first published on December 20, 2017 by Josh
The North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco is a turboprop light attack and observation aircraft that specializes in reconnaissance, forward air controlling, and counter-insurgency operations. It can carry up to three tons of external munitions, paratroopers, or other assets. It was created by North American Rockwell, and has been used by the United States Marine Corps, United States Army, the United States Air Force. NASA, and a small group of other countries. It was originally designed with close air support in mind during the 1960s.
Venezuela is one of the countries who used this aircraft, and several munitions officers managed to get their hands on a few of them before kicking off a coup d’état against then President Carlos Andrés Pérez. The hi-jacked Broncos were used to drop munitions on government loyalist groups in Caracas. Four of the hi-jacked Broncos were taken down by Venezuelan government loyalist F16 pilots, including the one in the video below where F16 pilot Lt. Beltran Vielma pulls off some crack shooting with the Vulcan cannon on his aircraft.
The weapon system used to take down the Bronco in this video is the M61a1 Vulcan Cannon. It is a hydraulically or pneumatically driven six barrel air-cooled, electrically fired Gatling style cannon that is attached to fixed wing aircraft of American design. They fire a 20mm shell at 6,000 rounds per minute, and have been used for next to fifty years. They were originally developed by General Electric, and later were purchased and further developed by General Dynamics.
The F16 pilot in this video uses his Vulcan cannon like a true professional. He comes in fast behind the Bronco, and with a single burst from his cannon takes out the tail of the aircraft forcing it to lose control and begin a death spiral towards the ground. It’s no easy feat of marksmanship to make a shot like this, but Lt. Vielma almost makes it look easy as he comes in for the kill. It’s outstanding that this shot was recorded, and that we can now look back on a 25-year-old video to see this piece of history as it took place.
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