Friendly Fire

The Scene:
In this clip, the AirScan plane attempts to direct an armed H500 helicopter to shoot a Skyfire missile into the jungle to kill guerrillas who have pinned down Dragon Company, a Colombian army unit trapped near a bridge just outside of Santo Domingo. The H500 apparently misfire or misunderstands the directions, shooting the missile nearly on top of the troops, who are hunkered down along a road. One soldier is injured in the friendly fire.

The Players:
Gavilan (Sparrowhawk): Cessna Skymaster piloted by Barbaro Jose Orta with Maj. Cesar Gomez and Charles Denny on board. Gomez is link between Skymaster and other Colombian Air Force planes. Denny is crewmember controlling video camera.
Cazador (Hunter): A H500 Hughes piloted by Lt. German Lamilla, directing the bombing approach.

9:44:40
Cazador: Gavilan, it's Cazador
Gomez: Go ahead
Cazador: More or less in the middle of the jungle?
Gomez: Initiate the support on the edge, on the north edge of the jungle, initiate the support on the north edge of the jungle.
Cazador: But on the north edge are the troops.
Gomez: They are lying against the road, but they are shooting at them from there, wait a little, over there some 30 or 40 meters inside the jungle to the west.
Cazador: Okay, I'm going to begin with my first battery and you tell me. Do you have me in sight?
Gomez: No, not yet.
Cazador: But I'm almost over the field where we've done everything.
Gomez: Okay, ready.
Cazador: 3500.
Orta: Yeah, that's too close.
Gomez: Do you see him?
Orta: No, I don't see him. I'm looking.
Cazador: Entering.
Orta: I don't see him, I don't see him. He just fucking fired a rocket in there.
Denny: Where?
Orta: Right on the road.
Dragon Company commander: Don't shoot there, don't shoot there, don't shoot there!
Denny: In town?
Dragon Company commander: Don't shoot there, don't shoot there, Cazador, don't shoot there!
Orta: No, north of the bridge.
Denny: O, okay. O, where there's troops?
Orta: (Laughs) That's what he's doing.
Denny: That must be the smoke off the rocket. That's right next to the troops.
Orta: Yup. Tell him that's along side of the troops.
Gomez: Cazador, Cazador, Dragon.
Cazador: Go ahead.
Dragon Company commander: Brother, you shot on the road and I told you to shoot more toward the west from the road, toward the jungle, brother. You screwed a soldier.
Cazador: What?
Dragon Company commander: You screwed a soldier.
Orta: Oh shit, he wounded a fucking troop. Glad that wasn't my call.
Denny: It wasn't mine.
Orta: That's right. Dumb ass.
Gomez: I told the cretin to shoot to the west and he shot on the road.
Denny: He told him to the west and he shot to the east?
Orta: Yeah.
9:47:11Copyright © 2018, Los Angeles Times
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