MANPADS are evil. Small, very difficult indeed to spot, and quite capable of knocking you down with a near miss. The difference between surviving and crashing in BS is usually down to who sees who first.
This is going to sound obvious, and I don't want it to come across that way, but if you're routinely getting splashed by MANPADS at <3km, you only need to do one thing - take your time near the target area.
If there is an approach that has only open fields between you and your target, use it, because this is BRILLIANT news. Stay about 6-7km out and scan all of it. Even a MANPADS dude will stick out like a sore thumb.
Always have something between you and a potential threat zone; either space (out-range them), terrain, or buildings. Don't be afraid to trundle along at 40-50km/h at 5m height keeping a large office block between you and where you are going. It's better to do this moving towards dense areas (groups of buildings), and nowhere near treelines, because in (and behind) treelines be dragons. You can creep up to it and peek over the top. Chances are, something will shoot at you* if you're in the engagement zone. They can run out of ammo and missiles if they do it enough (at least, they defintely stop shooting after a while), and the AI is trigger happy. You can then pick them off. Don't try and outdraw them - your Vikhrs need guidance, IR sams do not.
That being said, if some evil mission designer has put the little guys down between buildings ('Clear Tkvarcheli' is a great example of truly bastardish unit placement) and you get too close, it's hard to do much but turn and run. Don't sweat it too much. Use your wingies to draw them out.
*Sometimes, they will destroy the building you are hiding behind. In the KA50 pilot's manual, this is known as 'bad'.
Edited by Sulman (02/02/11 10:13 AM)