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Venezuelan Broncos
(Fuerza Aérea Venezolana)
Venezuelan Flag OV-10 Bronco Venezuelan Air Force Coat of Arms

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Sixteen OV-10Es were supplied to the Venezuelan Air Force (The Fuerza Aérea Venezolana, usually referred to as the FAC.) These were used in combat in 1993 by anti-government rebels in a coup attempt, resulting in the loss of three aircraft shot down by forces loyal to the government, one of them shot down by another Rockwell-Columbus aircraft - the T-2D.

http://www.f-16.net/reference/users/f16_ve.html provided this additional info in December 2000:

During the military coup on November 27th, 1992 against Carlos Andres Perez, at that time President of Venezuela, one single F-16 pilot, Lt. Beltran Vielma (loyal to the government), shot down two rebel OV-10 Bronco's, killing his brother in arms Lt. Domador. Another F-16 pilot, Capt. Helimenas Labarca, was also looking for the Bronco's but did not find them.

After the coup , Lt. Vielma was sent to the U.S. Navy as a T-2D instructor pilot, but he soon returned to Venezuela because of language problems. Labarca deserted the FAV and is currently hospitalized with a mental disorder.

The F-16's also attacked the Barquisimeto's Air Base, where 12 F-5 Freedom Fighters and the 22 T-2D Buckeyes were based, destroying 8 F-5's on the ground. That day marked one of the darkest pages in the history of Venezuela, which is still the oldest democracy in Latin America.

Today, the Grupo Aereo de Operaciones Especiales No. 15 (in other words, the the 15th SOG squadron) of the Venezuelan Air Force - known as the Bronqueros - still flies border patrol. Several of the Bronqueros' pilots and mechanics joined us for Bronco Fest 99... we all had a great time! The OV-10 Bronco Association also participated in a great International OV-10 Symposium hosted by the FAV that included almost every country operating the OV-10 today (and some that aren't) - you can read more here.


   

 
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