This time the FAE interceptors arrived in time to even make a few patrol turns before engaging; the difference to earlier events was that some of FAP fighters, probably Mirage 2000Ps, were flying high, thus exposing themselves to detection by FAE radars. Indeed, Maj. Banderas later stated to have had the first enemy fighter on his radar scope barely eight minutes after taking off.
Banderas selected afterburner accelerating and turning so to bring his and the Mirage of his wingman to a deep six o'clock position behind the two Sukhois. While doing so, his RWR warned him that his aircraft was detected and tracked by the radar of an enemy fighter. At 13:15hrs, ignoring the warnings, Capt. Uscategui approached to the firing distance and launched one R.550 Magic, starting what was to become the first-ever air-to-air combat between two Mach 2 capable fighters in Latin American history.