylum, as they were getting out of their single-seater Mirage F1 jets.

Malta is the closest European state to Libya, located just 340km north of Libyan shores.

Two French-registered Super Puma civilian helicopters also landed on the Mediterranean island around the same time, carrying seven passengers who said they were French working on oil rigs near Benghazi.

The helicopters were given permission to land in Malta but had not been given clearance to leave Libya, indicating they had escaped, the sources said.

  • josua.1989 - 2011-02-23 18:20

    good to see that there are still some people with a conscience

  • lmduplessis - 2011-02-23 18:26

    The reason they did not go to Malta this time was prob because they were only given enough fule for a direct round trip.

  • Rev. H-Cubed - 2011-02-23 18:32

    These pilots are true heroes, and they shame those who have executed the vile orders to fire on civilians.

  • Bothwell - 2011-02-23 18:56

    people should start embracing presidents who wave the open hand these presidents showing iron fists will do anything to cling to power cry my beloved zimbabwe will mugabe not be worse than caddafi if we dare try kunzima!

  • Fani - 2011-02-23 19:38

    You deserve Gold Medals. Thank God, there are people who really value other people's lives. I take my hat OFF just for both of you.

  • side view - 2011-02-23 20:22

    There are real reasons for them to be afraid, yet they do the right thing. There are good people out there

  • lnqqnl - 2011-02-23 21:15

    This is as heroic as it gets, I bow for these pilots and hope to shake there hands on day. A valuable lesson for American pilots bombing civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, learn how to be humans again.

  • Honest - 2011-02-23 22:59

    These are real heros , I salute yu guyz , Africa we say no to oppression Mugabe resign now

  • lee.larryblue - 2011-02-25 09:30

    At least some people still have hearts and senses there.....In my book those 2 are my heros...Gaddaffi can go foetsek......

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