United States Army 2nd MIB

RV-1D Mohawk

C 8-78

28th February 1991

Saudi Arabia

Capt. Attila Barandi

SPC Littleton

Gulf War Ejection

Two aircraft could not land  obscured due to smoke from burning oil fields. 
First one crashed on runway thereby closing it and causing fuel starvation in the other one.

The other aircraft and I were both on surveillance missions deep in Iraq in the evening hours.  We constantly received weather updates and weather was marginal.  As weather reports were acceptable, we stayed on mission giving up our fuel reserves for alternate airfield.  We were not notified of deteriorating conditions back at home base.    Upon arrival to home base in Saudi Arabia, we discovered total obscurity and we did not have the fuel to go elsewhere.  First aircraft (962) made one missed approach and then I followed with one.  Then he crashed on the runway on his second attempt.  I was told to break-off approach as now there were emergency vehicles and personnel on the runway attending the crashed aircraft.  I informed them I had less than 5 minutes of fuel left with no place to go.  I requested vectors to area where no friendly troops were for ejection.  Steve Littleton ejected first and I followed a minute later as the engines quit.  AWACS was relocated closer to our location as well as a pair of Air Force A-10s that began rescue operations.  The A-10s fixed our position and relayed to AWACS who relayed to our unit.  My unit came via ground vehicles and found us about 3 hours later at around 0300 hours.  Steve was ok (minor facial injuries) and was playing volleyball the next day.  I received a spinal injury and was hospitalized at the 12th Army Evacuation Hospital.  I eventually returned to flying after about a month.

Hard to believe it's been over 18 years! 

Attila Barandi
Retired U.S. Army



All photos via Attila Barandi and used with permission

Project Get Out and Walk 2009