Monday, April 20, 2009

the greatest jet fighter pilot in the world

His name is Colonel Giora "Hawkeye" Epstein.

He is retired after serving the Israeli Air Force (IAF) for 34 years (1963-1997).

Colonel Epstein was best remembered and best known for single handedly piloting his Mirage Five jetfighter and taking on 11 (eleven) Egyptian Air Force M-I-G 21-N jetfighters in the battle of Yom Kipur in 1973.

Colonel Giora is believed to have shot down more jet aircraft than any other pilot. Epstein was credited with 17 kills, all against Egyptian aircraft.

With 17 confirmed kills, Colonel Giora Epstein remains the world's top scoring jet fighter pilot making him the "ace of all aces".

Epstein was an active IAF pilot from 1963 until 1997, when he retired at age 59. He, like many retired IAF fliers, is currently a captain for El-Al airlines, Israeli National Airlines.

Epstein's first kill came on June 6, 1967 (during the Six Day War), when he downed an Egyptian Sukhoi-7 at El Arish.

During the War of Attrition in 1969-1970, Epstein downed a MiG-17, another Sukhoi-7 and two MiG 21s.

The rest of his kills came during 1973's Yom Kippur War. Over the course of three days (October 18-20, 1973), he downed an Mi-8 helicopter and eight jets: two Sukhoi-7s, two Sukhoi-20s and four MiG 21s. Then, on October 24, 1973, Epstein downed three more MiG-21s west of the Great Bitter Lake.

8 of these victories came with Epstein at the controls of the French-built Mirage III, a delta wing fighter designed primarily as a high altitude interceptor.

His other 9 victories came in an I-A-I Nesher, an Israeli-built version of the Mirage V.

Epstein super skills include ability to see objects with his naked eyes as far as 24 miles. Normal people can only see as far as 12 miles. Therefore Epstein was blessed with "Radar Eyes"..!!!

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