Jamie Sponaugle, a 31-year-old Florida man, was piloting an aircraft near the Libyan capital of Tripoli on May 7 2019 when his plane went down. The Air Force veteran who was accused of acting as a mercenary in Libya has been freed after a six-week detention in a murky episode. Video that appeared on social media showed him identifying himself as a Portuguese national named Jimmy Rees and saying he was in Libya under a civilian contract focused on “destroying bridges and roads.”If Sponaugle was piloting a Mirage, a French-made fighter jet, he is unlikely to have had the kind of combat training that military pilots typically undergo, because he was not a pilot in the Air Force.”
[May 8 2019]
shot down by LNA in Al-Hira area, south of Tripoli?
Forces loyal to Libyan strongman General Khalifa Haftar have said they shot down a fighter jet over Tripoli and captured its European pilot.
The self-styled Libyan National Army told The Independent its forces took down a Mirage F1 French attack aircraft over a suburb of the capital.
The LNA is currently battling armed groups and militias affiliated with the United Nations-recognised government in Tripoli.
A LNA spokesperson, who asked to remain unnamed, said the pilot, a Portuguese national, survived and was now in its custody.
They also sent photos of the alleged crash site and the pilot, which cannot be independently verified.