Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pilot defectors

Today, a Syrian air force pilot flew a MiG-21 to Jordan and asked for asylum.  This reminds of...

While growing up in Taiwan during the Cold War, one piece of news got everyone's attention.  Whenever a pilot from Mainland China defected, it was time for celebration.  It confirmed that Communism was bad and that our non-Communist dictatorship was good.  No doubt the gold that was given as a reward was a great motivator.  It was great propaganda.

Red China to Taiwan defections:

  1. 1960, MiG-15, pilot died when plane crashed on landing.
  2. 1961, An-2, two pilots awarded 25 kilos of gold as award.
  3. 1962, MiG-15, pilot got 50 kilos of gold.
  4. 1965, Il-28, first Il-28 bomber in "western" hands.
  5. 1977, Shenyang J-6.
  6. 1983, J-7, landed in South Korea, Taiwan awarded pilot 350 kilos of gold.
  7. 1983, J-5, 150 kilos of gold.
  8. 1985, Il-28 crashed in South Korea, survivor got 150 kilos of gold from Taiwan.
  9. 1986, J-6, landed in South Korea, given 250 kilos.
  10. 1986, J-6, landed in South Korea, given 250 kilos.
  11. 1987, J-6, 250 kilos.
  12. 1989, J-6, 100 kilos given instead of 250 kilos in response to Red China abolishing practice of rewarding defectors from Taiwan.
Taiwan to Red China defections:
  1. 1955, C-46 transport plane.
  2. 1955, two cadets in a PT-17 trainer.
  3. 1955, F-47, crashed and died.
  4. 1956, AT-6 trainer.
  5. 1963, F-86F.
  6. 1969, two pilots in a T-33 trainer.
  7. 1981, F-5E, awarded $370,000 U.S. but money was immediately returned.
  8. 1986, U-6A.
  9. 1986, former U-2 pilot defected in a hijacked 747(!).
  10. 1989, F-5E, pilot died after ejecting.

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