MiG-23 shot down over Benghazi

A MiG-23 initially thought of  as belonging to the Gaddafi’s Libyan Arab Republic Air Force (LARAF) but later officially confirmed as flown by the Free Libyan Air Force (FLAF) was shot down over the outskirts of Benghazi, eastern Libya, in the morning of Mar. 19, 2011. Explosions shook the Libyan city of Benghazi early on Saturday while what could have been the downed MiG was heard flying overhead, and residents said the eastern rebel stronghold was under attack from Gaddafi’s forces in a clear violation of the ceasefire announced on Mar.18 . A No-Fly Zone will be established in the next few hours over Libya to prevent LARAF from attacking rebels  (Pictures by AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus and AFP)

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. I agree with Manondethefence and believe that there are “special” people on the ground yet. Nobody is sleeping at Stirling Lines, u know what I mean?

    • Pilot did not make it (Ejected too late). Apparently a ‘Rebel’ plane, and it may have suffered technical faults, since its an old Soviet built plane. Like I said before, Tony Benn (UK based Communist) would be upset at seeing one of his aircraft built by his former master, the USSR, going down in flames.

        • Yes my friend, but that was a more modern Mig 29. Reports have indicated that the pilot was killed, and if he was a rebel pilot, then regrettably so.

  2. Comments as often happens when people are informed complete the article, thanks a lot guys. Much respect for the pilot who may rest in peace and give with his effort what he was fighting for.

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