On the morning of December 20 1988, a pair of FAPA (Angolan Air Force) MiG-21 MF’s took off from Lubango, "intending" to make a high level transit flight to Luena (Luso) Air Base. Twenty five year old Ovimbundo (Gen Savimbi's tribe) Lt Domingos Vinez was the pilot of MiG-21 C340. Instead of flying to Luena, he flew south east at about 36 000 ft over thick cloud cover. After being airborne for 70 minutes,
Lt Vinez aircraft ran out of fuel and he carried out a very skilful dead-stick landing on the farm Schneider-Waterberg near the town of Otjiwarongo in South West Africa/Namibia. His fighter's 23 mm cannons had a full load of ammunition, but no missiles were being carried.
The Angolan pilot was uninjured and surrendered his service pistol to the local police. Minutes later he was taken prisoner by the SADF. The following day, Vinez was flown to Pretoria and taken to the Military Intelligence College, He was nervous and although he spoke no English, he was very well informed about South Africa.
The following day, he was taken to a Military Intelligence farm/base outside Pretoria called Fontana. Once there, he was again examined by a Military Intelligence medical doctor and found in perfect health, only complaining of a shaving rash. He was told not to shave. His interrogation started. Some days he was not very co-operative, even to the point of asking if we ever heard of the Geneva Convention. Without ever using any physical measures, our "chief" Military Intelligence interrogator soon had him talkative.
He had been trained in the Soviet Union, was based in Lubango and complained about the discrimination that the Angolan pilots were subjected to in their own country by the Cubans. Nothing was shared between the Angolan and Cuban Squadrons. The Angolan living conditions, rations, logistics, aircraft, maintenance, etc, were very poor compared to what the Cubans had available to them. He was generally evasive and tried to come across as a person who was not very bright. He was also arrogant and unfriendly to the point of refusing to build a model of his aircraft in his "spare" time, to be displayed alongside several Soviet model tanks at Fontana's pub, which had been built by a Cuban POW.
Once MI/SAAF was finished with his interrogation, Vinez was taken to the SADF military detention barracks in Boksburg, where he remained until being swopped for a SADF soldier being held by the Cubans. The SADF interrogation team came to the conclusion that Vinez got lost after loosing contact with his ground radar station. As a pilot, they concluded that he was below average and poorly trained by the Soviets.
The question exists as to whether Vinez and his partner were sent on a mission that day to test the SAAF interception capabilities? The SAAF claims that both Angolan MiG's were on their radar screens and that one broke away back into Angola, after also entering South West African airspace. Were there no South African Air Force fighters available that day in Northern South West Africa to intercept the Angolan MiG's.
On the 31st March 1989 in Ruacana, Lt Vinez along with 11 Angolan soldiers and 3 Cuban soldiers held by UNITA, were exchanged for a single South African soldier being held by the Cubans, Private Johan Papenfus.
wm-aircraft-in-veld-at-otjiwaro.jpg|MiG-21 C340 near Otjiwarongo
wm-lt-domingos-jose-de-almeida-.jpg|Lieutenant Vinez with SWA Police Constable