Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article was first published on March 31, 2016.
This video of a U.S. Air Force F-16 pilot going toe to toe with a host of Iraqi missile sites during the Gulf War is absolutely insane. The black and white video is shot from the pilot’s flight camera, but it’s the gritty and tense audio that ensures viewers don’t forget that they’re watching actual pilots, in real combat.
The pilot’s callsign is “Stroke 3,” and throughout the 10-minute video, he narrowly escapes danger and possible death numerous times.
At four minutes, a voice calls out that there’s a SAM-lock, meaning a lock from a surface-to-air missile.
“Stroke 3 break right. Break right. SAM lock,” says a fellow pilot.
At six minutes the chirp from the console reaches fever pitch, as the pilot takes a deep breath and gasps “Oh shiiiit!”
The video was uploaded to Reddit on March 30, and the thread exploded with comments on the incredible stress the pilots endure in the video.
The video was originally uploaded to YouTube by Scott Jackson, with the title “F-16 dodging 6 Iraqi SAM launches on Jan. 19, 1991.” According to Jackson’s upload, the video was from a daytime raid on Iraqi military targets.
Watch the video below. (The pilots encounter the Iraqi missile sites at three minutes.)