I think you can assume that any KAL pilot had prior military experience, but I think that this 'engagement' says more about the low-skill of the PVO/Soviet Airforce pilot and the ineffectiveness of Soviet air-to-air heat-seeking missile. I mean how the heck does a 707 break a missile lock? Those 4 engines would have been easily 'visible' to an AIM-9 Sidewinder. How could you miss?
I mean how the heck does a 707 break a missile lock? Those 4 engines would have been easily 'visible' to an AIM-9 Sidewinder. How could you miss?==
I saw russian TV show about this fact. There was pilot. He said that he made all reqired maniuvours around this plane. He swinged wings, try to speak on emergency frequency. He shot cannon with warning shots by tracing shells to bring attension. Useless. Korean didn't change course. Then he was ordered to shoot 707 down.
He let 707 ahead then locked it with missile from distance about 5 miles.
But 707 has 4 engines and at time of locking it veered right so its far left engine gave most heating so missile locked on it. Then when pilot launched and suddently 707 began veerage to left so its far left engine went to lowest regime but his far right engine heats up stronger. Hence missile was confused, then it retargeted far right engine but since it was already short distance missile coundn't turn to that right engine, missed it and began to make spiral around left wing tip of 707.
Then in few seconds the fuel of missile ran out then the self-detruct mechanism worked and exploded missile in vicinity of left wing tip of 707. This explosion teared out few yards of left wing and shorten it. But amazingly 707 continued to fly.
Pilot wasn't ordered second shot and fighter left to base.
Later came second fighter and this pilot was ordered to compel 707 to land at any place. (Air-defense command coundn't let 707 out since it passed over Severomorsk the central base of Northern Fleet of USSR).
Second pilot put his plane as he said in interview in show "on top of 707". SO just over 707 cabin and began decent threatening 707 with air collision. Korean pilot was compelled and leaded down to the frozen lake.
So how it was.