A couple of people have pointed out a mistake in my column on the Chinook downing, up over at Townhall. I’ve fixed it in version about to go up on homey.
A technical correction: The Iraqis did not aim at the tail rotor of the Chinook with the surface to air missile they fired. A man-portable surface to air missile like a Stinger or an SA-7 Grail is guided by an infrared seeker head which locks on to the wavelength of IR light emitted by burning aviation fuel. It follows that IR wavelength to its source, the engine. I doubt that at five hundred yards that the seeker head on a Grail could differentiate between the front and back rotors of a Chinook. It’s a simple missile. By contrast, the Black Hawk shot down in Somalia appears to have been shot down with an RPG at close range. An RPG is a dumb rocket that goes where it is pointed. It is feasible to have aimed that at a tail rotor, though I suspect that it was a lucky hit.”