Following are excerpts of the transcript released by the State Department of pilot communications leading up to the mistaken downing of an American missionary plane in Peru.
Pilot 1 is pilot. Pilot 2 is co-pilot. HCR is Host Country Rider, the Peruvian liaison officer aboard the CIA-operated plane. None is identified by name. The CIA-operated Citation surveillance plane took off from Iquitos at 8:55 a.m. on routine patrol and detected the missionaries' Cessna float plane at 9:40.
HCR: Bob, I think is necessary take off A-37 (jet)
Pilot 1 to HCR: You think? Yeah, it is OK with me.
10:10. Pilot is talking to a U.S. officer at the communications base about whether they should try to get the plane's identification number.
Pilot 1: You know, we can go up attempt the tail number, but the problem with that is that if he is dirty and he detects us, he makes a right turn immediately (across border) and we can't chase him.
Base: Roger that Gator. I would stay covert for the time being and let's see what the A-37s do.
Pilot 1: My thoughts are we ought to follow this guy, do phase one (radio contact) and phase two (warning shots), unless he dives and starts to run."
Pilot 2: We don't know...
Pilot 1: We don't know who this guy is.
Pilot 2: No.
Mission Sensor Operator: The further he goes east, the longer time we're going to have. I mean the farther he goes west.
Pilot 1: Oh yeah, that's why we just have to stay behind and let him go to the central part of the country. It could be that he is legit. I don't know what he was doing in Brazil, but...
10:36. The Peruvian issues a radio call for the missionaries plane to land. The missionaries were not monitoring the frequency used by the Peruvian because it is normally useless in that area.
HCR (in Spanish): Unidentified aircraft, you have been intercepted by Air Force jets for not having an authorized flight plan. Change course immediately to heading 270 and head for the Pucallpa airfield. If you do not obey, we will go ahead and shoot you down.
10:41. After getting no reaction from warning shots, the pilot expresses wariness to his base about shooting down the plane.
Pilot 1: I understand it's not our call, but this guy is at 4,500 feet, he is not taking any evasive action. I recommend we follow hi, but do not recommend phase three (shootdown) at this time.
10:44. The Peruvian base, FAP OIC, says the shootdown has been authorized.
FAP-OIC: Phase three authorized. Phase three authorized.
Pilot 1, on intercom: Jesus.
HCR: Bob, phase three authorized. OK?
Pilot 1: OK. Are you sure is bandito. Are you sure?
HCR: Yes, OK.
Pilot 1. OK. If you're sure. (Then mutters an expletive).
Pilot 1 says softly on intercom: "I think we're making a big mistake."
Pilot 2: I agree with you.
10:45. The missionaries' Cessna reports to control tower.
Cessna: Good morning OB-1408. I'm at Pebas, en route from Islandia. I'm at 4,000 feet. The military is here. I don't know what they want."
10:47. Pilot 1 tells the HCR that the Cessna has contacted the tower, but the HCR is busy talking to the A-37 jet co-pilot.
Iquitos Control Tower: Go ahead Santa Clara.
Pilot 1 to Pilot 2: OK, he is gonna go to Santa Clara, I think.
Iquitos Control Tower to Peruvian Air Force Base in Santa Clara: He's off Pebas, he says he's en route from Eco, at the Amazon River.
Pilot 2 to Pilot 1: I suggest we go there too.
Pilot 2 (laughs)
10:48. The videotape shows the A-37 positioning itself behind the Cessna, then turning away.
Pilot 1 to HCR: The plane is talking to the Iquitos tower, on VHF.
HCR to pilot: Right. OK. OK.
Cessna pilot to Iquitos Tower: They're killing me! They're killing us!
Pilot 1, shouting to HCR: Tell him (the A-37) to terminate.
Pilot 2, in a mix of Spanish and English: No. Don't shoot. No mas, no mas (no more, no more).
HCR to A-37 pilot: Stop! No more! No more! No more...No more!
Pilot 1: God!
A-37 co-pilot: Roger, We're terminating. He's on fire.
Pilot 2: (Expletive) He hit him now.