An introduction



Download 130.42 Kb.
Page1/6
Date conversion11.07.2018
Size130.42 Kb.
  1   2   3   4   5   6

An Introduction to Formation Flying

AN INTRODUCTION

TO

FORMATION FLYING



March 2005

by

Bill Austin



Table of Contents

Introduction 4

DEFINITION OF FORMATION FLIGHT 5

FORMATION PROTOCOL 6

Two-Ship Protocol 6

Four-Ship Protocol 6

Multiple-Ship Protocol 6

FORMATION DISCIPLINE 7

FORMATION SAFETY 8

MISCELANEOUS SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS 9

Discomfort Zone 9

Transfer of Aircraft Control 9

Leaving the Formation in an Emergency 11

Wake Turbulence/ Wingtip Vortices 11

Visibility and Lighting 13

Backlighting 13

Glare 13


Optical Illusions 14

The Use of Shadows 14

Fatigue 14

Hurry-Up Syndrome 15

SAFETY EQUIPMENT 15

Lights 15

Parachutes 15

Flight Clothing 15

Goggles 16

Helmets 16

COMMUNICATIONS 17

Communication Concepts 17

VISUAL COMMUNICATION 17

Hand Signals 17

Head Signals 17

Aircraft Signals 18

Signal Acknowledgement 18

Acting without a Signal 19

RADIO COMMUNICATION 20

Radio Use 20

Radio Protocol and Phraseology 20

Flight Check-In 21

Frequency Change 21

Communications with ATC 22

PREPARATION FOR FLIGHT 24

Personal Preparation 24

Lead’s Preparation 25

Aircraft Preparation 25

THE PREFLIGHT BRIEFING 25

Purpose of the Briefing 25

Description of the Briefing 27

Conducting a Good Briefing 27

Briefing Topics 28

Mission Statement 28

Goal Statement 29

Pilots 29

Aircraft Limitations 30

Weather 30

Call Sign 30

Frequency Assignments 31

Times 31

Operational Plan 31

Abnormal and Emergency Procedures Review 34

Debrief 34

Questions 34

Element and Division Briefings 35

Conclusion 35

THE POSTFLIGHT DEBRIEFING 36

Purpose of the Debrief 36

Description of the Debrief 36

Conducting a Good Debrief 36

Debriefing Pointers for Lead 37

Debriefing Pointers for the Deputy Lead and Wingmen 38

Common Debrief Errors 38

The Debrief Plan 38



Introduction


Formation flying, by its very definition, is not a solo activity. Webster’s Dictionary defines formation as “…an arrangement of a…group…in some prescribed manner…” It is this “prescribed manner” that forms the building blocks of formation flight and becomes the foundation of standardization.
Because two or more pilots must function as one unit under the direction of a leader, it is imperative that each participant possess a common understanding of how the flight is to be conducted and how it will progress. Each individual pilot must have a thorough understanding of what he may reasonably expect of the others, and in turn, what the others expect of him. This common understanding, this standardization, is fundamental and is the very cornerstone of safe formation flight. It is this necessity for standardization that makes formation training crucial.
As a specialized activity, formation flying calls for specific knowledge, precision flying skills, and the utmost attention to all safety considerations. Although the skills are not difficult to learn for an experienced pilot, formation flying is not an activity for everyone. To do it safely it requires a commitment to mastering those skills and regular practice to maintain proficiency.
When approached from the proper perspective, a well planned, properly briefed, and skillfully executed formation flight can be eminently safe and bring a great deal of satisfaction to all participants. When approached from the wrong perspective – without standardization training, a thorough preflight briefing, practiced skills, or with a cavalier or arrogant attitude – it can be deadly. In the interest of everyone’s safety, from the participating pilots’ to people on the ground below, it is incumbent upon all involved to undertake standardization training from personnel who are qualified to teach the needed skills and procedures.

DEFINITION OF FORMATION FLIGHT


Formation flight may be defined in two ways:

Flight by more than one aircraft which, by prior arrangement between the pilots, operates as a single aircraft with regard to navigation and position reporting.

A flight wherein each (other than the lead) pilot’s visual attitude reference is another aircraft.
The FAA considers a “standard formation” one in which all aircraft maintain a proximity of no greater that one mile of lateral separation and 100 feet of vertical separation. A formation flight may not operate outside of those parameters and still be considered a formation flight without the specific approval of ATC, or unless operating in specially designated airspace.

Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 91.111, relating to operating near other aircraft, places further restrictions on the activity by dictating that:


(a) No person may operate an aircraft so close to another aircraft as to create a collision hazard.

(b) No person may operate an aircraft in formation flight except by arrangement with the pilot in command of each aircraft in the formation.



(c) No person may operate an aircraft, carrying passengers for hire, in formation flight.
Pilots who chose to engage in formation flight must be cognizant of these restrictions and limitations.

FORMATION PROTOCOL

Two-Ship Protocol


The most basic unit in a formation flight consists of two aircraft and is referred to as an Element or Section (the two terms are interchangeable). Within the Element one pilot is designated the Lead and the Element is under his command and direction. The second pilot, designated the Wingman, is pilot in command of his own aircraft and ultimately responsible for its safe operation, but in the context of the formation is subordinate to the Lead.
  1   2   3   4   5   6


The database is protected by copyright ©dentisty.org 2016
send message

    Main page