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Welcome to formation flying! This guide has been developed by the Mooney Caravan in order to standardize formation procedures for Mooney Caravan participants. This guide does not pretend to be the sole source of formation knowledge, but rather provide a concise reference for formation procedures, standardized briefings, dealing with abnormal procedures, and establish clear training rules in the interest of promoting flight safety. A wealth of formation knowledge is condensed herein from USAF regulations, standards and techniques from both training and operational squadrons, FAST, FFI, B2Osh training material, Formation Flight Manual, Mustang/Fighter Formation Fundamentals and the lessons learned from all who contributed to this guide. This guide will be updated and refined by the Mooney Caravan Board of Directors. For those pilots seeking FFI/FAST credentials this guide is intended to be a supplement to the training materials approved by those organizations. The FAST organization has been very supportive of the Mooney Caravans efforts and the FAST Formation Pilots Knowledge Guide has been extensively referenced during the creation of this document Use of this guide is vital to the safe and effective execution of the Mooney Caravan to Oshkosh and also provide standardize procedures for enjoying formation flying! Suggestions for changes or additions to make this guide a more useful tool should be directed to David Marten, Mooney Caravan Operations Director,

Chris Shopperly President, Mooney Caravan XVI

Formation Fundamentals Introduction....1 Formation Fundamentals....4 Flight Lead Responsibilities....6 Wingman Responsibilities...7 Formation Communication..8 Formation Ground Operations - Departures Ground Operations Runup.......13 Element Takeoff.....15 Interval Takeoff...19 Two-Ship Formation Maneuvers Fingertip Position...21 Fingertip Maneuvering...26 Route Position....28 Turns in Route....29 Cross Under29 Echelon....31 Close Trail32 Formation Recoveries Element Approach and Landing...35 VFR Traffic Pattern Recoveries38 Overhead Pattern39 Taxi and Shutdown.42 Formation Maneuver and Rejoins....43 Four Ship Formation Procedures.52 Operating Limitations......78 Formation Training Rules......85 Abnormal Procedures.....90 ATTACHMENTS Attachment 1: Formation Briefing Guide.A-1 Attachment 2: Lineup Card 2 Ship Training Profile...A-7 Attachment 3: Standard Formation Hand Signals.....A-8 Attachment 4: Bonanza Type SpecificA-12 Attachment 5: Glossary of Formation Terms...A-15

The Mooney Caravan: Welcome! Since 1998, the Mooney Caravan has been flying a mass arrival into Oshkosh for EAA AirVenture and since 2012, the flight has been in formation. The fundamental concept remains unchanged: fly a mass arrival from Madison to Oshkosh to facilitate fellowship, camaraderie and the ability to camp together in the North 40! Working with the other Oshkosh mass arrival groups, the Caravan Board determined that a more rigorous approach to arrival procedures was warranted in the interest of safety. The move to formation has undoubtedly improved flight safety, but formation flying, as all the other mass arrivals have found, requires training. This Guide will serve as the reference document for your training and the material herein will be reinforced and applied at a formation clinic prior to your participation in the Caravan. Formation Defined: FAA Pilot / Controller Glossary: FORMATION FLIGHT - More than one aircraft which, by prior arrangement between the pilots, operate as a single aircraft with regard to navigation and position reporting. Separation between aircraft within the formation is the responsibility of the flight leader and the pilots of the other aircraft in the flight. This includes transition periods when aircraft within the formation are maneuvering to attain separation from each other to effect individual control and during joinup and breakaway. a. A standard formation is one in which a proximity of no more than 1 mile laterally or longitudinally and within 100 feet vertically from the flight leader is maintained by each wingman. b. Nonstandard formations are those operating under any of the following conditions: 1. When the flight leader has requested and ATC has approved other than standard formation dimensions. 91.111 Operating near other aircraft: (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. 1

Formation Clinics: All Caravan pilots will be required to demonstrate formation proficiency prior to flying the Mooney Caravan to Oshkosh Mass Arrival. The primary means is through participation in a Mooney Caravan or Bonanzas to Oshkosh (B2Osh) formation clinic. The Mooney Caravan formation procedures are nearly identical to the B2Osh procedures and completing a B2Osh clinic will ensure you are adequately prepared to fly the Caravan. Cessna, Cherokee, and other mass arrivals do not use arrival procedures consistent with the Caravan and attending one of their clinics will not meet the Caravan requirements. The Caravan 3-ship: Like all formations, the Mooney Caravan and B2Osh use the two ship element (element leader and wingman) as the basic building block of the formation, but with one twist: a phantom 4. A phantom 4 consists of combining two elements into a single flight of four, but without a 4th aircraft. IE, #1, #2 (left wing), #3 (right wing) and a ghost #4. This is done for two reasons: first, without his own wingman the #3 does not need to be qualified as an element leader allowing the Caravan to build a series of 3 ship flights requiring 50% less qualified element leaders. Secondly, it allows us to expeditiously get all the aircraft on the ground at Oshkosh. Lead and #2 (left wing) will perform an element landing on the main runway while #3 (right wing) will break off to land single ship on the taxiway. By demonstrating proficiency using the procedures in this section a pilot will have all the skills required to safely participate in the Mooney Caravan. Mooney Caravan Procedures Summary: Simply put, the Mooney Caravan will consist of a single Flight divided into groups of threeship Elements. The 3 ship Element is the fundamental building block of the Caravan. The Element composition includes a Leader and two wingmen. The Caravan will execute a formation departure from Madison. All aircraft will depart as a single flight. Each 3 ship element will execute an element takeoff with ten seconds minimum spacing on the previous 3 ship element. The element leader is responsible for navigation and spacing on the preceding element while each wingmans sole responsibility is to maintain position on their element leader. The formation will cruise to Oshkosh, using the precoordinated Caravan routing. Wingmen will maintain fingertip/route as directed by their element leaders during the flight. The formation will maneuver for a 5 mile straight-in. The 3 ship element will execute an element approach and landing. The element leader and #2 will land as an element (wingman on the wing) on the main runway (36L) and #3 will sidestep to the right to land on the temporary runway 36R, a 75 foot wide taxiway. Element Leaders will ensure proper glidepath, speed, and spacing while wingman will maintain position on their element leader.

Summary of Formation Flight Events: The following formation events will be flown during the training clinics and pilots will need to demonstrate basic proficiency in the following events: - Formation Communications - Lead/Wingman Responsibilities - Formation Ground Ops - Element Takeoff Demonstrate a safe element takeoff as the wingman - Fingertip Position Safe, stable control w/in 1-2 shipwidths Recognize and correct closure rates Note: you are not required to fly at 3 feet spacing! - Route Position Ability to move from fingertip out to route and reform to fingertip Safe, stable 2-4 shipwidths - Turns in Fingertip Safely execute level turns while maintaining a loose fingertip position - Cross Under Safely execute a cross under (slow/controlled) - Element Approach and Landing Fly a stable approach while maintaining position on element leader Recognize/correct deviations Desired: on the wing till touchdown Safe: if out of position (aft) execute transition to single ship landing on own half of runway Pilots not comfortable landing on the wing will fly #3 position (36R/18L) landing at OSH Caravan Safety Information The following sections of this Guide must be understood by all flight members: Formation Training Rules Abnormal Procedures Emergency Hand Signals Supplementary Information: Additional material presented in this Guide including echelon turns, formation rejoins, interval takeoffs, and VFR traffic pattern recoveries do not require demonstrated proficiency prior to Caravan participation, but are fundamental formation skills for any two ship formation. Mooney Caravan pilots, after demonstrating basic proficiency, are encouraged to work with their safety pilots and clinic instructors to learn the basics of rejoin geometry in order to reform the formation in the event of excessive separation.

Introduction to Formation: The primary purpose of flying formation is mutual support. Formation skills and procedures are intended to turn the potential liability of two aircraft flying close together into the benefit of mutual support, but only through precise compliance with the obligations of Lead and Wingmen. Formation, more than any other type of flying, builds confidence, develops teamwork, teaches self-discipline, and promotes the proper application of aggressiveness and precision. Flight Discipline: Flight discipline requires an in-depth knowledge of flight rules, formation standards, and procedures. Additionally, it requires strict adherence to preflight brief and any real-time alterations directed by the Flight Lead during flight. It begins with mission preparation and continues through briefing, ground ops, flight, and debrief. The wingman must speak up rather than allow the flight to enter an unsafe or unauthorized situation. If the directed tasks are beyond the wingmans ability, he or she must immediately inform Lead. Flight discipline means flying in the proper parameters for the formation position directed by the flight lead with no tolerance for remaining out of position. As wingman, always strive to fly within the proper formation position parameters. As Lead, correct any wingman deviations immediately by directing the wingman to the proper position if appropriate corrections are not being made. Wingman will query Lead immediately if unsure of assigned position. Uncompromising flight discipline is absolutely essential for safe and effective formation flying. Situational Awareness: While most licensed pilots understand the concept of airmanship and flight discipline, situational awareness (SA) is often a poorly understood, yet critical element to your success as a formation pilot and eventual flight leader. Here is a recent academic definition of this vital capability: The continuous observation of current conditions and, along with the integration of previous knowledge, the ability to quickly form a coherent mental picture to anticipate future needs and direct future actions Strong SA allows the formation pilot to absorb information from several different sources near simultaneously, such as the aircraft engine and navigation instruments, radio chatter, traffic analysis, etc., and anticipate what actions are needed over time. The concept of SA is just as critical in civilian formation flight as it is to the military combat pilot. In formation, multiple aircraft must work as a team, where each pilot must be where they are expected to be, and when they are expected to be there, all while applying their procedural knowledge and assessment of current and anticipated conditions to decide the best course of action. Bottom line: Stay mentally ahead of your aircraft! Aggressiveness:

Aggressiveness in formation flying is a state of mind, an attitude not to be confused with the speed of flight control movement. As Lead, thinking ahead of the aircraft and profile while anticipating the need for changes and adjustments before they actually occur is an indication of the proper aggressive attitude. As wingman, correcting for positional deviations while mentally anticipating the next phase of flight or maneuver indicates proper aggressiveness. A crisp and timely response to Leads directives demonstrates a wingmans proper aggressive attitude. Safe Formation Flying: Formation flying is perhaps some of the most challenging and potentially dangerous flying in civil aviation. Much like aerobatics, it demands the utmost pilot attention and skill. However, if approached with the same rigor as any other segment of flight training, the new formation pilot will find they possess the skillset needed for formation flying: the ability to execute a dynamic visual cross-check recognizing changes in relative position, the ability to finely control their aircraft, and a clear understanding of their own limits. A proficient instrument pilot executes all of these functions with respect to references inside their own aircraft (flight instruments). Now well simply shift that cross-check completely outside your own aircraft and make all of your control inputs based on own-ship position relative to Leads aircraft. The key to formation safety is flight discipline. A disciplined Flight Lead instills confidence in his wingman. A disciplined wingman is equally vital to the safe execution of the flight. Nothing can be more dangerous than an ignorant wingman whos presence in the air poses a collision hazard to those around him. Flight discipline breeds trust and trust is what enables two or more pilots to operate aircraft in close proximity. Aircraft Systems and Procedural Knowledge: Before a pilot can attempt formation flying he must be thoroughly capable in his aircraft. If you cant hold speed and altitude on your own then youll have a tough time doing so on the wing. Formation flying will involve a lot of eyes-out time which will require quick glances to ensure engine parameters are in the green. Be able to quickly reach for and actuate switches almost by feel. Remember, eyes-out.


The flight lead is ultimately responsible for the safe and effective conduct of the mission. The Flight Lead has both the authority and the responsibility of ensuring mission success to one individual who will be clearly identified prior to the mission. The flight lead is responsible for the planning, briefing, execution, and debriefing of the flight. The flight lead may delegate some or all of these mission elements but retains overall responsibility. The flight lead must focus on mission accomplishment, achievement of training objectives, and safety. Lead must consider the capabilities and experience levels of all flight members in order to plan a mission that optimizes training. The designated flight lead will not change during the mission. Specific Flight Lead Execution Responsibilities: Executing mission elements. Plan all maneuvers to keep the flight well within the briefed working airspace. Smooth power changes and control inputs are fundamental skills required of all Flight Leads. Before directing a maneuver, always consider wingmans position and ability to safely perform such a maneuver. Execute each maneuver smoothly, allowing wingman to maintain position without undue difficulty. Clear for the Formation. Maneuver the formation away from other aircraft and maintain a safe altitude above the ground or any obstacles. Always use radar flight following when available. Plan Ahead of the Aircraft. Alter the profile or maneuvers as appropriate, and ensure fuel and time are used judiciously to accomplish mission and training objectives. Monitor # 2. Ensure # 2 is properly maintaining the assigned position. This includes assessing parameters during maneuvers, ensuring # 2 is in a safe position prior to executing a new maneuver, and ensuring in-flight checks are completed by the entire formation in a timely manner. Navigation. Ensure the formation is at the proper altitude, airspeed, and position relative to NAVAIDs, routing, instrument approaches, obstacles, airfields, etc. Communication. Transmit and receive all ATC communication for the formation. To the air traffic controller, a formation is treated as a single entity with a single voice.

The wingmans primary responsibility is to maintain flight path deconfliction and proper position as directed by Lead. This includes providing mutual support and maintaining formation integrity by executing the plan as briefed, and accomplishing the tasks as directed by Lead without compromising safety. The wingmans top priorities include flight path deconfliction, maintaining proper position relative to Lead, and executing additional tasks as directed. During initial stages of formation skill development, the wingman will focus almost entirely on deconfliction and position maintenance. Use all of Leads aircraft as a reference; do not focus on just one spot. As skill at maintaining proper position improves, other lower priorities (like clearing for the formation by scanning the area around and beyond Lead) may be cross-checked but never at the expense of flight path deconfliction and proper position. Specific Wingman Execution Responsibilities:

DO NOT HIT LEAD! Flight path deconfliction is paramount. Wingman is responsible to deconflict flight paths and prevent a collision. Keep Lead in Sight. Collisions within formations often occur when the wingman has lost sight of Lead. Hitting Lead is obviously much less likely when the wingman can see Lead. Losing sight is not uncommon and is only a problem if the wingman fails to call Blind. Be in Position and on Frequency. Be there. If a wingman is in position and on frequency, it is much easier to keep Lead in sight and for Lead to monitor the wingman. Always strive to smoothly and crisply attain/re-attain the directed formation position. Clear for the Formation. Wingman is able to clear quadrants that are impossible for lead such as Leads 6 oclock. Flight Leads should put wingman in route position if wingmans assistance in clearing the formations flight path is required as it allows # 2 to clear more effectively. Back Up Lead. A good wingman is always ready to take the lead at a moments notice. As formation skills develop, wingmen will strive to actively monitor navigation, communication, fuel state, mission accomplishment, etc. When a wingman is able to consistently back up Lead, it usually shows a readiness to become a flight lead. Never let these duties interfere with the higher priority responsibilities. If clearing, being in position or keeping lead in sight is degraded immediately reprioritize in the order shown above.

Formation Radio Communication: Clear, concise communications are the greatest indicator of flight discipline and situational awareness. As such, all communication must be clearly understood by every flight member. Radio discipline requires not only clarity and brevity in the message, but limiting unnecessary transmissions. The flights working frequency (aka, mission or tactical frequency) is the Leads tool for directing the formation. It is not a chat frequency. Poor radio discipline often results in frustration and a breakdown of flight discipline. Likewise, excellent radio procedures are the trademark of skilled formation pilots. This section is designed to emphasize standard formation communication procedures applicable to the Mooney Caravan and consistent with other civilian formation organizations. ATC Communication: The Flight Lead is THE ONLY voice for ATC communication. ATC will treat the formation as a single aircraft. Flight Lead will handle all ATC communications while other formation members will listen on the ATC frequency. Flight Leads initial check-in with a new controller/agency will include callsign and a description of the formation type. Subsequent transmissions need only include the flight callsign. Example: LA Center, Mooney Flight, flight of 4 Mooneys, five thousand five hundred, VFR Flight Callsigns: Military formations use a flight callsign followed by a two digit numerical number. For example a flight of two F-16s may have the callsign Falcon 11 with Lead as Falcon 11 and wingman Falcon 12. Conversely civilian formation groups will use a either a single word callsign or leads N# for all ATC communication. ***Nearly all FAA facilities prefer the use of the lead aircrafts registration number as the flight callsign. IE, Mooney 231RX Flight For all ATC communications the word Flight will immediately follow the callsign during every radio call. Unless previously coordinated with ATC avoid single word callsigns (Alpha Flight). Example of initial call to Ground: Madison Ground, Mooney 231RX Flight, flight of 4 Mooneys with information Alpha ready to taxi from east ramp VFR west request flight following Formation Members: Within the formation the individual members receive a single digit numerical callsign based on their position within the formation. 8

Lead: Mooney Lead (or Mooney 1) 2: Mooney 2 3: Mooney 3 4: Mooney 4

Inter-plane Communications: Each formation will brief and use a tactical (or mission) frequency for intra-flight communication. This discrete frequency is used by all formation members and is Leads primary method of directing the formation. When using the mission frequency the Flight Lead may use the full flight callsign Mooney Flight or shorten to the plural form of the callsign Mooneys . The purpose of shortening the callsign is twofold: first, to increase brevity and secondly as a tool to clearly indicate to the formation which frequency Lead is using. The choice of mission frequency shall be at the discretion of the flight lead and clearly briefed to all formation members. Additionally, a backup mission frequency also should be established in the event of traffic/interference on the primary frequency. Common mission frequencies include: 122.75, 122.95, 123.0, 123.45, etc. The formation radio call, like any other communication is a two-step process (attention, and instruction/execution). The attention step is always the formation callsign: Mooneys.. and the second step the execution go route. ALL Intra-flight communication MUST be acknowledged by wingman. Following Leads directive call, wingman will acknowledge in sequence with either callsign and position number or position number as a minimum. Example: Mooneys, go route , Mooney 2 , Mooney 3, Mooney 4 or Mooneys, go route , 2 , 3 , 4

Radio Frequency Changes: The most fundamental formation communication exercise, and most often executed poorly, is switching radio frequencies. Nearly all of our GA aircraft are equipped with two radios and as such these procedures are focused on using both radios to effectively execute a formation mission. Using two radios ensures that one radio is ALWAYS set to the formation inter-plane frequency. This allows all formation members a constant means by which to communicate. The second radio will be used to cycle through the appropriate ATC frequencies.

Check-in: The first test of flight discipline is the flight check-in. It is the first communication Lead will have with his formation and sets the tone for the entire flight. Poor check-in, do it again until the formation gets it right! Flight Lead will initiate with the call Mooney Flight Check which must be crisply answered by all flight members in sequence 2, 3, 4. Additional situational awareness may be obtained by Lead specifying the radio on which he is initiating the check-in by adding Mooney Flight Check, Mission or Mooney Flight Check, Ground. Go Comm: Radio frequency changes shall be initiated by Flight Lead using Go followed by the numeric frequency to be used. If the frequency has been pre-briefed then the briefed frequency description (Ground, Tower, etc) may be used, however this puts the burden on the wingman to reference his/her lineup card to read the desired frequency. The frequency change using Go will be acknowledged by all flight members. Each formation member then sets the appropriate frequency and awaits leads check-in. A Flight check-in is mandatory on the new frequency. Example: Lead: Mooney Flight, Go 124.55 Wingman: 2, 3, 4 Each pilot sets 124.55 Lead, on new freq: Mooney Flight Check Wingman, on new freq: 2, 3 , 4

Go comm shall be the standard for Mooney Formation. Push Comm may be used by experienced formation pilots IAW Leads brief. Push Comm: The procedures for Push comm are identical with the exception that wingman do NOT acknowledge the directive call to switch frequencies. Push comm increases brevity, but also dramatically increases potential for a wingman to miss the frequency change. A check-in is mandatory on the new frequency. Example: Lead: Mooney Flight, Push 124.55 Each pilot sets 124.55 Lead: Mooney Flight Check Wingman: 2 , 3 , 4

Formation Visual Signals: The primary means of communication between Mooney formation members shall be radio communications. However, formation pilots should be familiar with the standard visual


hand signals contained in Attachment 3 of this guide. Visual hand signals were designed for bubble canopy aircraft which allow for an un-obstructed view of the pilot while in close formation. Visual signals were required by fighter/trainer-type aircraft with only one radio which significantly reduced inter-plane communication. Due to the cabin cockpit configuration of most general aviation aircraft the effectiveness of visual signals is greatly diminished due to obscuration of cabin windows, door posts, windscreen geometry, etc. Side-by-side seating and passenger/safety pilot presence further restricts chances of correct visual signal interpretation. Radio communications provide clear, concise direction. Visual Aircraft signals (wing rock, etc) however can be extremely effective. Flight Leads shall brief the planned maneuver initiation signal (radio, visual aircraft, or hand signal). Use of Visual Formation Signals: Flight Leads must ensure all flight members clearly understand the visual signals to be used IAW Attachment 3. Visual signals must be easy to see and high enough in the cockpit to be noticed by wingman. Flight lead will additionally need to ensure wingman is stabilized and in position prior to passing a visual signal. Flight lead shall: Look at wingman, Make overt hand signal, and CONFIRM acknowledgment by observing wingmans exaggerated head-nod. Aircraft signals (wing-rocks, rudder kicks, etc) must be large enough to be discernible by the wingman. If a wingman is unclear on the signal, do not acknowledge with head-nod and/or query lead on mission frequency. During initial training, it is far better/safer for Lead to fly smooth and predictably while making a concise directive radio call than contort himself in the cockpit in an effort to pass a visual signal. In-Flight Checks: Ops Check In-flight checks include any prescribed checklists (climb, enroute, descent) as well as periodic systems and fuel quantity checks termed ops checks (operational checks). The ops check allows all pilots to briefly analyze fuel state, engine parameters, and any other parameter desired. All in-flight checks will be accomplished in route formation or when the flight is not otherwise in close formation. Fuel state shall be reported in hours + minutes or minutes of total fuel remaining. Flight leads should move wingman to route spacing (2-4 shipwidths) in order to accomplish cockpit checks. Optimal time for an ops check is initial level-off, entering/exiting working area, and prior to recovery. The term green means that all aircraft parameters are normal (engine instruments in the green). Example: Mooneys, Ops Check.. Mooney 1, 120, green, Mooney 2, 90, green Fuel Management: Many of your formation flights may be with dissimilar aircraft types (Bonanza, Comanche, etc.) yet flight leads must remain aware of their wingmens fuel state. Use of the ops check above with a fuel time in minutes serves as a common reference. Additionally, a Joker and Bingo fuel shall be briefed and respected by all flight members.


Joker Fuel: Joker fuel is a planning tool to ensure completion of the primary mission objectives. It is a decision point in which to terminate one phase of the mission in order to preserve fuel for the subsequent phase. An example is setting a Joker fuel 20 min prior to Bingo in order to recover and practice multiple traffic patterns. Formation members shall call Joker upon reaching the briefed Joker fuel state. Mooney 3, Joker. Lead will then direct the formation appropriately to initiate recovery or move-on to subsequent training as briefed. Bingo Fuel: Bingo is the pre-briefed minimum fuel state which allows for a normal recovery at the planned destination with required useable fuel reserves. A conservative rule of thumb for general aviation aircraft is to set a bingo fuel allowing for arrival at the planned destination with 1 hour of useable fuel on board. As an example the working area is 15 minutes flight time from the recovery field. Assuming a 1hr reserve Bingo would be set at 1+15 (or 75min) fuel useable remaining. In no case should recovery be planned with less than 30 min usable fuel at destination. Wingman must be aware of fuel state and exercise PIC authority to initiate immediate recovery/divert if required. While flying formation wingman will burn fuel at an increased rate vs. normal cruise. Pad normal cruise fuel burn calculations by at least 25% until familiar with your aircrafts performance on a typical formation sortie.


Formation Ground Procedures: Step: Once the formation briefing and crew briefs are complete the formation pilots will step to their aircraft as a team. Ensure no stragglers in promptly getting to the aircraft in order to meet the briefed timeline. If a delay is encountered immediately coordinate with Lead. Lead will adjust mission timing as required to deal with contingencies (wx, maintenance, etc). Teamwork and effective communication is vital to the safety of all pilots in the flight. Engine Start: Flight Lead will brief engine start time and/or visual start signal based on aircraft parking location. Formation members will ensure before engine start checklists are complete prior to start. Do not rush. If late to start inform Lead of the situation over mission frequency when able. After engine start pilots will check ATIS/AWOS on their own prior to check-in time. Wingman will be ready on briefed frequency for formation check-in. Aircraft Configuration: Unless briefed differently, the Wingmans aircraft will be configured for flight with navigation lights and anti-collision beacon on and transponder in standby for two-ship formation. The Flight Lead will normally keep his/her anti-collision/rotating beacon off to preclude being a visual distraction for the Wingman. Lead will carry the transponder code for the flight. Check-In: As mentioned previously in this guide and re-iterated here: The first test of flight discipline is the flight check-in. It is the first communication Lead will have with his formation and sets the tone for the entire flight. Poor check-in, do it again until the formation gets it right! Flight Lead will initiate with the call Mooney Flight Check which must be crisply answered by all flight members in sequence 2, 3, 4. Additional situational awareness may be obtained by Lead specifying the radio on which he is initiating the check-in by adding Mooney Flight Check, Mission or Mooney Flight Check, Ground. The initial formation check-in will be made on the flights mission (tactical) frequency. This is Leads opportunity to ascertain the readiness of his formation. If a formation member is not ready upon check-in then inform Lead. Mooney 2 needs (x) minutes reason Lead will acknowledge the wingman and direct mitigating action. If a delay has been requested then the aircraft initiating the delay will provide Lead a ready call when ready to proceed. When ready for taxi Lead will check the flight in on ground/Unicom for taxi clearance. Lead will obtain taxi clearance and the formation will taxi to follow Lead.


Taxi: The formation will assume proper formation position as soon as practical. Use at least 1-2 ship lengths taxi spacing in a single file on taxiway centerline. Staggered taxi is not recommended on most GA airfields. Do not hastily taxi a formation. Lead will taxi at a conservative pace. Wingman, be aware of Leads propwash and increase taxi spacing if required. End of Runway Lineup: Reaching the End of Runway (EOR) or designated run-up area Lead will bid to offset taxiway centerline to the outboard side of the taxiway/EOR and then make a 45 degree turn back toward centerline. The wingman will match Leads position pulling up alongside Lead matching Leads nose position with respect to the taxiway. If the runup is to be done on the taxiway, a good technique is to place the nose on the centerline at a 45 degree angle. This will allow sufficient turn room to pull ahead and continue taxi.

EOR Lineup for Run-up

Aircraft Configuration: The formation members will visually inspect each others aircraft configuration and ensure it is IAW Leads brief. Flap configuration is of particular interest. The standard formation takeoff configuration for Mooney and Bonanza formations is no-flap. The no-flap takeoff minimizes changes in aircraft configuration resulting in decreased workload for the wingman especially during element takeoffs.


Run-up: Once parked in position wingman will signal Lead they are ready for run-up with a Thumbs Up. Wingman will hold visual signal high with forearm extended atop glareshield. Lead will then signal for the run-up. Flight members will complete their individual run-up and before takeoff checks then relay a Thumbs-up back to Lead when ready for takeoff. Lead will direct the formation to tower frequency, check-in the formation and obtain takeoff clearance. Formation Takeoff Procedures: Two types of formation departures may be used: element or interval takeoff. With both types Lead will lineup the formation on the runway in the briefed departure position. The element takeoff consists of Lead and wingman (#2) releasing brakes simultaneously and taking off together in an element pair maintaining an acute fingertip position throughout departure roll and transitioning to fingertip on climbout. Conversely, during an interval takeoff the wingman releases brakes at a briefed time interval after Leads brake release. Following an interval takeoff the wingman uses power and geometry to reform on Lead as soon as practical during climbout. Element Takeoff: Formation Lineup Lead: Crosswinds and/or the first turn out of the traffic pattern will determine which side of the runway Lead will take. With crosswinds less than 5 knots place the wingman on the inside of the first turn out of the traffic pattern. If the crosswind exceeds 5 kts place the wingman on the upwind side of the runway. Lead will line up on the center of his half of the runway. Minimum runway width for element takeoffs is 100 feet.


Two-Ship Runway Lineup

Formation Lineup Wingman: The wingman lines up in the center of his side of the runway and moves forward to an acute position forward of the fingertip reference line. Pull forward to align your wingtip with the forward edge of Leads N#. This acute position will give the wingman a position advantage for brake release helping to prevent the wingman from getting sucked aft at the start of the takeoff roll.


10 ft

Two Ship Lineup: Wingman Position

Takeoff Roll Lead: Give the run-up signal when Wing is in proper position, is looking at you in anticipation of runup, and has given you a head nod. Set power to the briefed setting and cross-check instruments one last time. Look at the Wingman to see if he/she is ready for brake release, as indicated by a head nod. The execution command to release brakes is a forward deliberate head nod by Lead. As your chin hits your chest, simultaneously release brakes and smoothly advance power to the briefed takeoff power setting. A rapid advancement of the throttle will cause the wingman to fall back. Lead will give the wingman at least a 3-5 MP for similar engine horsepower With ample runway available, do not rush the takeoff roll. Once the power is set, do not adjust the throttles unless the wingman requests it. As with a single-ship takeoff, use differential braking/nose-wheel steering until the rudder becomes effective. Perform the takeoff, concentrating on tracking straight ahead while monitoring the wingman with your peripheral vision. With dissimilar aircraft in the formation or like-aircraft with significant variations in configurations and/or gross weights, pilots must consider individual stall, rotate, liftoff, and best climb speeds, as well as runway required. Unless required for safety, do not retract the gear and flaps until you confirm the wingman is safely airborne, in position, and stable. Use the standard or briefed gear retract signal. If the wingman has fallen back significantly during the takeoff, such that visual (hand) signals are not applicable, the wingman may retract his/her gear when safe to do so to assist in gaining an acceleration advantage in regaining position unless briefed otherwise.


Takeoff Roll Wing: Note: Wingman, Lead will be your sole reference during the ENTIRE takeoff roll! Your eyes are always on Lead. Add/reduce power to maintain position throughout the takeoff/departure. Lead will watch the runway, you watch Lead! When you have stopped in the proper position and are ready for run-up, look at Lead and nod your head. Acknowledge Leads run-up signal with a head nod (exaggerated). During the engine run up, continue to primarily focus your attention outside the aircraft with only short glances inside the cockpit. Complete all checks. When ready for brake release, signal Lead with an exaggerated head nod. Monitor Lead for the preparatory and execution signals. Wingman releases the brakes and smoothly advances the throttle when Leads chin hits his/her chest. In the low-speed range, make slight throttle adjustments as required to maintain fore and aft position as applicable to your aircraft. Strive to maintain the line-up position for the remainder of the takeoff roll. If a power and/or acceleration advantage or disadvantage is apparent, request one additional increase or decrease in power from lead (e.g., Mooney 1, give me one or push it up). As with a single-ship takeoff, use differential braking/nose-wheel steering as necessary to maintain directional control until the rudder becomes effective. Rotate with Leads aircraft and concentrate on maintaining proper position. Normally, the first indication of Leads rotation will be the movement of the elevator or the extension of the nose gear strut. A late wingman rotation could result in overrunning Lead; an early rotation could result in falling behind. Duplicate Leads pitch attitude for lift off. When both aircraft are airborne, maintain a stackedlevel, acute position until the gear and flaps are retracted, then move into fingertip. In the stacked-level position, the picture is the same as when lined up on the runway. Confirm the gear and flaps are retracted. If you fall back during the takeoff significantly and cant gain an acceleration advantage to move back in to position, rotate on your own and retract your gear and flaps when safe to do so. Lead may delay his retraction momentarily in such situations to give you a drag/acceleration advantage. Be vigilant regaining position so as to avoid overrunning / over-shooting lead. Wingman Overrunning Lead on Takeoff Roll: Lead: Insure power is set and engine is operating normally. If Leads engine indications are abnormal Lead will abort the takeoff and maintain his side of the runway. If continuing the takeoff, immediately pass the lead to the overrunning wingman, Mooney 2, you have the lead on the left/right. Perform an individual takeoff, the wingman now has the lead with #1 responsible for flight path deconfliction. Once safely airborne, Lead will take appropriate measures to maintain formation integrity.


Wingman: If the wingman notices an overrun developing, immediately call for Lead to Push it up. Lead will increase power (2 MP should suffice). If an overrun still occurs, wingman will maintain his side of the runway and transition to an individual takeoff. Lead will offer the Lead, acknowledge the call with your callsign, retract gear when safely airborne and fly the briefed departure. Flight Lead will maintain clear of the wingman and re-assume Lead once clear of the traffic pattern. Wingman Falling Behind on Takeoff Roll: This is far more common than an overrun and is normally due to a combination of a late brake release/power application by the wingman and/or Lead using too much throttle. Lead: When the wingman requests Give me one reduce power only 1 MP. If the wingman cannot maintain position they will transition to an individual takeoff. Lead should limit maneuvering until the wingman can re-attain position. If possible, provide the wingman with some cut-off to assist in reforming. Wingman: If after adding power the wingman is still falling behind, call for Lead to reduce power Give me one. If you continue to fall further behind, select maximum power, check engine, and continue an individual takeoff. Retract gear once safely airborne and smoothly attempt to reform in fingertip on Lead. If Lead presents some geometry, move to the inside of the turn to assist in closure. Interval Takeoff: An interval takeoff shall be used if the crosswind component exceeds 10 kts or runway width is less than 100 ft. Both aircraft will lineup as in an element takeoff with the wingman on the upwind side of the runway. If runway width and or high crosswinds prevent a two-ship lineup use an in-trail lineup and single ship departures (no simultaneous run-up). During an interval takeoff each aircraft will maintain their own side of the runway. Treat the centerline as a brick wall-do not cross! Note: Minimum takeoff interval is 5 seconds between aircraft in the same element and 10 seconds between separate elements Lead: Use the same run-up procedures as the element takeoff. Lead may omit the signal for brake release and simply release brakes once the wingman gives the head-nod that he is ready for takeoff. Lead will execute a normal takeoff maintaining his side of the runway. Provide the wingman with a 3-5 MP advantage once safely airborne. Monitor wingman during departure and rejoin.


Wing: Delay brake release until expiration of the briefed time interval. Wingman will then apply normal takeoff procedures, maintaining his side of the runway. Once safely airborne retract gear and smoothly rejoin to fingertip. Rejoin after Takeoff: Once safely airborne, with the gear retracted, the wingman will smoothly transition to fingertip references. If an interval takeoff was performed, the wingman will maintain the same side as runway lineup unless Lead initiates a turn out of the traffic pattern. #2 will always rejoin to the inside of the turn. If Lead is continuing straight ahead then #2 will maintain the same side as on takeoff.



Introduction: This section describes the fundamental 2 ship formation procedures required of all Mooney Caravan pilots. The procedures are consistent with FAST/FFI guidance and those procedures used by Bonanzas to Oshkosh (B2Osh). Special thanks to the FAST organization for use of their graphics in the creation of this guide. Specific Mooney visual references are provided in an effort to standardize training among Mooney pilots as well as provide an easy reference to pilots of dissimilar aircraft for visual alignment cues when flying on the wing of a Mooney. This section focuses on the fundamental segment of the formation, the element, consisting of a Flight Lead and the Wingman. Increasing the size of the flight consists of adding additional elements. The formation pilot must first master 2 Ship operations before moving to 4 ship procedures. The Caravan 3-ship: Like all formations, the Mooney Caravan and B2Osh use the two ship element (element leader and wingman) as the basic building block of the formation, but with one twist: a phantom 4. A phantom 4 consists of combining two elements into a single flight of four, but without a 4th aircraft. IE, #1, #2 (left wing), #3 (right wing) and a ghost #4. This is done for two reasons: first, without his own wingman the #3 does not need to be qualified as an element leader allowing the Caravan to build a series of 3 ship flights requiring 50% less qualified element leaders. Secondly, it allows us to expeditiously get all the aircraft on the ground at Oshkosh. Lead and #2 (left wing) will perform an element landing on the main runway while #3 (right wing) will break off to land single ship on the taxiway. By demonstrating proficiency using the procedures in this section a pilot will have all the skills required to safely participate in the Mooney Caravan. Defining the Fingertip Formation: Objective: Maintain close formation spacing for airfield arrival, departure, flyovers, and training formation procedures. Maintaining fingertip position provides for a sharp, professional looking formation and should be a source of pride for the wingman. Description: The fingertip position is flown on an angle approximately 30-45 degrees aft of the 3/9 line, with no less than 3 feet of wingtip separation. It is the closest that a wingman will be to Lead during formation flying. Therefore, maintaining the proper position is critical to flight path deconfliction. Fingertip is also referred to as parade formation (for you Naval Aviators). Fingertip is the fundamental position in formation flying and shares common sightlines as its relaxed derivative, route formation. Fingertip formation is a welded wing position meaning 21

that the wingman is locked to the lead aircrafts plane of motion maneuvering in-plane as if his inside wing is welded to that of his flight lead. The fingertip position gains its name since the position of a four-ship in formation resembles the outstretched fingertips of your hand. Note: The inner limit of fingertip provides 3 ft of lateral wingtip spacing. Additionally, the Mooney references described below will ensure nose-tail separation. Advantages: Provides a tight formation in congested airspace like the visual traffic pattern, requires minimal airspace/spacing, and provides a crisp symmetrical appearance. Disadvantages: Reduced maneuverability and increased workload by wingman. Wingman will be making nearly constant power and control adjustments which can be fatiguing over extended periods. Fingertip Position: In fingertip, Lead must fly a smooth aircraft, and wingman will adjust to maintain proper position. Mooney Primary Fingertip Reference: Bearing Line/Stack: Leads outboard flap hinge on Leads spinner Inner Limit Spacing: Leads opposite elevator trailing edge barely visible

The sight line reference of the outboard flap hinge on the spinner serves to establish a 34 degree bearing line from the nose of the lead aircraft to the wingman. The wingman moves forward/aft using throttle until he sees the flap hinge align with the spinner in the same vertical plane. Then vertical stack can be established by using elevator to align the hinge/spinner in the same horizontal plane. Imagine the two reference points as the front and rear sights on a rifle. Align the two points by moving your aircraft to the sight line. Finally aircraft position along the sight line should be adjusted so that at the inner limit only a small portion of the trailing edge of Leads opposite elevator is visible.


Station Keeping in Formation: Maintaining position, or station keeping, is very challenging skill to master and, in the beginning, will demand your full attention at all times. The procedures and techniques covered here will allow you to remain in a precise position at all times in formation.


Good fingertip position is the result of recognizing deviations, anticipating required control inputs, and applying deliberate corrections. Make continuous, small, and controlled corrections to stay in position. Keeping the aircraft trimmed and coordinated decreases workload and generally makes it easier to maintain position. Lead should maintain a constant power setting or make smooth power changes, so the wingman can make small, precise power changes instead of large changes. Power corrections usually require three throttle movements: one to start the correction, one to stop the aircraft, and finally one to stabilize the aircraft in the proper position. Techniques: Do not stare at one reference. Look at the whole aircraft and clear through your Lead. Scanning from reference to reference will help you detect small changes in position. The wingman must be constantly alert for needed corrections to position. By making small corrections early, the relative motion between aircraft remains small. If deviations are allowed to develop, required corrections become larger, and the possibility of over-correcting becomes greater. Motion will occur along all three axes. In general, fore and aft spacing is controlled with use of the throttle; vertical position is maintained with the elevator. Lateral spacing is controlled with coordinated use of the ailerons and rudder. This is a simplified way of dividing up the control inputs and corrections. Seldom, though, is it that easy. Most of the time, corrections will have to be combined. For instance, if you are low and apply back pressure to move up into position, you will likely fall behind unless you add power to maintain your airspeed. Being behind the fingertip bearing line is referred to as being sucked, while being ahead of the line is called acute. When out of position, correct first to the fingertip bearing line. That way, your relative motion to the lead aircraft will always have the same appearance. The only exception to this rule is if you are too close to Lead (at or near wing tip overlap). In this case you should first obtain more lateral spacing, and then correct to the bearing line. Secondly correct for vertical position. Finally, make small (almost imperceptible) bank angle changes toward or away from Lead to move the aircraft laterally in or out along the bearing line. Additionally, use rudder to assist with lateral control, but avoid heavy rudder inputs as uncoordinated flight will require a power increase and complicate fore/aft positioning. Tips: RELAX as in primary flight training dont tense up on the yoke, tight control will lead to over control Trim minimize fatigue, some pilots prefer a slight nose-heavy aircraft in close formation, but avoid grossly out-of-trim conditions Throttle Your right hand should rest nearly constantly on the throttle. Consider extending your index finger along the throttle pushrod toward the firewall (on or at the friction lock). Use your index finger as a gauge to help meter your power changes. Once in position if your throttle movements are exceeding the length of your index finger or are jamming your finger into the firewall thats a good clue youre over-controlling. Crosscheck, but do not fixate on, your sight-line reference pointslook at the whole aircraft and clear through your Lead. Fly Coordinated rudder and ailerons at all times


Dissimilar Aircraft: As members of the Mooney Caravan you will likely be training with Bonanza pilots. Pilots flying dissimilar aircraft must brief aircraft visual references used to establish formation position in addition to speed and power consideration. Attachment 2 of this guide includes the Bonanza Addendum to the T-34 Manual and a description of B2Osh sight lines. Flying on the wing of a Bonanza is excellent Caravan preparation. Always adhere to Leads brief and clarify any questions prior to leaving the brief. Additionally, pilots of dissimilar aircraft should accompany each other on an external walk-around of the opposing pilots aircraft. Sit on the ramp (literally) and establish your sight line at zero airspeed.


Maneuvering In Fingertip Formation: Once you are comfortable maintaining a safe fingertip position straight and level your next step is to learn some benign level turns. For the purposes of the Mooney Caravan you should be able to safely maintain position during a 30 AOB turn both into and away from the wingman. Eventually, once comfortable, your level turns may include bank angles up to up to 45 degrees. All station keeping principals used in straight and level apply to maneuvering flight with the added challenge of accounting for turn circle geometry, discussed below. While in fingertip or route formation a level turn becomes a 3 dimensional problem for the wingman. Turns into the Wingman: Lets take the case where you are #2 on Leads right side. Lead begins a smooth roll to the right. Match Leads roll rate and bank angle. Simultaneously descend to maintain vertical position. This descent will cause airspeed to increase and unless power is reduced will place the wingman in an acute position. This effect will be compounded by turn geometry since on the inside of the turn, the wingman is flying a smaller turn circle and will therefore travel a shorter distance than Lead.

Turn Into the Wingman

Techniques: Turns into the Wingman Reduce power Roll with lead Descend matching Leads plane of motion Turns Away from the Wingman: The opposite steps apply for a turn away from the wingman. In fingertip right, Lead starts a left turn. You will have to climb and roll to stay in position on the wing. This will require back pressure to move up vertically, and also a sizable power addition lest you lose airspeed and fall behind. Think of it as climbing up on the wing. Now youre on the outside of the turn circle and will need to maintain an increased power setting over lead throughout the turn. Once


established in the turn the power increase will be only slightly greater than in level flight. Adding power on the initial roll-in will prevent the wingman from getting sucked aft.

Turn Away from the Wingman

Techniques: Turns Away from the Wingman Increase power Roll with lead Climb matching Leads plane of motion (get up on the wing) Note: keep in mind every turn has two parts: roll-in and roll-out. Each turn Lead makes will present the wingman with both scenarios (into and away). Common Errors: During turns away, it is common for new formation pilots to react too slow to Lead maneuvering. As Lead rolls into a 30 degree bank turn, the student wingman may be a little slow to roll, which will create excessive lateral distance from Lead as Lead turns away from the wingman. This will cause the wingman to get spit out in an aft (sucked) and low position. The wingman is now in a tail chase requiring a significant power increase to catch up with the wingman developing closure right as lead is rolling out, forcing a large power reduction. The opposite effect occurs if the wingman is late on a turn into the wingman: fast and acute (stuffed) a large power reduction will be required to regain the bearing line. Bottom line: Wingman must react quickly to Leads turn. At the very start of the turn, adjust the power and match the roll rate. Lead must use smooth, predictable roll rates. Lead should not change power setting at any point during the turn, especially during roll-in/out. Prior to turn initiation Lead must be fully aware of his/her wingmans position and be satisfied that the wingman is in a stable position before beginning the turn.


Route Formation: Objective: Increase flight maneuverability while enhancing visual lookout and reducing pilot workload. Description: Route is a wider extension of fingertip formation spacing and is flown to enhance clearing and visual lookout, increase flight maneuverability, and ease the completion of in-flight checks, radio changes, other cockpit tasks, or simply to allow the wingman to relax. Lead sends the wingman to route with a radio call or visual signal (rudder wag). With the formation in route lead should restrict maneuvering to moderate turns and pitch changes. Maximum bank angle should be limited to 30 degrees. Route Spacing: Route spacing is from two-ship widths to no further than approximately 300 feet. While 300 feet is permissible your goal is to fly 2-4 shipwidths while in route formation. As visual cue for the outer limits of route formation you should be able to read Leads N#. If you cant then you are drifting too wide. Route is a looser position but, no further forward than line abreast and no further aft than the extended fingertip sight line. When not in a turn, the wingman should maintain only a slightly low stack.

Route Formation


Turns in Route: Turns into the wingman require the wingman to use similar techniques to fingertip turns in order to maintain position however the turn is NOT welded wing. The wingman on the inside of the turn will drop below Leads plane of motion as required to maintain visual and deconflict flight paths. The wingman on the inside of the turn will appear high with respect to the fingertip references (top of Leads wing visible). The wingman on the outside of a turn in route will maintain an echelon position turning in the same horizontal plane as Lead. On the outside of the turn match Leads bank angle using a level turn. Common Errors: Guard against drifting too far out when flying in route. Goal should be 2-4 ship widths. Flying out at 300+ feet will complicate geometry during turns requiring significantly larger power changes in order to maintain position as your turn radius will be significantly larger/smaller than Leads. Additionally, as you move out to take route spacing do not drop excessively low. Lead should appear no more than one fuselage height above the horizon. If you see a lot of blue below Leads belly then he is not too high you are too low. Lead will use a wing rock to return the flight to fingertip formation. Cross Under: Objective: A cross under is used to reposition a wingman from one side of the formation to the other. Description: A cross under may be accomplished with the formation in fingertip or route formation. A cross under may be initiated via hand signal, aircraft signal, or radio call. Lead will brief which signal will be used. Wingman will be familiar with all three methods and respond accordingly. A radio call should be used while training a new wingman. Mooney 2 cross under-left wing, 2. Adding the desired side to cross to provides descriptive/directive call during initial formation training. As proficiency increases Lead may use the aircraft signal wing dip. A proper wing tip is a sharp crisp pop of the ailerons in a rapid deflection in the direction of the cross under away from wingmans current position. The signal should be crisp while of enough magnitude to clearly distinguish from normal turbulence. Finally, the standard cross under hand signal (Attachment 3) may be used, when briefed, but limitations of cockpit geometry and wingman position must be considered. Cross Under Execution: The cross under is a three step maneuver to reposition to Leads opposite wing.


A: Back and Down Reduce power slightly to move aft while stepping down (only a couple feet) in order to ensure nose-tail separation. As the you begin to move aft begin re-applying power to stop the aft movement once nose tail separation is obtained B: Move Across Bank slightly(1-2 degrees) toward to the opposite side to initiate a small heading crossing angle the return to wings level. This will be sufficient to move across to the opposite wing. Add power to prevent sliding further aft. C: Forward and Up Once wingtip clearance is obtained, stabilize and add power to move forward and use elevator to move up. Use power to stop forward movement and stabilize in fingertip/route position.

The Cross Under

Common Errors: Smooth power changes should be used throughout the maneuver. Rushing the cross under will result in sloppy execution. An initial power reduction that is too large will result in a significant forward line of sight rate which will require a large, prompt power increase to prevent getting excessively aft. Always ensure nose-tail separation, do not cross underneath Leads aircraft. Until proficient, cross unders should always be executed from level flight. Flight Leads flying with proficient wingman may use cross unders during maneuvering flight.


Echelon Formation: Objective: Execute timely turns while in close formation allowing wingman to maintain the same plane of motion as Lead setting up the formation for a follow-on maneuver. Description: Echelon is a formation configuration where all the wingman are lined up to either to the right (echelon right) or to the left (echelon left) off the Flight Lead. This formation position is used to prepare the formation for follow-on maneuvers (pitch-out, break, element split). Traffic pattern formation operations will be the most common use of echelon. Echelon Turn Procedure: Beginning from the fingertip position the flight lead will direct the formation to execute an echelon turn using either a radio call or formation hand signal (Attachment 3). For clarity during training a radio call should be used to clearly communicate Leads intent to execute an echelon turn. Mooneys, Echelon turn, 2 . All turns in fingertip formation are fingertip turns unless an echelon turn is directed. Echelon Turns are ALWAYS executed AWAY from the Wingmen Lead will begin the echelon turn with a smooth roll rate to make a level turn using a maximum of 45 degrees of bank. Wingman will immediately roll with lead to match Leads bank angle while maintaining level flight. The wingman will now be looking at the belly of Leads aircraft. Wingman will require only a slight increase in power to maintain position. Wingman maintains the same horizontal plane as Lead. As the wingman rolls with lead use bank angle to place Leads lower wing root (low side of fuselage) on the horizon reference line. While in the turn wingman will use power to move fore/aft, elevator to adjust horizontal spacing, and aileron to adjust up/down with respect to the horizon. Rolling out of the turn will require the wingman to immediately roll with Lead, failing to roll out in a timely manner will cause a rapid increase in closure. A slight power reduction, as soon as rollout begins, will be required to prevent the wingman from moving acute on lead. As Lead rolls out the Wingman will transition back to fingertip references.


Echelon Turn

Note: In the event that Lead must turn into the wingman while in echelon the wingman will use standard fingertip procedures to maintain the fingertip position on the inside of the turn. Common Errors: Dropping low (too much blue sky below Lead) while in the echelon turn will complicate the wingmans geometry on rollout requiring a 3 dimensional correction to move up while rolling out to get back into fingertip (think swinging pendulum). Stay in the same horizontal plane as Lead. Lead must use smooth roll rate rolling into/out of echelon turns.

Close Trail: Objective: Practice maneuvering with the wingman in a position below and behind Lead. Builds wingmans formation cross-check while allowing for an increased freedom of maneuver. Description: Close trail spacing is one aircraft length (nose to tail) behind Lead, just below Leads wake turbulence and prop wash. To prevent encountering wake turbulence, avoid flying high in the close trail position. # 1 may direct close trail from fingertip, route, or echelon. Procedure: Lead will direct wingman to close trail via a radio call or visual signal (Attachment 3). A radio call will be used as the primary method of directing the formation to close trail. Mooneys, go close trail, 2. The wingman will then reduce power to move aft 1 aircraft length and down then move across directly at leads 6 oclock. Wingman will be lined up directly behind Lead. Adequate step down should be 8-10 feet for light GA aircraft. Once the wingman is established in position the wingman will call in: Mooney 2, in. The in call is Leads only signal to indicate the wingman is in position and ready for maneuvering.


Close Trail Maneuvering: Lead must maneuver, as in all formation flying, in a smooth, predictable manning. Lead should minimize power changes. Close trail maneuvers include level turns and lazy eight type maneuvers. Lead shall maintain positive G at all times and avoid sudden decreases in G. The wingman should be alert for fore/aft closure rates as they may be difficult to determine while in close trail. If the wingman finds himself getting spit out (lagging behind) during maneuvers avoid attempts to correct using power alone. Instead, bid inside the turn (towards Leads low wing) in order to establish small amounts of lead pursuit. Once spacing has been re-attained correct back to the 6 oclock position.

Close Trail

Reform from Close Trail: Lead will direct wingman to fingertip with a shallow wing rock (visual) or radio call. The #2 wingman reforms to fingertip on the same side as previously occupied prior to close trail. Lead maneuvers in a smooth, predictable manner and avoids power changes until the wingman is reformed in the directed formation position. Lead Changes: Once a wingman has demonstrated proficiency the Flight Lead may permit the wingman to assume the Lead position. This will allow the wingman to begin practicing skills necessary to become a flight lead while affording the Flight Lead the opportunity to practice his own skills maintaining fingertip formation, etc. The Flight Lead is ALWAYS the Flight Lead regardless of what formation position he/she is occupying. The Flight Lead offering the Lead position to the wingman does not relieve the Flight Lead of his responsibility for the safe conduct of the mission. The Mooney Caravan will use the radio as the primary means of passing the lead. Formation visual signals will be used in the event of radio failure and all formation pilots should be familiar with visual lead change procedures.


Lead: Flight Lead will fully brief planned lead changes during the formation brief including a review of the radio procedures. Lead changes will be initiated from fingertip or route formation. Lead will ensure wingman is in a stable position prior to directing the Lead change. Lead must be able to see the wingman assuming Lead throughout the Lead change. Wing: A good wingman is always ready to assume Lead. Develop situational awareness of current position, altitude, fuel, and nearest diverts so that if given the Lead you will be able to continue the current mission or lead the flight to a safe recovery. Lead Change Radio Drill: Formation established in Route or Fingertip Flight Lead initiates lead change via radio call: Mooney 2, you have the lead on the left/right Wingman acknowledges the directive call Mooney 2 Wingman moves forward (acute) and accepts the lead with a radio call: Mooney 2 has the lead on the left/right The new wingman (Mooney 1) moves into fingertip/route off the new Lead. The new Lead (Mooney 2) will then check the flight in: Mooney Flight Check The new wingman will acknowledge the check-in with 2

The transfer of Lead must occur clearly and positively. Mid-air collisions have occurred due to confusion during lead transfers in which neither aircraft understood who has Lead. Remember, Flight Lead is always Flight Lead no matter which position he is occupying in the formation.



Element Approach and Landing: The element (formation or wing landing) allows for the simultaneous recovery of a pair (Lead and wingman) of aircraft. Runway width shall allow for sufficient wingtip spacing (10ft). Flight Lead will establish the formation on a 3 mile final for the element approach. Note: Wingman, Lead is your primary reference throughout the approach and landing. Wingman, you will land your airplane looking at LEAD not the runway ahead! Lead will ensure the formation is lined up on final. Element Approach Procedures Lead: Lead will maneuver the formation so as to arrive at pattern altitude established on a 3 mile straight-in final for the landing runway. Lead shall fly the element approach as if a 3 degree ILS final. Lead must ensure he/she is a stable platform for the wingman. Plan to position the wingman to land on the upwind side of the runway when crosswinds are a factor, (>5 kts). If crosswinds are not a factor, place the wingman on the outside of the turn in the event of a go around. If neither of these are applicable, place the wingman opposite of the intended ramp exit to preclude turning in front of him/her during roll out. Rolling out on final, smoothly slow to gear extension speed (per brief) and use a radio call or visual signals to configure the element for landing. Mooneys, gear down. Configuration must be completed early enough to allow the wingman adequate time to move into position and stabilize before beginning the landing maneuver. This will help insure a stabilized approach for your wingman. Note: when using a power reduction to slow the formation, Lead shall never pull power fully to idle. Lead will always leave the wingman with a power advantage. As a technique Lead should strive to use not less than 15 MP. This will allow the wingman to reduce power fully to idle if required to maintain position. Mooney formation standard is gear extension at 105KIAS then use the increased drag to slow and stabilize at 90KIAS. Flap configuration will be briefed. Flap configuration should be either no-flaps or takeoff flaps. Configuration speed will be briefed by the Flight Lead accounting for dissimilar aircraft models/types (see section on dissimilar aircraft considerations). Slowing to gear extension speed may take some time, which is the reason to establish the formation on a 3 mile final. After internal confirmation of a down and locked condition, Wingman checks Leads configuration and gives a thumbs up signal. Lead checks wingman and returns a thumbs up if the configuration looks good.


Line up on the center of the appropriate side of the runway early, but in no case later than 1/2 mile on final, and establish an aim point that will allow a touchdown approximately 500 to 1,000 feet beyond the threshold. Fly a stable, on-speed (90KIAS) approach and avoid shifting your aim point. At approximately 50-100 AGL (crossing the fence), begin a SLOW, SMOOTH power reduction; your wingman will mirror your actions. Do not flare aggressively or carry excessive speed or power in to the flare which promotes a long landing, floating or ballooning; a smooth, on-speed transition to the landing attitude is your goal. A slightly fast touchdown is better than a prolonged flare in which the aircraft may potentially slow below normal touchdown speed. Use the full runway available to roll out, ensure the wingman is stabilized and only then begin to apply light-normal braking to slow the aircraft. Moderate-heavy braking by Lead will cause the wingman to overrun Lead after touchdown making for a sloppy formation landing. In that event each aircraft will maintain their respective side of the runway and the wingman will reattain position once safely slowed to taxi speed. Element Approach Procedures Wing: Strive to be in proper formation position (fingertip) as Lead maneuvers the flight to lineup on final. Anticipate Leads power reductions and take quick action to prevent overtaking Lead during the power reduction. Lead will avoid chopping the throttle, for doing so will leave the wingman with few options for maintaining formation position other than idle power and bidding away from Lead until the aft line of sight rate is arrested. Maintain the normal fingertip position until configured and confirmed on final, then move forward to an acute position. The forward limit is to place your wingtip abeam Leads N# and no further aft then the fingertip reference line (outer flap hinge on spinner). Move slightly away from lead to establish a minimum of 10 feet of wingtip clearance. Finally, move UP to stack level. In the stack level position place Leads head superimposed on the horizon. In this stacked up position you will see the top surface of the leaders wing. This is the exact sight picture used during runway lineup and element takeoff Maintain your wingtip separation throughout the approach and do not accept drifting wide; maintain proper interval throughout the approach, touchdown and rollout. Wingman Position Summary: Forward Limit (Goal): Wingtip abeam N# Aft Limit: Fingertip slight line outer flap hinge on spinner Spacing: 10ft wingtip-wingtip clearance min Stack: Level Lead Pilots Head on horizon. Top of Leads wing visible.

During the approach, the wingman should begin to acquire the runway with peripheral vision. Plan to land in approximately the center of your half of the runway with no less than 10 feet of wingtip clearance. Lateral spacing for the landing should allow adequate room if a problem


occurs during touchdown or landing roll, but this spacing must not place you on/near the runway edge. Lead is the wingmans primary reference for the element landing. Cross-check the runway on short final to ensure proper alignment, then fly the proper position off Lead throughout the flare and touchdown. You should touch down slightly before or at the same time as Lead. After touchdown, maintain relative position on your side of the runway and use a normal braking technique, regardless of Leads deceleration rate. You should pass Lead rather than over-brake to maintain position. If you touch down after Lead, it is likely that you will move ahead on the runway. If you overrun Lead, accept the overrun and maintain the appropriate side of the runway and aircraft control; do not engage hard braking to decelerate back in to position! Common Errors: As stated above Lead is the primary reference for the approach and landing. As such the wingman must place his aircraft in a position to make a safe landing based on Lead. The wingmans primary objective is: DO NOT GET LOW! Flying a low position during an element approach may result in a runway impact prior to Leads flare! Many firm/abrupt landings result from an inexperienced wingman flying a low stack. Flying a sucked position is less hazardous as long as the sucked position is LEVEL. Sucked and LOW is the WORST position to be in. A low, sucked wingman must realize his position prior to short final and if need be transition to a single ship landing on YOUR OWN SIDE of the runway staying aft of Leads 3-9 line. Go Around-Formation: In the event that Lead needs to execute a go around the wingman will follow Lead on the go. A wingman should never continue the approach if Lead has executed a go-around. Maintain formation integrity. Lead will inform tower Mooney Flight is on the go. Once the flight is safely climbing away coordinate with tower for follow-on request (left/right downwind, etc). Lead will deconfigure the formation. Once gear is retracted the wingman will move back to fingertip. Lead should consider kicking the wingman to route with a rudder wag while he directs the formation back around for a follow-on approach. Go Around-Wingman: If a wingman is unable to maintain a stable position during the approach execute a formation breakout and GO AROUND!! A wingman executing a breakout/go-around will apply power, turn away from lead to deconflict flight paths and deconfigure as appropriate. When able make a radio call to Lead Mooney 2, breaking out/on the go! Lead should acknowledge the wingmans call with Mooney Lead and may add Mooney 2, cleared off indicating his intent for the wingman to make a single ship recovery. Once safely clear of the formation, the wingman will contact tower and request to join the downwind for landing.



Traffic Pattern Recoveries: (IAW FAST Formation Pilots Knowledge Guide) There are two types of traffic patterns for formation recoveries, the VFR rectangular traffic pattern and the Overhead pattern. Due to the unfamiliarity with formation operations by the general aviation community, it is important to use disciplined radio and traffic pattern procedures in accordance with the Aeronautical Information Guide (AIM). Lead: Before approaching the field, ensure you have the current Airport Terminal Information Service (ATIS) information provided at most towered airports or available equivalent (AWOS/ASOS) provided at many non-towered airports. To enhance visual scanning while descending and approaching the pattern, move the wingman to route formation. Return to fingertip as required to execute the landing procedure desired (overhead, element landing, etc.). If your destination is a tower controlled facility, contact the tower when approximately 15 miles out and request your desired formation recovery procedure. U.S. tower controllers are familiar with the overhead procedure, but you must be prepared to conform to a standard rectangular pattern if the maneuver cannot be approved. For non-towered airports, make your initial position report with landing intentions approximately 10 miles from the field. Wing: Regardless of the recovery option used, the wingman should try to remain aware of his/her position in relation to the airfield while Lead brings the flight into the traffic pattern. This will help anticipate Leads actions. When directed to switch to arrival frequency, move to route formation if not already directed by the Flight Lead. VFR Rectangular Pattern: Once established in the pattern, turns away from the wingman will be in echelon. If recovering to a standard VFR pattern, the formation should strive to use proper radio position calls in accordance with the Aeronautical Information Guide (AIM) or host country equivalent. For non towered airports, make applicable position calls entering downwind, base and final. Make a final call when the last aircraft is leaving the runway. Single Ship Landing From the VFR Pattern: If landing single-ship, the Flight Lead may direct the flight to take spacing before entering the pattern, or by having the wingman delay the base turn to establish the desired spacing for landing. With the latter option, the Flight Lead may call for configuration while on downwind using standard radio procedures or visual signals. Lead will announce base turn spacing, Mooneys, sequential base, 5 seconds. The wingman will then delay their base turn as directed.


VFR Downwind Entry and Sequential Base Turn

When turning base each aircraft will make a gear down call, on tower frequency, in sequence. Lead will initiate: Mooney 1, left base, gear down, full stop Followed by #2 when on the base: Mooney 2, left base, gear down, full stop #2s call should mirror Leads. As proficiency improves Lead may abbreviate the call: Mooney 1, base, gear, stop ATC should issue landing clearance to the flight, not each flight member, however each aircraft should still make the gear down call (and actually confirm gear is down). Pilots will land on alternate sides of the runway as covered in the overhead section below, unless conditions (winds, runway width, etc.) dictate otherwise. At tower controlled airports, if desiring to land sequentially from the VFR pattern while the preceding formation aircraft is still on the runway, Lead should clarify his/her flight intentions with tower to preclude the wingman from being directed to go around under normal ATC procedures. The Overhead Pattern: The 360 overhead pattern is an efficient way to rapidly recover a formation flight. The overhead pattern involves flying an upwind leg, at enroute cruise airspeed, aligned with the landing runway at pattern altitude (called initial), followed by a steep-bank break turn when over the approach end of the runway. After a short downwind to allow for aircraft configuration, the aircraft reach the perch (45 degrees angle off from the planned touchdown point) and commence the descending base turn roll out on final 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile from the runway threshold on a 3-4 degree glide path. This pattern allows you to bleed off airspeed in the turn to downwind for gear extension, and rapidly recovers formation aircraft. All aircraft should fly the briefed airspeed for downwind, base and final. Wind analysis is critical in the overhead and should be a component of the flight briefing. Crosswinds should be briefed in terms of undershooting or overshooting during the break and final turns with expected corrections needed to compensate.


Overhead Procedure - Lead: For towered fields request the the overhead pattern early (10NM out). Maneuver the formation to arrive aligned with the final approach course, at pattern altitude, on a 2-3NM initial leg. A longer initial leg prior the break affords the wingman more time to stabilize in echelon. On or before turning initial, place the wingman on the side opposite the direction of the break. Give the wingman the hand signal for pitch-out and interval (interval not required if prebriefed). Over the numbers, or as required by the tower (midfield/departure end) or wind conditions, initiate the break to downwind. Standard break interval is 5 seconds. With a strong headwind, delay the break if needed to ensure you have enough of a downwind segment. Do not reduce power until after beginning the break turn. The standard break turn is a level 45 degree angle of bank turn to rollout on downwind heading. Smoothly reduce power to arrive abeam the runway numbers at gear down speed. (105KIAS or as briefed). Lower gear abeam runway numbers and slow and maintain 90KIAS. For strong undershooting winds during the final turn, you will experience overshooting winds during the break to downwind, thus the angle of bank in the break may be increased as needed to roll out with proper displacement from the runway. Likewise, overshooting winds during the base turn to final will require less bank angle during the break to avoid rolling out too close to the runway for a safe final turn. The perch position is the point on downwind, at traffic pattern altitude, where Lead begins the descending, base turn to landing. In no wind conditions, the perch should be located approximately 45 degrees from the threshold of the runway. A strong headwind on landing may require moving the perch earlier (i.e. closer to abeam the threshold) as the tailwind on downwind will result in a longer final segment.


Overhead Pattern

At the perch position, initiate a continuous, descending base turn to land. Each aircraft transmit gear down as in the VFR arrivals described above. Halfway around the base turn you should have lost approximately half your altitude. Upon rolling out on a 1/2 - 3/4 mile final, you should be on a normal 3-4 degree glide path, approximately 150-200 feet AGL. Using hot-cold landing procedures in two ship, lead will land on the cold side, corresponding to the side of intended exit to the ramp. The hot side of the runway is opposite the turn-off side. This avoids the leader from having to cross the wingmans nose during roll out/runway exit. If landing on the hot side for any reason as lead, you are now forced to cross in front of your landing wingman, who has landed in the opposite lane as briefed. Transition to the cold side of the runway when slowed to taxi speed and cleared to do so by the succeeding wingman to avoid an on-runway collision. If crosswinds are in excess of 5 kts Lead will land on the downwind side of the runway, leaving clean air for the wingman on the upwind side of the runway. Lead should continue to roll out, realizing your wingman is approximately 10 seconds behind you! Formation recoveries are NOT the time to demonstrate short field techniques!


Overhead Procedure - Wingman: After Lead breaks continue on the initial heading until meeting the briefed break interval timing (min 5 sec). Crisply roll into the break using 45 degrees of bank and a level turn. Halfway through the turn acquire lead (or preceding wingman) and adjust angle of bank to roll out on downwind heading in trail of Lead (6 oclock). Slow to arrive abeam runway numbers at briefed gear down speed. Lower gear and configure aircraft as briefed. Delay the base turn if required to ensure adequate spacing on Lead. Turn base transmit the gear down call echoing Leads. Land on the opposite side of the runway as Lead. If crosswinds are a factor Lead should offer the wingman the upwind side of the runway. If Lead is required to cross the wingmans half of the runway in order to exit he must wait until the wingman is slowed to a safe taxi speed and calls: Mooney 1 is cleared to cross Narrow Runways: If runway width is 75ft or less then all aircraft should land on centerline with increased spacing. Adequate spacing between aircraft may be obtained either by increasing break interval or by wingman delaying the base turn. Lead will use runway available to roll out so as to provide sufficient runway behind to recover the remainder of the formation. Once safely slowed to taxi speed move to the cold side of the runway (toward ramp/taxiway). Taxi: Clearing the runway Lead will taxi forward and hold with enough room for all formation members to clear the runway. Once the flight is clear of the runway and holding on the taxiway, Lead will direct the formation to ground frequency and check the flight in. The formation will then taxi back together using a minimum of 1-2 ship lengths in trail. Shutdown: Where possible the formation should park together and shutdown via Leads signal. Shutdown signal may be a radio call or visual signal (as briefed). Remember, until the debrief is complete you are still a formation!



Introduction: The purpose of this section is provide both background knowledge and procedures for safely executing formation rejoins. Once a wingman has demonstrated proficiency in the basic fingertip, route, and echelon positions they may progress to formation rejoins. For the purposes of safely flying in the Mooney Caravan, Mooney pilots do not need to be an expert in executing rejoins. However, all pilots should have an understanding of the maneuver concepts described here and be able to safely reform on their Lead in the event they are separated. The maneuver fundamentals described here, as with this whole guide, are in full compliance with FAST approved techniques with a significant portion of the material provided by FASTs Formation Pilots Knowledge Guide v1.2 Feb 2012(FKG). Pilots desiring further study should reference the FKG, weblink provided for free download from the Mooney Caravan website. Terminology: Stabilized: In control and able to complete the maneuver safely within the pilots capabilities. Normally, the wingman is often directed to stabilize before continuing a maneuver. For example, the wingman must stabilize in route before continuing to fingertip during a rejoin. Stabilize does not mean stop; it means under control. Heading Crossing Angle (HCA): The angular difference between the longitudinal axes of two aircraft. HCA is also synonymous with the term "angle off." Aspect Angle (AA): Aspect is expressed in degrees off the tail of the reference aircraft, commonly expressed in multiples of 10. For example, at 6 oclock to the reference aircraft, the aspect is zero. At 40 degrees left, the aspect is 4L. AA is not a clock position and is independent of aircraft heading. An important AAs used extensively in training is 45 degrees for turning rejoins. Leads vertical stabilizer is superimposed the outside wingtip.

Heading Crossing and Aspect Angle


Closure: Overtake created by airspeed advantage and/or angles; the rate at which range decreases. Closure can be positive (decreasing range) or negative (increasing range), and is usually measured by the velocity rate (knots) at which the range increases/decreases. Line of Sight (LOS): A straight line from the pilot's eye to another aircraft. Expressed as: Forward LOS: other aircraft moving forward on windscreen toward the nose Aft LOS: other aircraft moving aft on the canopy toward the tail

LOS Rate: The speed at which forward or aft LOS is occurring, expressed with adjectives rather than a unit of measurement. (e.g., rapid, aft LOS.) Plane of Motion (POM): The plane containing the aircraft flight path. In a level turn the aircraft's POM is parallel to the ground, regardless of bank angle. In a loop the POM is perpendicular to the ground. Climbs/dives during the turn will tilt the POM.

Plane of Motion (POM) climbing left turn shown

In-Plane: When a wingman orients his/her turn circle in the same POM as lead, he/she is inplane. Echelon turns are an example of two aircraft maneuvering in the same plane or, inplane. If the wingman is not maneuvering in the same plane as lead, the pilot is out-of-plane. All basic formation rejoins are performed level and in-plane (i.e no vertical maneuvering required). Lead Pursuit: Wingman aims the aircraft nose in front of Leads flight path. With enough lead pursuit, AA and closure will increase, and HCA will decrease. Various lead pursuit pictures may result in aft LOS, no LOS, or minimal forward LOS depending on the magnitude of lead pursuit and other parameters such as relative airspeed and G. This results in a situation where the wingman is cutting off lead. Uncorrected, lead pursuit will result in the wingman moving in front of the lead aircraft. During maneuvering (turning), pulling lead pursuit results in the wingman flying a smaller turn circle than lead, and thereby closing the interval, or creating closure, with lead. You can modulate the effect of your lead pursuit by choosing an aim point nearer or farther away from leads nosenearer resulting in a less aggressive cut off. When


you initiate a lead pursuit curve there will be distinct visual cues to include an aft LOS rate and increasing aspect angle. Pure Pursuit: Wingman aims the aircraft nose directly at Lead. In pure pursuit there is initially no LOS; the other aircraft remains fixed at 12 oclock in the canopy. A pure pursuit picture initially creates closure that diminishes over time. AA equals HCA, which also both diminish over time. If both aircraft are co-airspeed, an attempt to sustain pure pursuit eventually evolves into lag pursuit, resulting in increasing range and a decreased AA. Lag Pursuit: Wingman aims the aircraft nose behind Leads flight path. Although there may still be some closure initially, closure soon decreases, AA decreases, and HCA increases. Left uncorrected, lag pursuit will result in the wingman flying aft of the lead aircraft. During maneuvering flight, lag pursuit is achieved when the wingmans nose position and flight path are on an arc outside of the curve flown by lead. This results in a situation where the wingman is flying a larger circle than lead and is thereby increasing the interval with lead. In lag pursuit the visual cues will be forward LOS rate, decreasing aspect angle and increasing heading crossing angle. Lag can also be modulatedan aim point farther aft of leads tail will result in more accelerated separation.

Lead Pursuit (Aft LOS)

Pure Pursuit (No LOS)

Lag Pursuit (Fwd LOS)

Turn Circle: As an aircraft maneuvers in a turn, the flight path describes an arc, referred to as a turn circle. Three-Nine Line (3/9 Line): Extension of a line across the aircrafts lateral axis. Refers to the aircrafts clock position: 3 oclock-right wing, 9 oclock-left wing. During formation maneuvering the wingman must remain aft of Leads 3/9 line unless accepting the lead position.


Reforms: Objective: Move Wingman from one formation position to a closer one. Reforms are commonly used when Lead desires to bring the wingman in from close trail, fighting wing, or route. Procedure: Lead directs a reform with a radio call or aircraft visual signal (wing rock). The size of the wing rock is based on distance between aircraft. The procedure for accomplishing a reform varies based on wingmans position and distance relative to Lead. To reform from route to fingertip, maneuver as necessary to stabilize at a 2-ship width route position on the fingertip line, and then slowly move up the line to fingertip. To reform from close trail the wingman will move out to attain wingtip spacing and then move up and forward. #2 will reform on the left wing if Lead is wings level or on the inside of the turn if Lead is in a turn. Note: A reform is moving between formation positions vs. rejoining a separated wingman. Formation Rejoins: Objective: Get the flight back together safely and efficiently.

Description: Rejoins are commonly practiced from pitchouts (in trail) and after the wingman has taken spacing. They are also accomplished after breakouts and lost-sight situations (anytime the formation is split). Pitchout: The pitchout is a maneuver identical to the break turn used during the overhead recovery as a means to split the formation for practicing a rejoin. For a two ship the pitchout will be initiated from the fingertip position. Greater than two aircraft in the flight will require Lead to move the formation to echelon (left/right) prior to the pitchout. The pitchout is ALWAYS made away from the wingman. Pitchout Procedure - Lead: Once the formation is stable in echelon. Lead will signal for the pitchout using a radio call Mooneys pitchout, 5 sec, 2 or visual signal (index finger pointed skyward in an exaggerated rotating motion). If a visual signal is used the wingman will respond with an exaggerated head nod. Once the wingman acknowledges, clear in the direction of turn and roll into a 45-60 degree bank level turn away from the wingman. Fly a constant speed, level turn through 180 degrees of heading change.


Pitchout Procedure - Wingman: Acknowledge the pitchout signal with a head nod. As soon as lead turns away, clear ahead, then in the direction of turn. With the preceding aircraft in sight, wait the specified interval, and make a matching turn, clearing carefully for traffic. After initiating the pitchout, set power to achieve and maintain briefed rejoin airspeed as needed. Approaching the rollout, modulate bank and back pressure to fall directly behind lead with lead on the horizon. This is an excellent opportunity to make a quick scan of the instruments and fuel to ensure all is well. Call in when level and stabilized behind lead, Mooney 2s in.

Rejoin Procedure: Lead initiates rejoin with radio call Mooneys, rejoin left/right turn or visual signal (wing rock). All rejoins are to fingertip unless directed otherwise by Lead. Unless otherwise briefed, rejoin airspeed is the briefed enroute airspeed (120-125KIAS standard). Lead will call out current airspeed if it differs more than 10 knots from briefed rejoin airspeed. The size of the wing rock is based on distance between aircraft. Lead will monitor wingman closely during all rejoins. If Lead perceives an unsafe situation developing at anytime during the rejoin, take positive action immediately to prevent a midair collision. Lead will climb, wingman will descend to ensure flightpath deconfliction if required. Straight-ahead Rejoin: Use straight-ahead rejoins when a turn is not possible or practical. Due to the relatively little amount of excess power available to GA aircraft the straight ahead rejoin will be time intensive if flown from a 180 degree pitchout. Airspeed closure is used to effect a straight-ahead rejoin. Lead will maintain a stable platform, clear and monitor wingman during the rejoin. Straight-ahead Rejoin - Lead: Direct the rejoin. If a turn is required after a straight-ahead rejoin is initiated, inform wingman and clear. Do not turn into wingman if it would exceed wingmans capabilities or prevent a safe rejoin. Due to the location of wingman behind and below Lead, wingman will be difficult to see until the final stages of a straight-ahead rejoin. If practicing a straight ahead rejoin Lead should consider slowing 10-20KIAS in order to provide the wingman a power advantage. If this technique is used Lead will announce new airspeed Mooneys, rejoin 110KIAS (maintaining wings level indicates straight-ahead). Straight-ahead Rejoin - Wingman: #2 will rejoin to the left side unless directed otherwise. Increase airspeed to generate closure (initially use 20 to 30 knots of overtake). Establish a position behind and slightly below Lead with a vector toward Leads low 6 oclock position. Placing Lead slightly above the horizon will help maintain separation from Leads wake turbulence. Continue to close until approximately


200-300 feet (when details on # 1s aircraft, such as the pitot tubes, flap hinges, can be seen). At this point, bank slightly away from Lead (make a bid), toward a position one- two ship widths out from Leads wingtip. The velocity vector should angle away from Lead. Decrease overtake with a power reduction, and plan to arrive in the route position with the same airspeed as Lead. After stabilizing in route, move into fingertip. If Lead turns during a straight-ahead rejoin, transition to a turning rejoin, and be alert for possible overshoot situations. Turning Rejoin: Use a combination of airspeed and angular closure to effect a turning rejoin. During two-ship formation the wingman will always join to the inside of the turn. Turning Rejoin Procedures - Lead: Direct the rejoin. If using a wing rock, attempt to make the first wing dip in the direction of the rejoin. Maintain 30 degrees of bank unless otherwise briefed. Establish in a level turn, maintain bank angle, and rejoin airspeed. Avoid varying bank. Monitor wingmans AA and closure. Be ready to take evasive action if required. Turning Rejoin Procedures - Wingman: Judge closure and desired aspect on energy and aircraft position relative to Lead. When Lead starts to turn, begin a turn in the same direction to intercept the desired aspect. Simultaneously establish desired vertical separation (place Lead slightly above the horizon-within approximately two widths of the horizon) and closure (angular cut off). Manage aspect with minor adjustments to bank angle. Lead must be visible to pilots in both cockpits. Apply power to begin with approximately 20 knots of closure and a moderate lead pursuit picture (pull nose in front of Lead) to increase aspect. As the wingman moves inside of Leads turn circle, the vertical stabilizer appears to move toward Leads outside wingtip as AA increases. When the vertical stabilizer overlays the outside wingtip (4 aspect/45 degrees AA), reduce bank angle to maintain this relative reference line. When stable, there is no fore/aft LOS rate. If the vertical stabilizer appears to move toward (or beyond) the wingtip, AA is increasing. If the vertical stabilizer appears to move toward the wing root, the AA is decreasing. Use varying degrees of bank angle to manage aspect during a rejoin. Shallow the bank angle to decrease aspect and increase the bank angle to increase aspect. As range decreases inside route toward close spacing, the vertical stabilizer will appear to move toward the outside wingtip. Lead should appear slightly above the horizon. Maintain Lead within approximately two to four relative ship widths above the horizon. The critical stage of the rejoin begins approximately 300 feet from Lead. Inside 200 to 300 feet, the normal fingertip references will become visible. Descend slightly and move forward (increase aspect with lead pursuit) onto an extension of the fingertip reference line. Begin decreasing closure with a power reduction as necessary. Monitor bank and overtake closely during the last hundred feet to ensure aspect and closure


are under control. Plan to stabilize in route with slight positive closure but approximately coairspeed with Lead, and then move into fingertip at a controlled rate. During two-ship formation ops, unless prebriefed or directed otherwise, # 2 normally rejoins to the inside of the turn. To rejoin to the outside of the turn (# 3 position), the event will either be prebriefed or directed. # 2 may request to rejoin to # 3, and Lead may consent on the radio. Rejoins to the outside of the turn (# 3 position) are initially flown exactly like rejoins to the inside of the turn. In the later portion of the rejoin, # 2 will cross below and behind Lead with at least nose-tail separation to get outside of Leads turn circle. Maintain enough positive closure (about 10 to 15 knots) to facilitate this move to the outside. Stabilize in route echelon on the outside and then move into fingertip at a controlled rate. Indicators of a successful, and safe, rejoin: Fuselage and bank angle are nearly aligned with Leads and the LOS rate is near zero (no fore/ aft movement on the canopy). Slightly below lead with moderate aspect (45 degree line). Closure is slightly positive with airspeed matching Leads. Closure is such that you could stop the rejoin in route, as required.

Overshoots: Objective: Safely dissipate excessive closure and/or aspect and stabilize in a safe formation position prior to reforming to intended position. Description: A properly flown overshoot will safely dissipate excessive closure and (or) aspect during a rejoin. Wingman must not delay an overshoot with an unusually aggressive attempt to save a rejoin. Wingman will keep Lead in sight at all times during any overshoot. Reduce power and maneuver to arrest closure as soon as excessive overtake is recognized. Straight-ahead Rejoin Overshoot: A straight-ahead rejoin with excessive closure results in a pure airspeed overshoot. Maintain lateral spacing on a parallel or divergent vector to Lead. Do not turn into Lead, which is a common error while looking over the shoulder at Leads aircraft. This can cause a vector into Leads flight path and create a dangerous situation requiring a breakout. A small, controllable 3/9 line overshoot is easily managed and can still allow an effective rejoin. There is no need to breakout if flight paths are not convergent and visual contact can be maintained. After beginning to slide back into formation, increase power prior to achieving co-airspeed (no LOS) to prevent excessive aft movement.


Turning Rejoin Overshoot: A turning rejoin with excessive closure airspeed results in a combination airspeed-aspect overshoot in a POM about 50 feet below Lead. Attempt to overshoot early enough to cross Leads 6 oclock with a minimum spacing of two ship lengths. Breakout if unable to maintain nose-tail separation. Once outside the turn, use bank and back stick pressure as necessary to stabilize in route echelon position. Fly no higher than route echelon. Excessive back pressure causes closure. A co-airspeed overshoot due to excess aspect may not require maneuvering outside of Leads turn circle. Instead, there may be sufficient space in Leads low 6 oclock to align fuselages and stop the overshoot. When under control, return to the inside of Leads turn, reestablish an appropriate rejoin line, and complete the rejoin. An overshoot may be caused by excessive closure, excessive aspect angle, large heading crossing angle, or a combination of these factors. The overshoot is not uncommon in training.

Turning Rejoin Overshoot

Overshoot Indicators: Rapid closure, unaffected by idle power. Excessive HCA/Angle Off in close proximity to lead. Recognition for the need to significantly increase bank angle and/or G in close proximity to lead to salvage the rejoin. Termed going belly up. Recognition of an uncomfortably rate of closure Lead directs an overshoot.


Overshoot Procedure Summary: Abandon the rejoin and overshoot if not stable no later than approaching route position Call the overshoot over the radio Mooney 2s overshooting Level the wings, keep Lead in sight pass at least 2 ship lengths below and behind Lead Continue to the outside of Leads turn circle as required to arrest LOS rate Remain behind Leads 3/9 line and no higher than echelon Once stable, move back inside Leads turn passing behind Leads with nose-tail separation Move into fingertip on the inside of the turn

Formation Rejoins require a solid understanding of lead/lag pursuit, aspect angles, and airspeed management. The goal for Mooney Caravan pilots is not mastery of formation rejoins, but the ability to recognize and control closure rates to safety rejoin with your Flight Lead should you become separated.



Introduction: For those seeking to increase your formation skills beyond that which is required for safe participation in the Mooney Caravan, this section on four-ship formation is included. Flying in a well-executed four-ship flight can be a very rewarding experience. Once youve gained proficiency in two-ship procedures, stepping up to four-ship is the next challenge. Four-ship procedures are also applicable to the Mooney Caravan since both the Mooney Caravan and Bonanzas to Oshkosh use a three-ship vic formation. The three-ship vic is simply a fourship flight with a phantom 4. All of the procedures for the full four-ship are directly applicable to the three-ship vic. Four Ship Flight Organization: In four-ship formation there will be two elements and therefore two element leaders. The first element Lead is designated as the over-all Flight Lead, while the second element is commanded by the Deputy Flight Lead. Each element is assigned a Wingman; making up the # 2 and 4 slots respectively. Elements (Lead and Wingman pairs) maintain integrity within the four-ship. As an element Flight Lead, # 3 must give consideration for # 4 at all times. In the case of the Caravan three-ship # 3 is an element of 1 (phantom 4). Formation Briefings: Three- and four-ship formation flying requires thorough attention to detail from mission planning and the preflight briefing to the debriefing at the completion of the flight. The Flight Lead will have additional challenges handling runway lineup, takeoff, thoroughly briefing the mission profile emphasizing the multi-aircraft position changes inherent in four-ship formations, and safe recovery of the formation. Flight Lead must consider contingencies on how to rearrange his flight if a single or pair of aircraft fall out. Four-Ship Formation Communications: Follow all two-ship radio procedures. As previously discussed, use of full word and number call sign is mandatory when responding to a directive from the Flight Lead or other formation aircraft, and when announcing self-initiated actions, such as a break out. In addition, full word and number call sign should always be used for the party you are addressing; never address a flight member over the radio by position number alone to preclude confusion. IE, Mooney 3, you have the lead on the right NOT 3, you have the lead on the right.


Ground Operations: Engine Start, Check-In and Taxi: Same as two-ship. All Wingmen except # 4 will configure with navigation lights on and beacon/strobe lights off. # 4 will configure with navigation and anti-collision/strobes lights on. Flight Lead should adjust taxi speed to account for all formation members, dont get strung out on the taxiway. End of Runway Lineup: Same as two-ship. The formation will position themselves, space allowing, line-abreast with no wing tip overlap. # 2 should stop line-abreast with the Flight Lead, and # 3 and # 4 will attempt to line up with the preceding aircraft. When all aircraft are in position, brakes set and ready for run-up, # 4 will pass a thumbs-up to 3. The signal will be relayed up the line to the Flight Lead by each aircraft in sequence. The Flight Lead will then provide the run-up signal to start the engine power and pre-takeoff line-up checks. Use caution when applying power for the engine run up to prevent creeping or turning. When # 4s run up and all checklist items are complete, he/she will again provide the thumbs up to 3 and all aircraft will relay the signal in turn signifying they are ready for immediate takeoff. At this time the Flight Lead will send the flight to the tower frequency as required and coordinate for takeoff clearance. Runway Lineup: Whether conducting element or interval procedures, if the runway width allows, the Flight Lead will assemble the entire flight on the runway for takeoff using one of the briefed lineup options described below. While each option requires a different minimum runway width, all element (formation) takeoffs must provide a minimum of ten feet lateral separation between leader and wingman. If the runway does not comfortably provide for this, use interval departure procedures . Although the flight has more flexibility in runway width required for interval (single ship) departures, due to the possibility of brake fade, particularly after a long taxi out, its recommended to avoid lining up with wingtip overlap in element (offset) or echelon lineup procedures unless the Flight Lead has specifically briefed to remain at idle power until brake release (no engine run up). If runway width, airport restrictions or other reasons preclude entering the runway as a formation, use a feed-on method (one aircraft on runway at a time) and rejoin after departure.


Split Element Lineup (100-500 foot Spacing) : This is the preferred option for 100 ft wide runways. Use this lineup if critical field length is not an issue and/or runway width precludes one of the other options. For this lineup, the first element will position themselves approximately 100-500 feet down the runway with each aircraft taking the center of their respective side, insuring a minimum of ten feet of wingtip separation between aircraft for element departures. The second element will lineup behind the first with adequate in trail spacing to avoid prop/jet blast. Larger horsepower or turbine powered aircraft may need to offset elements to further avoid engine blast/foreign object damage as needed. When #4 is in position and ready for runup, he/she will transmit Mooney 4s ready. At that time the flight lead will proceed with briefed formation or interval takeoff procedures.

Four-Ship Lineup: Split Element


Offset Element Lineup: Use this configuration if runway/critical field length is a consideration. For Mooney (and Bonanza) aircraft, a 150 foot wide runway will allow lineup with little or no wingtip overlap between aircraft. The Flight Lead will position him/herself as far to the side of the runway as practical. 2 will place the wingtip closest to the Flight Lead on or near the centerline of the runway. 3 will lineup between the Flight Lead and 2, while 4 will lineup offset from 2s prop blast in the normal acute position with 3.

. Four-Ship Lineup: Offset Element 55

Echelon Lineup: If conducting element takeoffs, this option requires a minimum runway width of 200 feet If element aircraft will not have a minimum of ten feet of wingtip clearance, use interval departure procedures or select another lineup option. For echelon, Lead will lineup as far to the side as practical. 2 lines up with a minimum ten feet wingtip clearance if conducting element takeoffs. 3 will line up on his/her side of centerline and 4 uses the same spacing as 2 while aligning the heads of Lead, 2 and 3.

Four-Ship Lineup: Echelon


Interval Takeoffs: Single ship interval takeoffs offer an efficient process for launching a large number of formation aircraft safely. When all aircraft are in position, # 4 will transmit Mooney 4s ready. Alternatively, if using Element Offset or Echelon lineup procedures, normal visual signals can be used with # 4 providing a head nod to # 3 when ready for takeoff. The signal will then be passed up the line to Lead. The Flight Lead will then runup his/her engine to the prebriefed power setting and release brakes and set max/desired takeoff power. #s 2, 3, and 4 may delay their runup a few seconds. Takeoff interval between nosewheel configured aircraft will be as briefed by the flight lead, but should be no less than 5 seconds. Each aircraft will maintain his/her side of the runway during the takeoff roll, all aircraft may steer toward the center of their half of the runway after brake release. If the runway is too narrow to provide a clear lane for each accelerating aircraft, steer toward the centerline after brake release and do not release brakes until the preceding aircraft has rotated and lift off can be assured.

Four-Ship: Interval Takeoff


Element Takeoffs: When # 4 is in position for takeoff, he/she will transmit Mooney # 4s ready. Alternatively, if using Element Offset or Echelon lineup procedures, normal visual signals can be used with # 4 providing a head nod to # 3 when ready for run-up. The signal will then be passed up the line to Lead. The Flight Lead and his/her Wingman will then execute an element takeoff in accordance with the 2 ship procedures. The second element will do the same, delaying their run-up a few seconds as desired. Release brakes as briefed by the flight lead, but in no case less than ten seconds after the first element begins to roll.

Four-Ship: Element Takeoff 200 wide runway

Element Takeoff 150 wide runway


Four-Ship: Departure Rejoin After Element Departure: The flight will rejoin to the finger four configuration. Type of rejoin will depend on the local departure procedures. It may consist of a turning rejoin, a straight ahead, or a combination of both. During a turning rejoin, # 3 and # 4 will rejoin to the outside of the turn. During a straight ahead rejoin, # 3 and # 4 rejoin to the opposite side of # 2. Flight Lead: The Flight Lead will maintain a stable platform for the trailing element and maintain the briefed power and airspeed until the second element is rejoined. Two: If the initial turn out of traffic is away from you, cross under to the inside of the turn. However, be very cautious with a cross under below 400 feet agl. Three: After airborne with gear and flaps retracted, # 4 may be positioned to route during the element rejoin to allow greater maneuverability (# 3 will kick # 4 to route with a rudder wag). As the second element, # 3 and # 4 will always rejoin to the outside of leads turn. If accomplishing a turning rejoin, consider placing # 4 on the inside of the turn as soon as conditions permit. During the rejoin, avoid sudden power changes or abrupt flight control inputs. Four: Follow all two ship takeoff procedures. When in route formation during the element rejoin, maintain approximately 100 feet separation (2-4 ship lengths) and monitor # 3s rejoin while not sacrificing your formation position. Return to fingertip when # 3 has completed his/her rejoin. Ensure # 3 is stable prior to moving into fingertip. During turning rejoins, because your element will rejoin to the outside of the turn, cross to the outside of # 3 as # 3 crosses the lead element. Use caution if # 3 appears to have excessive closure or aspect on the lead element; do not collapse your spacing on # 3 until you are assured his/her rejoin is stable. Trust # # 3, but be prepared for a break out if a conflict arises.


Four-Ship Rejoin: #3 and #4 rejoin to outside of turn Rejoin After Interval Takeoff: If single ship departures were required, the flight will assemble individually to finger four. During a turning rejoin, # 2 rejoins to the inside of the turn and # 3 and # 4 to the outside. For a straight ahead rejoin, 2 will rejoin to the left side unless briefed otherwise, with # 3 and # 4 rejoining on the opposite side of 2. Flight Lead: Maintain briefed power and airspeed settings until the rejoin is complete. If air traffic control or other circumstances require changing from a straight ahead to a turning rejoin, inform the flight. Wingmen: Use the same two-ship procedures to establish closure and cutoff during a four-ship rejoin. Begin the turn out of traffic at or above 400 feet in accordance with the Aeronautical Information Guide (AIM) and maintain at least 100 foot spacing from the preceding aircraft until that aircraft has rejoined to the proper position. If executing an overshoot, inform the flight with a radio call using full call sign, i.e. Mooney 2 is overshooting.


Formation Positions and Maneuvers Unless specified otherwise, the # 1 and # 2 positions and procedures used in two-ship formation are applicable to four ship. Finger Four: Finger four is the standard close formation configuration, and is so named after the likeness to the fingertips on your hand. Finger Four can be flown strong right or strong left, as desired by the Flight Lead. The term fingertip, if used during four ship operations, refers to the finger four formation. In fingertip, #2 sets the spacing off Lead. #3 shall adjust fore/aft position to maintain symmetry by lining up abeam #2. As #4, fly the normal fingertip position off #3 while striving to line up the heads of Lead and # 3. If #3 is having difficulty in holding a smooth, consistent position, fly a stable position off Lead, while constantly monitoring #3.

Finger Four Strong Right

Route The purpose, parameters and signals for four ship route formation are identical to two ship. Ideally, the formation will appear as a finger four with 2-4 shipwidths of spacing between aircraft. This lateral interval may be as much as 300 feet between aircraft for enroute purposes if briefed by the Flight Lead.


#2 also sets the spacing in route. #3 should fly line-abreast of #2 matching the lateral spacing from Lead. #4 should line up the heads with #3 and Lead. In addition, #4 will strive to match the lateral spacing that #3 has with Lead. As you learned in 2-ship formation, all turns use echelon procedures for wingmen on the outside of the turn. Wingmen on the inside of the turn will descend only as required to keep the Flight Lead in sight. Cross-Unders: Cross-unders are used in four ship to transition from fingertip strong right to strong left (or reverse), or reconfigure to and from echelon formation. The default visual signal for crossunders is hand signals in accordance with Attachment 3. However, aircraft signals (i.e. wing dip) are covered here and may be used if briefed by the Flight Lead. Do not mix aircraft and hand signals for the cross-under in the same sortie; if not briefed otherwise, the use of hand signals is expected. Flight Leads will avoid maneuvering during cross-unders with students in training. Use of a radio call is highly desired during training. If using a radio call Lead will use full callsign of the aircraft he is directing to cross-under Mooney 2, cross-under, 2. Lead may also direct the formation to the new formation position using a radio call. For example if the formation is finger four strong right Lead can call Mooneys, echelon right acknowledged: 2, 3, 4 followed by the formation executing the procedures below to move to echelon right. Wingman Cross-Under: Except for additional guidance on executing element cross-unders as # 4 below, follow applicable two-ship procedures in responding to a directive to cross-under. When in fingertip formation and the Flight Lead wishes to transition to echelon by moving #2 over, the second element will move out to provide room for # 2 to take up his/her new position on the opposite side.


Wingman Cross-under Element Cross-Under: In four ship, the Flight Lead may move the second element to the opposite side at one time, together, using one visual signal or radio call. Upon acknowledgment of the Flight Leads directive, # 3 will cross under using the same procedures as outlined in chapter 2, while # 4 will cross-under # 3 as the element transitions to the other side of the flight.


Element Cross-under to Echelon Cross-Under: Using Hand Signals Flight Lead: The basic hand signal is an extended forearm held vertically with the fist clenched as detailed in Attachment 3. If the fist is held stationary in the cockpit, it indicates a single-ship cross-under for # 2. If the fist is pumped up and down twice, it indicates an element cross-under for # 3 and # 4 as covered below. When signaling the second element to cross-under from fingertip strong left to strong right (or reverse), the Flight Lead will provide two hand pumps as covered above and look for an acknowledgment from the Deputy Flight Lead (# 3). No further action is required. Monitor the second elements transition through the cross under. # 2 remains in position. The flight will now be in echelon. To move only # 2 from one side to the other, the stationary clenched fist is used. If moving # 2 to the same side occupied by the second element to form the flight in echelon, provide the single-ship cross-under signal to # 3 first. Once acknowledged by # 3, provide the same signal to # 2, who will acknowledge and execute the cross-under. This ensures the second element will move out to provide space for # 2 to take up the fingertip position.


Wingmen: All applicable cross-under procedures covered in two ship formation applies to four ship. If a single hand pump (stationary clenched fist) is given to #3, he/she will acknowledge the signal and move to route and anticipate a cross-under by #r 2 to take up position next to the Flight Lead. If the Flight Lead directs an element cross-under by giving the double hand pump signal to # 3, # 4 will move with # 3 and simultaneously cross-under # 3 as he/she transitions behind the Flight Lead. In all cases, use the same basic three step process as you learned in two ship formation. Cross-Under: Using Aircraft Signals (Wing Dip) The wing dip is an alternate cross-under signal that may be used if briefed beforehand by the Flight Lead. Flight Lead: The wing dip should be a small, deliberate and quick displacement of the ailerons. Avoid a slow and excessive control movement that could confuse the procedure with the initiation of a turn by the Wingmen. Two: As you will recall from 2 ship formation, a wing dip away from your position is the command to cross-under. If wing dip is toward you, hold position as the Flight Lead is commanding the second element (# 3 and # 4) to cross-under to echelon. Three: When in finger four, if the wing dip is away from your position, execute an element crossunder. # 4 will simultaneously cross-under # 3 as you transition behind the Flight Lead. Use the same basic three step process as you learned in two ship formation. If the wing dip is toward you while in fingertip, the Flight Lead has commanded # 2 to crossunder to your side. You should expeditiously move out to provide adequate space for # 2 to take up position between yourself and the Flight Lead. Four: A wing dip away from the second element (i.e away from # 3 and # 4) signifies an element cross-under. As # 3 executes a normal cross-under, you will simultaneously cross-under # 3 as the element transitions behind the Flight Lead. Use the same basic three step process as you learned in two ship formation.


Echelon Formation: Four ship Echelon procedures and maneuvers are conducted the same as in two ship with all aircraft on one side of Flight Lead. In this configuration, all turns away from the formation will be conducted using the in-plane echelon turn. Turns of 20-30 degrees of bank should be used for initial training. Once proficient, limit bank angles to no greater than 45 degrees. Flight Lead: To re-configure the flight to echelon use the single or element cross-under procedures as covered above using a radio call, hand signal, or aircraft signal (wing dip) as briefed. If using the radio, transmit, Mooney Flight, Echelon Right/left. As in two ship echelon, except for very small turns in to the Wingmen, all maneuvering will be away from the flight. Smoothly roll to the desired angle of bank and avoid fluctuations in G (load factor). When reconfiguring from echelon to finger four, move # 2 over using a radio call, hand, or aircraft signals. Wingmen: All flight members will match Flight Leads roll rate and limit fluctuations in G. During four ship echelon turns, #3 flies off of #2 and #4 flies off of #3.


Close Trail: Four-ship close trail procedures and parameters are the same as two-ship with each aircraft flying reference off the preceding aircraft, with adequate stack down and approximately one ship length nose to tail separation. The Flight Lead will configure the flight in to close trail using a radio call or hand signal in accordance with Attachment 3. An alternate aircraft signal (porpoise of the nose) may be used if briefed before flight. Limit maneuvering to a maximum of 45 degrees of bank and 20 degrees of pitch while in close trail. Flight Lead: Configure the flight to close trail from fingertip. If using a radio call, transmit, Mooney flight, go close trail. If using hand signals in accordance with Attachment 3, provide the signal first to # 2, and then to # 3. Begin maneuvering when # 4 reports in position. Wingmen Acknowledge Flight Leads directive to close trail (radio call or head nod). Unless briefed otherwise, only # 4 must report in position with full call sign Mooney 4 is in. Follow all applicable procedures as covered in two ship formation. When Flight Lead directs the flight back in to fingertip with a wing rock, take up your former finger position.

Fingertip to Close Trail


Diamond: The diamond formation is a common element of our mass formations and a very maneuverable configuration. The Flight Lead will configure the formation in diamond using a radio call or hand signal in accordance with Attachment 3. Limit bank angles to a maximum of 45 degrees of bank while maneuvering in diamond. The Flight Lead will signal for a return to fingertip configuration with a wing rock; at that time move back to your finger four position. Flight Lead: Configure the flight for diamond from fingertip. If using a radio call, transmit Mooney flight go diamond. If using hand signals, IAW Attachment 3, pass the signal to # 3, who will in turn pass it to # 4. Once # 4 has reported in position, smoothly begin maneuvering as required. Two: In diamond, strictly maintain fingertip position and sightlines at all times. Avoid flying low and/or sucked as you may encroach on #4s position in the slot. Three: When given the signal for diamond, pass it to # 4, but do not look at your Wingman for acknowledgment. Strictly maintain fingertip position and sightlines at all times. Avoid flying low and/or sucked as you may encroach on #4s position in the slot. Four: When # 3 passes you the hand signal for diamond, move to the close trail position, approximately one ship length aft and slightly below the flight leader, and call in position with full call sign. Follow basic two ship close trail position keeping procedures and remain aware of # 2 and # 3 at all times. Do not hesitate to move aft if your position is being encroached upon by either Wingman.

Finger Four to Diamond


Fingertip Formation Exercise: Wing Work It is particularly important for Flight Lead to be aware of the necessity of smooth, coordinated aircraft control because, in a four-ship formation, Flight Leads flight control inputs, and resultant Wingman corrections, are generally magnified for # 4, and can result in a whip/wave effect. The Flight Lead will strive to maintain a constant power setting and plan maneuvers to maintain energy and maneuvering airspeed at all times. Flight Lead: Monitor the Wingmen to make sure they are in a position to execute before you initiate a maneuver. Start with a warm-up exercise using shallow angles of bank before increasing bank angle and G-loads. Continue the exercise using modified lazy-eight maneuvers to vary airspeed, attitude, and G-load. Limit bank angles to 20-30 degrees and level turns for initial training. Experienced Wingmen will be able to maintain station-keeping throughout 45 of bank in either direction combined with 20 of pitch change.

Wingmen: The same two ship basic guidance applies for four ship maneuvering in fingertip. If unable to maintain position call Terminate, KIO or break out as the situation warrants. Three-Ship Formations: There are two basic configurations for flying three-ship formationthe Phantom Four and the Phantom Two. The term phantom is used to signify that the flight will mimic procedures, parameters and/or maneuvers as if there are aircraft in those positions. The Flight Lead will determine which configuration is suitable to the mission or training objectives and brief the flight accordingly. While the Phantom Four is commonly used for airshows, the Phantom Two formation is effective for providing Wingman training in the # 4 position when the flight is limited to three aircraft. Phantom Four the Mooney Caravan Phantom Four, commonly known as Vic Formation is a standard demonstration and enroute formation. The Vic is so named because it resembles the inverted letter V. Flight Lead is flanked on either side by # 2 and # 3. No special procedures are involved with Phantom Four except for the use of hand signals; the Flight Lead will treat #3 as a complete element for signaling cross-unders. This is the formation which will be used for the Mooney Caravan. #3 is his own element of one aircraft and will follow all four ship procedures and signals as appropriate to his position.


Phantom Two: The Phantom Two formation is flown as if # 2 were present in the flight. # 3 and # 4 will be positioned as an element on Flight Leads right or left wing. The Phantom Two formation is useful for training purposes as it allows the wing pilot to practice second element departures, rejoins, cross-unders and wing work in the # 4 position with only three aircraft. Formation Rejoins: Four Ship Turning Rejoins: During three and four-ship turning rejoins, Wingmen will relay the wing-rocking signal to the aircraft behind them. Flight Lead: Normally, use a 5 second pitchout interval in setting up for a rejoin during qualification training. Observe each flight members progress and be directive if a safety of flight issue develops at anytime. Two: In the absence of other instructions, # 2 will always join to the inside of Flight Leads turn and all two-ship procedures are applicable. If # 2 is slow to rejoin, it will complicate the rejoin for # 3 and # 4, who will have to decrease airspeed and/or cutoff to maintain proper spacing on the preceding aircraft. Always join by the #s, in numerical order. Joining aircraft will not close to less than two to four ship-widths until the preceding aircraft is stabilized in route. Three: You will join to the outside of Flight Leads turn. The basic rejoin techniques are the same as those flown by #2 except that you have the additional responsibility of monitoring # 2 and being aware of # 4. You should establish an aspect angle no greater than that used by # 2. Accelerate to gain an airspeed advantage on Lead (up to 10% above briefed rejoin airspeed) and maintain two to four ship-width spacing (minimum) on the preceding aircraft until he/she is stabilized in route before commencing your move to the # 3 position on the leader. You should plan the rejoin to pass with a minimum of nose/tail separation behind and below the Lead element as you move to the outside of the turn, stabilizing in route, and deliberately moving into fingertip position on Lead. Avoid abrupt control inputs and rapid throttle movements in consideration of # 4.


Four: You will also always join to the outside of Leads turn, and basic rejoin techniques apply. However, you must monitor # 3 as well as the Lead element during the rejoin, anticipating # 3s power reductions and movements. On roll out in trail, you may likely be outside # ones turn circle when he/she commences the rejoin. To successfully rejoin, you must be inside the target aircrafts turn circle and aft of his/her 3/9 line. One technique to help accomplish this is when you observe the Flight Lead turning to initiate the rejoin, delay your turn until # 3 has turned and moved across your canopy. This serves two purposes; it allows you to drive forward in to # ones turn circle, and insures your aspect on # 3 is not excessive during the rendezvous procedure. Accelerate to gain airspeed advantage (up to 10% above briefed rejoin airspeed) and maintain two to four ship-width spacing on # 3 until he/she has stabilized in route. Because you should never have greater aspect on lead than # 3, he/she will often impact the rate at which you may close on the lead element. If you have closed with # 3 during the approach to the lead element, remain 2-4 ship widths (loose route) away, and follow #3 as he/she takes you aboard. This may require you to reduce speed slightly as you are flying a slightly smaller turn circle than # 3. Do not park in # 3s six oclock unless required for safety as this will further delay the rejoin. As # 3 moves to the outside of the lead element, mirror his /her actions by moving to the outside of the rejoin turn and # 3. With 3 stable and moving in to fingertip, deliberately move into fingertip position on # 3. You must monitor all aircraft in the formation as the rejoin progresses. Three-Ship Turning Rejoins: Procedures will differ slightly based on using Phantom Two or Phantom Four configurations. When flying phantom two turning rejoins, Wingmen follow second element (# 3 and 4) procedures, joining to the outside of Flight Lead. When flying phantom four (Vic) formation, # 2 and # 3 will use the standard fourship procedures: # 2 will join to the inside and # 3 will join to the outside. (ie, Caravan)

Turning Rejoin Overshoots: Two-ship overshoot procedures apply equally to three/four ship formation. As a member of a three or four-ship formation, you must recognize an overshoot situation as soon as possible and make positive corrections. If an overshoot is appropriate, follow procedures outlined in chapter three. In addition, the following considerations apply, based on your position in the formation:


Flight Lead: Monitor overshoots carefully and do not hesitate to direct a break-out if the situation warrants such a call. If a break-out does occur, be directive in stabilizing the situation and establishing a plan to get the flight back together using applicable KIO and blind-visual procedures. Two: Announce your overshoot to alert # 3 that you are encroaching on his/her side of the Flight Lead, Mooney 2, overshooting. Clear to ensure sufficient spacing on # 3 before returning to the inside of the turn and completing the rejoin. Three: If # 2 overshoots, modify your rejoin by decreasing your airspeed and adjusting your pursuit option to ensure adequate clearance for # 2 to return to the inside of Leads turn. If youre at idle power to rapidly bleed your airspeed, notify # 4, Mooney 3, idle Four: Follow # 3 whether # 3 is overshooting or adjusting for # 2s overshoot. If # 3 is overshooting, use good judgment and a combination of trail and rejoin techniques to stay with # 3. Maintain two to four ship-width clearance (minimum) until # 3 is stabilized in route. Depending how # 2 and # 3 fly the rejoin, for energy conservation or safety reasons, some situations may dictate that you fall into the six-oclock position behind # 3. This position is the safest of all options, allowing you to conserve energy and maintain a visual on all members of the flight. Straight-Ahead Rejoins: Straight ahead rejoins in four-ship employ the same procedures as in two-ship. # 3 and # 4 will close no nearer than two to four ship-widths to the preceding aircraft until that aircraft is stabilized in route position. Flight Lead: After completing the pitchout, signal for a rejoin by rocking your wings or making a radio call. Maintain the briefed rejoin airspeed. Monitor the Wingmen altitude, aspect, and closure as they come into your field of vision. Do not hesitate to take appropriate action if a dangerous situation develops. With the relatively small power advantage available to most GA aircraft flight lead should consider decreasing airspeed 10 knots (or more) below the briefed enroute speed to expedite the rejoin. Once all wingman are joined then resume enroute speed. An example of this technique is a straight ahead rejoin after takeoff with lead maintaining briefed climb speed at level off until the flight has joined, then accelerating to enroute speed.


Two: Pass along the wing-rocking signal to the aircraft behind you. Rejoin to the left side unless otherwise directed. Three: Pass along the wing rocking signal to the aircraft behind you. Always join to the side opposite of # 2, on the Flight Leads wing, and maintain a minimum of two to four ship-widths clearance on # 2 until # 2 is stabilized in route. Four: Always join to the side opposite of # 2, on # 3s wing, and maintain a minimum of two to four ship-widths clearance on # 3 until # 3 is stabilized in route. Straight-Ahead Rejoin Overshoots Follow over-shoot procedures described for two-ship formation except that aircraft trailing the over-shoot aircraft will not close nearer than 100 feet to any aircraft ahead until the aircraft in sequence ahead is stabilized in route position. Breakout: Leaving formation is the same in three- and four-ship formations as in two-ship formations, However, if # 3 leaves the formation, # 4 will follow # 3 at a safe distance to maintain element integrity if safe to do so. In all cases, the Flight Lead will provide adequate altitude separation and direct the rejoin as required. An aircraft that has left formation will not rejoin until cleared to do so. In-Flight Lead/Position Changes: Temporary position changes are often required to provide training for both the Flight Lead and Wingman qualifications, as well as adapting to real world conditions (degraded navigation and/or communication capability, etc.). If not required specifically for training, the lead position will normally pass to # 3 while in fingertip route formation as detailed below. Position changes may be executed from route fingertip or route echelon. Lead must thoroughly brief the planned procedures. Lead Changes From Fingertip: After the formation is stable in either the fingertip or route position, if using the radios, Lead will announce the lead change by stating: Mooney 3, you have the Lead on the left/ right. The new Lead will acknowledge by stating: Mooney 3. The new Lead will increase wingtip separation and move toward the line abreast position and then call Mooney 3 has the Lead


(on the left/right), while slowly moving forward. The Lead change is now complete and the now former Flight Lead will take up his/her position as # 3. Lead change using hand signals: Point to the wingman to assume lead, followed by several pointing motions forward. Aircraft assuming lead acknowledges the signal with a head nod, moves to route and then moves forward, tapping head and pointing forward with a chopping motion to signal to all flight members I have the lead. The new wingman will then remain stable while the surrendering lead moves in to his/her wingman position. Flight Lead Changes From Echelon: During position changes from route echelon, Lead may take up the # 2 or four position as briefed. When the original Flight Lead becomes # 2, the original # 2 assumes the new Flight Lead using the procedures detailed above and the second element retains their positions. If the original Flight Lead assumes the # 4 position, he/she will, after passing the Flight Lead to # 2, drop back and execute a cross-under to the # 4 position. The original # 4 becomes # 3, and # 3 becomes # 2. The other aircraft in the flight will remain stable until the new Leader has pulled forward to the point at which they can pick up the normal sightline references. When the new formation is stable, the new Flight Lead will check the flight in to confirm the new formation positions. Lead will reform the formation to fingertip, and begin the briefed maneuvers. Three-Ship Flight Lead Change: During lead changes from fingertip, # 3 will move forward (as in a four-ship element lead change) to become # 1, original # 1 will become # 2, and # 2 will become # 3. After the lead change, the formation is in echelon position. Formation Recovery and Landings: All applicable two ship landing procedures apply to three and four ship formations Overhead Pattern: The overhead pattern procedures are identical to those covered in your two ship guidance. Flight Leads should brief either the hot-cold or staggered landing procedure to be used if the runway width is adequate.


Four Ship Overhead Break


Establishing Proper Interval: Using a five second pitchout, wingmen will have the sufficient landing spacing provided the perch point remains consistent (dont short-cut pattern). It is important for all aircraft to fly the briefed airspeeds on downwind, base and final to preclude bunching up or creating excessive trail distance for landing. Generally, spacing corrections should be resolved by adjusting the perch point (delay perch), not by excessively slowing down or speeding up on downwind. All like-aircraft should maintain the same briefed approach speed to assist in maintaining relative position in the pattern Flight Lead: Always strive to be on airspeed, on altitude, with proper runway displacement when leading the overhead recovery. Lead pilots will normally land on the side of intended ramp exit if runway width and conditions allow. Stress to your wingmen to use proper landing intervals and use a normal aim point for landing. Avoid low, dragged-in final approaches as this will often be mirrored by trailing aircraft. Upon touchdown, do not rush to decelerate on landing unless required for safety. Brief and use an exit point near the end of the runway to allow all wingmen ample space to decelerate to taxi speed without the need for excessive braking. If a problem arises during landing and roll out that may impact the safety of your wingmen, alert them as soon as possible. Wingmen: Fly on airspeed and on altitude during the overhead approach; a poorly flown pattern will often impact trailing aircraft. While a smartly flown pitchout is impressive to the audience, equally impressive is the skill required in flying equal pattern/landing intervals. Use no less than the recommended minimum threshold crossing intervals when using either the Hot Cold or Staggered landing procedure as briefed. If your threshold crossing interval becomes compressed on final, or if your runway lane is otherwise occupied by a preceding aircraft such that safety is in question, simply execute a go around/low approach and enter the VFR pattern. If using Staggered procedures, recall that during a normal four ship landing, all wingman landing on the side of intended ramp exit must clear the preceding aircraft to cross the runway centerline when it is safe to do so (i.e. Mooney 2 is cleared to cross).



Derived from: FAST Formation Knowledge Guide V1.2 Feb 2012

Introduction: This section is intended to provide key guidance to members of the Mooney Caravan practicing formation skills and is applicable to all GA propeller driven aircraft. As we Mooney pilots develop formation proficiency we have incorporated much of the FAST guidelines for safe formation operation in this section. This section has been written primarily to provide the lead pilot guidance in mission planning and in-flight decision making, all formation pilots, regardless of qualification, should be familiar with this information. This information does not guarantee the safe outcome of any flight maneuver and the final decision and authority rests with the pilot in command of the aircraft involved. If you do not feel comfortable at anytime in formation, it is up to you to cease maneuvering and communicate your concerns immediately. As with all formation maneuvers, an on-board formation flight instructor is required when the aircraft is operated by unqualified or inexperienced pilots in the maneuvers Fingertip Formation Recommended Limits: All fingertip formation maneuvering presented in this manual suggests a non-aerobatics qualification limit of 40 5 degrees angle of bank (AOB) and 155 degrees of pitch for the most common propeller driven aircraft. Only experienced formation pilots should attempt larger bank angles while in fingertip and must at all times consider the relatively small margin of excess power available in light GA aircraft. Crosswind Guidance for Element Takeoff and/ or Landing: Crosswinds can complicate the wingmans task during the element takeoff and landing. While each aircraft may have a different maximum demonstrated crosswind limit (refer to your Pilot Operating Handbook or Flight Manual), the flight leader will brief wind limits for element takeoffs and use interval procedures in lieu of element takeoff/landings if the cross wind component exceeds such self-imposed limits. Generally do not conduct element takeoff or landings if a gust factor or windshear is being reported. Element takeoff crosswind recommended limit: 10 kts

Calculating Safe Runway Width: When conducting formation takeoff or landing operations, in which two or more aircraft are simultaneously executing the takeoff or landing roll, the runway width should allow aircraft to pass one another without undue risk of collision or departure from the prepared surface of the runway. The recommended minimum width runway for such operations should accommodate the wingspan of both aircraft with no less than ten feet lateral separation (20 feet desired for initial


student training). The aircraft wingspan should not exceed the runway edge markings in making this determination. This provides for a clear lane for each aircraft with the required minimum lateral separation as proscribed in the procedural guidance in this manual. For Mooney and Bonanza aircraft, a minimum runway width of 100 feet should be used for element takeoffs and element (formation) landings procedures.

Lateral Separation Using 60, 75 and 100 Foot Wide Runways: Typical 33 Foot Wingspan Calculating Safe Runway Length: Formation takeoff and landing procedures will impact the distance required from normal single ship operations. The effect of multiple aircraft/elements lined up on the runway for departure, use of reduced thrust during element takeoffs, and longer than normal aim points during interval landings should be considered when conducting departure and arrival planning. Interval takeoff procedures do not affect the takeoff distance for the individual aircraft, as reduced power is not required. If conducting an element takeoff, the use of reduced thrust/power by the lead aircraft, as well as slower than normal application of throttle (individual pilot technique) has show to lengthen takeoff roll by as much as 20% or more. Pilots are cautioned against executing element takeoffs on runways where normal calculated takeoff roll exceeds 80% of the usable runway length. Attempting to marshal all flight aircraft on the runway prior to departure, particularly with mass formations, reduces the runway available for lead elements/aircraft. Fixed distance signs and markings will help estimate runway remaining. Required landing distances can be significantly increased when the Flight Lead takes a longer than normal aim point for touchdown when recovering a large number of aircraft. Using the recommended minimum landing intervals presented in this chapter will reduce the need for


excessively long aim points as succeeding aircraft have ample time/distance between landing aircraft. Runway Markings: While no pilot should become fixated on runway markings and distance remaining signs, they do provide information that may be useful to the formation pilot during runway lineup and landing rollout. Although smaller visual runways may have few such markings, larger runways served by instrument landing systems/approach procedures are often used by formation pilots and are equipped with several such visual aids and fixed distance to go signs. Threshold Stripes: Most public use runways in the United States and Canada have a predetermined number of threshold stripes corresponding to the width of the runway.

Formation Takeoff Operational Guidance: If your runway does not meet the minimum width criteria, the runway should be considered inadequate for element takeoffs. Nor does it provide a safe/clear lane for movement of two aircraft conducting timed interval departures should one or both abort the takeoff. Disregarding this guidance may result in an aircraft collision or forced departure from the prepared surface during a takeoff abort. With narrow runways, individual takeoffs should be accomplished with wingmen not releasing brakes until the preceding aircraft has reached rotation and liftoff is confirmed. If assembling multiple aircraft on the runway, pilots should steer toward the centerline as required to benefit from the full width of the runway as needed. For runway widths at/or exceeding 100ft, flight leads have the option of briefing an element takeoff and/or timed interval departures based on the guidance provided below and in applicable chapters of this manual.


Timed Interval Takeoffs: Using the preceding description of lift off criteria between departing aircraft or elements is recommended for pilots in initial formation training and is a fail-safe standard for all formation departures. Timed interval takeoffs may be used when runway widths allow each aircraft to maintain their half of the runway with 10ft wingtip spacing. While this section provides several important provisions/restrictions in using timed intervals that must be adhered to, the most important consideration in selection of the interval is human reaction time, not speed of formation reform after takeoff. The interval must allow each pilot sufficient time to recognize and react to a rapid or unexpected deceleration or directional control problem experienced by the preceding aircraft and maneuver accordingly. Coupled with an adequately wide runway, this allows succeeding aircraft the option of aborting straight ahead, moving to the opposite side and/or continuing the takeoff with a clear lane as the situation allows. In most cases, due to the relatively slower speed of the succeeding aircraft, aborting is the preferred option unless safety dictates otherwise. Minimum Recommended Takeoff Intervals: During timed interval takeoffs, the range between departing aircraft is expanding during the takeoff roll and for some time after liftoff. Timed interval departures benefit from the concept that the faster an aircraft is traveling, the faster it accelerates (up to a point), thus the rate of change in range between aircraft continues to increases during the critical phase of the takeoff roll using some interval between initiation of acceleration (brake release). Using this concept, the minimum recommended takeoff interval prescribed below is designed to lower the risk of a wingman experiencing a high speed abort, on-runway collision or forced runway departure if the flight must abort. Using a lower takeoff interval than recommended reduces the rate at which range expands between aircraft during the takeoff roll, reducing the safety margin built in to this procedure for no appreciable gain. The intervals presented here are not intended to establish one standard operating procedure (SOP), but are the minimum acceptable intervals recommended in the interest of safety. Briefing shorter intervals increases the possibility of on runway collision or forced departure from the prepared surface of the runway. Flight leads should brief applicable departure procedures to be used every time. The minimum recommended time between nosewheel aircraft releasing brakes during single-ship staggered interval departures is 5 seconds. For element takeoffs with nosewheel aircraft, element leaders will use no less than 10 seconds between departing elements. Several factors involved with element takeoffs require greater reaction time, to include: Difficulty in detecting collapsing range in pure pursuit. Lack of a clear lane option during element aborts. Stopping straight ahead may be the only available option.


Close proximity of aircraft during takeoff roll. Using no less than 10 seconds insures with timely recognition, any abort by the second element will be a relatively slow speed event.

Formation Landing Operational Guidance: The same runway width criteria applies to landing in either element or interval formation as well. If the runway is too narrow to support two aircraft, the flight lead will have each aircraft land on the centerline and increase the interval accordingly to provide adequate space for landing and roll out. Landing aircraft should move to the exit side of the runway if space allows when safe to do so.

Interval Landing Procedures: Whether arriving to the airfield using the overhead or standard VFR pattern, during interval landings with adequate runway width, leads have a few options for recovery of the flight. HotCold Interval Landings: Common with many air forces around the world as their preferred four-ship method of recovery, this procedure entails designating a cold and hot side of the runway. The cold side is determined by the leader who will land on the side of the runway of intended exit. The opposite side is then considered the hot side. All succeeding aircraft will favor the hot side for landing, and move to the cold side as soon as practical. This procedure removes the need for coordinating between landing pilots by eliminating aircraft crossing in front of (entering the lane of) trailing flight members. Performed with adequate interval, each landing aircraft should observe a clear runway lane for landing. This procedure reserves a hot lane for aircraft experiencing brake loss or other issues. This is also a good option if runway winds or other conditions call for landing on/near the centerline. Respecting minimum recommended landing interval is crucial as all wingmen are landing directly behind one another. The interval should allow the preceding aircraft enough time to move to the cold side before the next wingman is touching down. The objective is to efficiently recover all aircraft while providing a clear lane for aircraft experiencing brake issues or requiring a go-around without requiring radio coordination. Aircraft with inadequate spacing on preceding aircraft should abort the landing. Staggered Interval Landings: For two ship landings, is essentially identical to hot-cold procedures covered previously. Once again, the Flight Lead lands on the side of intended ramp exit, or cold side. Each succeeding aircraft however, then lands on alternating sides of the runway from one another. Aircraft landing on the opposite side of the runway as the lead aircraft will move over when cleared by the aircraft behind.


The limitation in this procedure is it requires on-runway radio coordination between pilots in clearing the preceding aircraft to cross in front of (enter the lane of) the trailing wingman. Any delay in this coordination/movement, and/or if the interval between aircraft is excessively short, both lanes of the runway may become occupied with decelerating aircraft with wingmen attempting to land. Likewise, if a cold side wingmen experiences brake fade/failure, he/she could be faced with both lanes of the runway ahead occupied with decelerating aircraft. Flight Leads and Instructors should stress the critical importance of maintaining minimum landing interval when using this procedure.

Interval Landing Options


Minimum Landing Intervals: With runways wide enough, interval landings may use either option. During interval landings the range between flight aircraft is collapsing at an accelerating rate, as each aircraft reduces airspeed for landing, touches down and braking is initiated - all based on variable pilot technique. For this reason, proper landing interval is generally measured between aircraft crossing the threshold to judge adequate reaction time and distance. Pilots should note that the propensity for directional control problems due to such issues as brake failure, fade or tire deflation is higher on landing than takeoff. As a result, the minimum interval between landing aircraft is larger than that for departing aircraft. The interval between landing aircraft should allow each pilot a clear lane for deceleration or sufficient time to recognize and react to an unsafe landing condition developing (such as a fouled runway caused by the preceding aircraft) and avoid a collision (move to the opposite side, abort the landing, etc.). The use of a 5 second break interval during the overhead pattern will generally allow recommended landing intervals if not compressed during the pattern. Using a 5 second break interval for aircraft with approach speeds under 100 knots should provide a minimum of 1500 feet between aircraft crossing the threshold. When flying a 90KIAS final turn, adequate spacing should be gauged if a 10 second threshold crossing interval is maintained. Wingman should not shortcut the final turn as that will collapse landing interval. Timing threshold crossing interval is only a tool in making an early decision to go-around or continue; the formation pilot is responsible for visually insuring minimum safe distance between landing aircraft is maintained. Wingmen must understand that the interval between succeeding aircraft will collapse inside the threshold during flare, touchdown and roll out, and coupled with a loss of forward visibility due to the high angle of attack during landing, this can be a deadly situation if recommended procedures and intervals are not followed. If landing on narrow runways that do not afford the width for both aircraft, minimum recommended interval should provide the landing aircraft a clear runway in case of brake failure with all aircraft landing on the centerline (full width). In all landing situations, if the preceding aircraft is not continually in sight during the approach, a go-around is mandatory. This may be caused by the aircraft in front ducking under during the final approach or the trailing aircraft flying too high on the approach path. In either case, this is a dangerous situation that cannot be tolerated in formation recoveries. Element Landings: During formation training, element landing training should be introduced only after the wingman has demonstrated safe fingertip formation flying skills. Begin takeoff and landing training with interval departure procedures.



Note: Leads brief items applicable to sortie in sufficient detail to ensure understanding. KNOCK-IT-OFF Situations: Knock it off (KIO) will be called when safety of flight is a factor or where doubt or confusion exists. Situations requiring a knock-it-off occur when: DANGEROUS SITUATION is developing LOSS OF SITUATIONAL AWARENESS FACTOR TRAFFIC detrimental to the maneuver being flown Violation of any of the following has occurred or appears imminent: o Airspace boundaries o Minimum cloud separation o Minimum altitude: briefed floor or hard deck Aircraft Limit Exceeded (over-G, minimum airspeed). Radio Failure recognized or observed wing rock. Bingo Fuel overflown min safe recovery fuel Weather is below minimums for the area or route. Any player calls Knock it off

Knock-It-Off Actions: Clear your flight path. Cease maneuvering - climb or descend to a safe altitude Maintain visual. Acknowledge with call sign Proceed as directed by lead Knock-It-Off Procedures: KIO shall be initiated over the radio. Aircraft with radio failure signal KIO with a continuous wing rock. The aircraft observing a continuous wing rock should transmit KIO and provide required assistance. Any member of the formation may initiate a KIO. Either aircraft transmits own callsign followed by KIO. For example if called by 2: Mooney 2, knock-it-off. Mooney 1, knock-it-off, Mooney 2, knock-it-off. The aircraft initiating the KIO briefly states the reason to enhance the situational awareness of the formation. Wingman shall then await direction from lead. At the KIO call, Lead continues


the current maneuver without changing power setting. This ensures predictability and aids in flight path deconfliction, and is the primary concern for all aircraft. Terminate Situations. When safety of flight is not a factor - terminate will be used to discontinue maneuvering. . Desired learning objectives are met or unattainable Aircraft is out of position with no expectation of an expeditious return to position. Bingo fuel is reached Any player calls Terminate Terminate Actions: Clear your flight path Cease maneuvering maintain safe formation position Acknowledge with call sign Proceed as directed by lead Terminate Procedures: Used to direct a specific aircraft or flight to cease maneuvering, clear the flight path, and proceed as briefed or directed. Any aircraft in the formation may initiate. The terminate call is acknowledged in the same manner as a KIO call: Mooney 1, terminate Mooney 2, terminate Lead smoothly transitions to a shallow turn or level flight until # 2 has attained the desired formation parameters. Once back in position, # 2 may signal for continued maneuvering by calling in Mooney 2, in. At this point, Lead may continue maneuvering or direct the formation, as appropriate.

Separation of Aircraft: Any aircraft grossly overshooting Leads 3/9 line will result in a KIO call. Lead will take action/maneuver as required to ensure safe separation. Lost Sight or Blind: If the other aircraft is not in sight when anticipated, and proximity does not warrant an immediate break out, the pilot of the aircraft losing sight will immediately call blind and state altitude Mooney 2, blind, 3400 feet. The visual aircraft will assume formation deconfliction and execute the following:


If the lead aircraft is blind, transmit C/S, blind, alt and maintain a predictable flight path. The wingman will either call - continue and state his or her position or call KIO, if required. If the wingman is blind, transmit C/S, blind, alt and maneuver away from leads last known position. Lead will make a direction call to assist the wingman in re-acquiring lead: Mooney 2, Lead at your left , 10 oclock level

In all cases Lead shall be directive to first ensure altitude separation and flight path deconfliction prior to directing a rejoin. Mid-Air Collision Avoidance: All formation members have a responsibility to ensure adequate separation however wingman have the primary responsibility for flight path deconfliction unless the wingman is unable to maintain visual contact and calls blind. Following the blind call Lead must act to maintain flight path deconfliction. Lead is expected to maintain constant awareness of his wingmans position and does not initiate a maneuver which compromises the safety of the wingman. Factors increasing potential for mid-air collision: Failure of Lead to monitor wingman during critical phase of flight (rejoin or maneuvering) Lead must be directive and take evasive action (as required) if wingman loses sight Failure of wingman to call Blind Failure to recognize excessive overtake during rejoins. Lead should direct an overshoot or breakout if necessary. Failure to maintain lateral or vertical separation. Failure to consider the effects of wingtip vortices Formation Breakout: Maneuver to ensure immediate aircraft separation and avoid midair collision. Perform a breakout immediately when a wingman: o H - Constitutes a hazard to the formation o I - Is in front of or under lead o T - Is directed (told) to break out o S - Has a loss of situational awareness of his position relative to Lead.


Breakout Procedure: Wingman clears in the direction of the break and maneuvers away from leads last known position (or in the direction that ensures immediate separation). Use power as required to maintain safe maneuvering airspeed to expedite separation. When able, the wingman informs Lead: Mooney 2, breaking out when self-initiating the breakout, or 2 when complying with a directive from Lead. Lead continues to fly predictably and, if the wingman is in sight, maneuvers to maintain sight and deconflict flight paths. If visual with Lead the wingman may roll out regardless of who initiates the breakout. On final approach, use caution as a rapid increase in back stick pressure can quickly result in a stall. In addition, abrupt application of excessive rudder can cause the aircraft to roll past the desired bank angle, which can further aggravate the slow speed condition and reduce the chances of a successful recovery. During a breakout, it is possible to lose sight. All flight members must remain vigilant to ensure deconfliction. A breakout does not always require an abrupt turn away from Lead. If a wingman initiates the breakout, it is that aircrafts responsibility to maintain safe separation until Lead acknowledges the breakout, confirms visual contact, or establishes altitude separation. If Lead directs the breakout, Lead is responsible for safe separation and deconfliction until wingmans acknowledgement, visual contact, or altitude separation. After # 2 achieves safe separation and visual contact with # 1, a radio call is made to advise # 1 Mooney 2, visual. # 1 then directs a rejoin as appropriate. Do not rejoin until directed by # 1.

Transfer of Aircraft Control Only one pilot at a time can fly the aircraft. It is vital for flight safety to clearly establish who is the Pilot Flying (PF) and who is the Pilot Not Flying (PNF) as fatal accidents have occurred when two pilots attempted to fly the aircraft simultaneously. In the case of close formation flying there is little room for recovery. Because of the importance of proper transfer of aircraft control, the following rules apply: o The PF relinquishing control says, You have the aircraft o PNF assumes control and says, I have the aircraft, and shakes the control yoke.


The order may be reversed as the PIC always retains the authority to take aircraft control when required. Using the exact words is critical to establish proper habit patterns that enhance swift, unambiguous transfer of aircraft control. In the event of intercom failure, the PF signals the desire to relinquish aircraft control by smoothly pushing the rudder pedals in a back-and-forth motion, and the PNF assumes control by vigorously shaking the control stick . The pilot relinquishing control raises both hands in the air for the other pilot to see either directly from the RCP or using mirrors from the FCP. Never relinquish control of the aircraft until the other pilot has positively assumed control of the aircraft (shaken the control stick).


Ground Aborts: Lead will brief the contingency plan for wingman fallout if more than two aircraft are part of the formation. Lead will consider training requirements during the brief to determine if the mission continues if one or more aircraft fallout. Normally Lead will renumber call signs in order to preserve sequential numbering for remaining aircraft. Formation Takeoff Aborts: Formation Takeoff Abort-One Aircraft: If an abort becomes necessary, maintain aircraft control, ensure separation from the other aircraft (maintain the respective side of the RWY), and make a radio call as soon as practical Mooney 2 aborting. During an abort situation, the aircraft continuing the takeoff maintains its side of the RWY and executes a normal single-ship takeoff using normal takeoff power. Interval Takeoff Abort: If Lead aborts, make a radio call when practical. It may be difficult for the wingman to recognize an abort using only visual cues. If the wingman has not released brakes, the wingman reduces power and holds position until Lead clears the RWY. If the wingman is rolling but below abort speed, an abort should be considered as there may not be sufficient spacing to takeoff behind Lead. If the wingman is above abort speed, continue the takeoff. Element Abort: During a formation takeoff, there are normally no sympathetic aborts after brake release. Sympathetic aborts can create situations in which the good aircraft risks making the situation worse by adding another aircraft into the high-speed abort situation when risk of collision, hot brakes, or blown tires increases. If it is necessary for the formation to abort, each aircraft must maintain its respective side of the RWY and make every effort to stop prior to the end of the RWY. Lead may direct a formation abort with a radio call: Mooney Flight: Abort, Abort, Abort!. The operative word flight directs both aircraft to abort. Trailing Element Abort procedures: In four ship or mass formation, if the trailing (following) element has not released brakes when an abort is recognized or communicated, they will hold position. If they have released brakes using timed interval procedures, they will execute an immediate element abort.


Airborne Emergencies - General: Maintain formation integrity to the maximum extent possible during airborne emergencies. Mutual support is one of the primary reasons for formation flight. If either member of the formation must return to the airfield prematurely, the other aircraft should normally return and provide assistance. The Flight Lead may make exceptions if the problem is minor and the field is in sight, or if the WX conditions would complicate a safe formation return. If an aircraft malfunction occurs while in fingertip, increase aircraft separation before handling the emergency. The formation member with an abnormal situation advises other members in the formation of the problem, intentions, and assistance required. In VMC, without engine problems, the emergency aircraft generally leads back to a straight-in. Modify as appropriate based on the type of problem. Emergencies - Lead: When a malfunction is discovered, call KIO and inform wingman of the problem as soon as practical. In general, the aircraft with a malfunction should be given the Lead position. This allows the affected aircraft to handle the emergency without the requirement to maintain position. The Lead position should be offered to the emergency aircraft three times: When the emergency occurs On recovery when able to navigate VFR to the field On final with the field in sight.

If the wingman refuses the lead position at any time, offer it at each successive point as described above. Do not attempt an element landing with a disabled aircraft. Emergencies - Wingman: When a malfunction is discovered, call KIO, and inform Lead of the problem as soon as practical. Normally, accept the lead position when offered if able to communicate and navigate. Generally, avoid flying in the # 2 position with an emergency. If the situation dictates flying as # 2, avoid flying closer than route spacing when possible. Engine Problems: With engine problems, the emergency aircraft leads back to VFR pattern entry. Flight Lead will advise the wingman of nearest divert options DO NOT overfly a suitable divert field with a questionable engine. Bird Strike: If a bird strike appears imminent, do not attempt evasive maneuvers into the other aircraft in an effort to miss the bird. The primary concern is midair collision avoidance and aircraft separation. If a bird strike does occur, ensure positive aircraft separation before handling the emergency. Experienced wingman only may consider executing a wing landing if forward visibility is severely restricted. In most cases the emergency aircraft will assume the lead.


Midair Collision: If a midair collision occurs between formation members, they will not act as chase ships for each other. # 1 coordinates separate clearances and chase ships. Spatial Disorientation: Lead: If suffering from spatial disorientation, immediately call KIO, and transfer aircraft if able. If transfer of aircraft control is not an option, Lead should transition to instruments and recover to level flight. The wingman should maintain a safe route position and advise Lead of aircraft attitude, altitude, heading, and airspeed if warranted. If symptoms persist, terminate the mission and recover by the simplest and safest means possible. Wingman: If suffering from spatial disorientation, immediately call KIO, and transfer aircraft control to the safety pilot if available. Lead advises # 2 of aircraft attitude, altitude, heading, and airspeed. Lead should smoothly establish straight-and-level flight for 30 to 60 seconds. Normally, a brief period of straight and level will allow the wingman sufficient time to cage his gyros. However, if the condition persists, consider offering the wingman the lead position. If unable to maintain position, and # 2 becomes a threat to Lead, a lost wingman should be initiated. As # 2, be cautious when initiating lost wingman procedures as this could trigger further spatial disorientation. If necessary, terminate the mission and recover by the simplest and safest means possible. NORDO: When a member of the formation has total radio failure, the NORDO aircraft normally receives or retains # 2 position. The flight member with the operative radio leads the NORDO aircraft into the overhead pattern, notifies the tower, and makes a low approach to the landing RWY. The NORDO aircraft flies a normal pattern and landing. When Lead clears # 2 off with a visual signal, # 2 assumes landing clearance is obtained and lands normally. With total radio failure while in fingertip, wingman should maneuver to route, attract the attention of Lead (wing rock if necessary), and give the appropriate visual signals. Terminate the mission as soon as practical, and lead the NORDO aircraft to the planned recovery field. If in other than fingertip or route when radio failure occurs and a rejoin is not anticipated, the NORDO aircraft should cautiously attempt to rejoin (no closer than route). Rock wings (attention in the air) and move no closer than route until directed. Once joined, the NORDO aircraft gives the appropriate visual signals. Terminate the mission as soon as practical, and lead the NORDO aircraft to the base of intended landing. If the NORDO situation is compounded with an additional emergency pass the appropriate HEFOE visual signals followed by the visual signal to land now, if required. The emergency aircraft should not delay taking whatever action may be required to safely recover the aircraft if the Flight Lead is not responding to your visual signals. Wingman should not hesitate to exercise PIC authority to effectively deal with an inflight emergency.


Lost Wingman Procedures: Lost Wingman procedures are used to gain immediate separation of aircraft when any Wingman loses sight of his/her Leader in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC), whether inadvertent or intentional. Lost Wingman procedures may also be applicable to rare situations of Wingman experiencing severe spatial disorientation. Lost Wingman - Wing: In any Lost Wingman situation, immediate separation is essential. On losing sight of the leader, or if unable to safely maintain position due to spatial disorientation, simultaneously execute the applicable Lost Wingman procedure detailed below while transitioning to instruments. Smooth application of control inputs is imperative to minimize the effects of spatial disorientation. The execution of Lost Wingman by one flight member does not require the execution of Lost Wingman procedures by all flight members; if you can safely maintain the parade formation position, continue to do so if it is the safest course of action. Lost Wingman - Lead: If faced with deteriorating conditions in formation, the Flight Leader should consider reversing course, landing at the nearest suitable alternate or establish a one mile trail formation with vertical separation while coordinating with Air Traffic Control for radar separation and other assistance. If Lead unintentionally enters IMC, he/she will immediately transition to instruments and, if a turn is required, make a shallow angle of bank turn of 15 degrees for 180 degrees away from the wingman to attempt to return to VMC. The Wingmen will maintain the fingertip position references during all turns in IMC. When informed a flight member is executing Lost Wingman, immediately follow applicable procedures, while transmitting your current heading and altitude to aid in maintaining safe separation. When time permits, the Flight Lead will coordinate with the controlling agency and requests a separate clearance for the Wingman as required. The controlling agency can help establish positive separation. Two or Three Ship Flight Procedures: The following procedures are applicable for two or three ship formations. If flying in three ship echelon, the Flight Lead should re-form to fingertip (phantom four) if visibility is degraded. If # 3 must execute Lost Wingman while in echelon, follow four-ship Lost Wingman procedures. . Lost Wingman Execution: Wings-Level Flight-Lead: Upon notification of a Lost Wingman, acknowledge the call and continue straight ahead and provide current heading and altitude (if level). If climbing or descending, report altitudes every 500 - 1000 feet as desired.


Lost Wingman Execution: Wings-Level Flight-Wing: The Lost Wingman will simultaneously transition to instruments, turn away, using 15 of bank for 10 seconds. This will produce approximately 30 degrees of heading change at 100- 120 knots. Inform Lead, Mooney 2 is Lost Wingman. Wingman may obtain a separate clearance as required. Resume course only after vertical separation is assured. As previously mentioned, the initiation of Lost Wingman procedures by one aircraft does not require a reciprocal reaction by all flight members; if safe to do so, with lead in site, remain in the parade (fingertip) position. Lost Wingman Execution: Turns-Lead: Acknowledge the call while maintaining current angle of bank and provide heading and altitude information as needed to assist the Wingman. If requested to roll out, call the roll out heading and only resume the turn once separation is assured. Lost Wingman Execution: Turns-Wing: If you have lost site of the Flight Lead, follow the applicable procedure: OUTSIDE THE TURN: Reverse the direction of turn using 15 degrees of bank for 10 seconds while informing the leader you are executing Lost Wingman procedures. Inform the Lead of your heading when able. Ensure separation prior to resuming the turn. Obtain a separate clearance if required. INSIDE THE TURN: Momentarily reduce power to ensure nose-tail separation, and inform the flight leader to roll out of the turn. Maintain current angle of bank to ensure lateral separation. Inform the Lead of your heading when able. Once assured of separation, the leader may resume turn. Obtain separate clearance if required.

Practicing Lost Wingman Procedures: Lost Wingman procedures may be practiced in VMC conditions to prepare wingmen for actual situations they may encounter. The flight lead assumes all responsibility for aircraft separation only in two ship. For this reason, when executing Practice Lost Wingmen in three or four ship, an Instructor Pilot (IP) should be onboard the wingmans aircraft for safety. For training purposes, if briefed, Lead directs practice Lost Wingman for all aircraft with the following call radio call. Mooney Flight, go practice Lost Wingman At this time the wingmen transition to instruments while simultaneously executing the appropriate procedure and transmitting in sequence, Mooney (position number) is practice Lost Wingman The Flight Lead and/or Wingmen will transmit all appropriate calls IAW this chapter for the applicable procedure. The Flight Lead will monitor aircraft separation throughout the maneuver and direct a terminate call when learning objectives have been met. The flight lead will then direct a rejoin as required.



Version 1 Mooney Caravan March 2012

Example: Safely execute 2-ship formation training mission emphasizing required skills for Mooney Caravan participation

4. TRAINING REQUIREMENTS Example: Lead: Demonstrate proficiency briefing/executing/de-briefing 2-ship formation sortie IAW wingmans
training requirements.

Wingman: Introduce element takeoff procedures, continue fingertip station-keeping practice, demonstrate rejoin procedures, practice element overhead pattern.

5. FLIGHT LINEUP Formation Call Sign: ________________ Flight Composition (Pilot Name / Tail Number) Lead: _______ 2 : __________ 3: __________ 4: __________ Deputy Flight Lead / Safety Pilot(s) 6. RADIO FREQUENCIES Mission Frequency Alternate / Backup Mission Start / Taxi (Ground/CTAF) Takeoff (Tower/CTAF) Departure Enroute / Radar advisory Approach Landing (Tower/CTAF) After Landing (Ground/CTAF) 7. AIRCRAFT Specific Aircraft Model/Type Differences Power considerations / visual references Fuel on Board Joker / Bingo

8. MISSION TIMES Step Start Check-in Taxi Takeoff Area RTB Landing Debrief (Shut down +XX Minutes) 9. WEATHER (OBSERVED AND FORECAST) Takeoff Landing Work Area / Enroute Alternate Airfields 10. STATUS OF AIRFIELD / ATC FACILITIES NOTAMs NAVAIDs / Airfield Restrictions ATC Facilities (Radar Advisories) 11. GROUND OPERATIONS Parking Location (Co-located/split) Start Time/Signal ATIS: Freqs: ATC / Mission Flight Check-in and Clearance IFF procedures Lead squawk / wingmen STBY/OFF Taxi Procedures / Routing Maintenance Delay
(Pause: Questions thru Ground Ops?)

12. END OF RUNWAY LINEUP Location / Procedures Aircraft Configuration no Flaps


13. TAKEOFF Active Runway / Wind Type Element: x-wind <10kts, runway 100ft Interval: 5 sec min spacing Runway Lineup / Signals Leads Power setting: wingman power advantage (3-5 MP) Speeds: Liftoff: Climb: 95KIAS 500 fpm 14. AFTER TAKEOFF / DEPARTURE Initial turn out of traffic pattern Join up procedures (straight / turning) - #2 default inside of turn Radio freqs 15. ENROUTE PROCEDURES Route / Altitude / Speed (120 KIAS) Formation Position (route if traffic a factor) High Terrain/Terrain Clearance (MEA, MOCA, Min Safe, etc.) Factor airspace to working area
(Pause: Questions?)

16. WORKING AREA Work Area boundaries / Altitude Block / ATC Freq 17. TRAINING PROFILE:
Brief each maneuver in sufficient detail to ensure understanding.

Specific Maneuvers entry speeds and parameters Review maneuver procedures: o Initiation signal com/aircraft/visual o Lead/wingman specific actions o Expected maneuver result Follow-on maneuver Formation Visual References RTB time / Bingo fuel
(Pause: Questions on specific maneuvers or profile?)

18. RECOVERY PROCEDURES Route / Altitude / Speed (120 KIAS) Formation Position


ATC Coordination High Terrain/Terrain Clearance (MEA, MOCA, Min Safe, etc.) Factor Airspace Affecting Recovery 19. LANDING Formation Split (if required) Element Approach and Landing Gear speed (105 KIAS) Configuration / Airspeed on Final (90 KIAS) Expected Runway / Pattern Altitude Gear Down Call Overhead Pattern and Landing Pattern Entry Procedure / Altitude Airspeed on Initial (<160 KIAS) Break Interval / Angle of Bank Configuration / Speed on Final Gear Down Call Landing: Staggered (>100 wide runway) or Centerline 20. AFTER LANDING Re-Assembly Taxi Route Parking Shutdown Coordination 21. FORMATION EMERGENCY PROCEDURES Takeoff Individual / Element Abort Procedures Over-running lead on takeoff In-flight Malfunctions Hydraulic, Electrical, Fuel, Oxygen, Engine (HEFOE) Radio Failure Bird Strike Midair Collision Emergency Divert Airfields



Flight Leads must brief training rules as required to ensure understanding. Experienced flights may brief standard. Regardless of experience level Lead will emphasize those items impacting mission execution.

Knock It Off / Terminate Situations / Actions Lost Sight or Blind Mid Air Collision Avoidance (MACA) Visual search responsibilities Factor high density traffic areas impacting route 23. ALTERNATE MISSION Wingman fallout (2 or 3 ship plan)
(Pause: Questions?)

24. RECAP MISSION/TRAINING OBJECTIVES STEP TIME IS____________ Split for Crew Coordination briefs (as required)



For use by pilots flying with instructor, evaluator, safety pilot, or photographer

Pilot In Command (PIC) Review Training Requirements Flight Currency Mission Paperwork review (lineup card/eval forms) Aircraft Specific Operating Limits (engine, airspeeds, etc) Ground Operations Known Aircraft Systems Limitations Exterior Inspection Personal Equipment Stowage Instrument Cockpit Check / Duties In-flight Operations Transfer of Aircraft Control (see Training Rules) Visual Search Responsibilities In-flight Checks Radio Procedures Configuration Changes (confirm gear) Emergency Procedures General Aircrew Responsibilities during emergencies Emergency Ground Egress Engine Failure Aircraft Intercom Failure Bird Strike / Windscreen Failure Passenger/Photo airsickness Emergency Divert Airfields and Procedures






Introduction: The hand signals in this appendix are the FAST approved formation hand signals. Covered here are the most of the common non-verbal signals in formation. Most signals will be provided by the Flight Lead. In some cases, he/she will provide a preparatory command before the command of execution; both are covered here. Where applicable. Wingman will normally acknowledge the preparatory command with a head nod. If required to relay a visual signal, such as signaling # four to diamond, the Wingman will not look away from the Flight Leader for wingman acknowledgment. Flight Leads will always brief non standard visual signals prior to their use. If flying with new flight members, insure they are familiar with all visual signals. Wingman Universal Acknowledgment: Nod head in response to hand signals that you are clear on the meaning, and can/will comply. If unclear, do nothing until signal is repeated. Wingman Universal OK: To indicate that you are ok and ready to proceed, the thumbs up signal can be used. Do not use the thumbs up to replace the head nod for in-flight signal acknowledgment, to include formation takeoff signals. Start Engines: Extend arm over head and make circular motion with hand. Engine Run Up: Make a circular motion with vertically extended index finger Zero Altimeters: Give the OK sign to wingman. Index and thumb touching. Air show performance only always use local altimeter setting for all formation practice flights Ready to take the runway for takeoff: Provide a thumbs up to the Flight Lead Ready for takeoff: Wingman looks at Flight Lead and nods head. All wingman acknowledgments to visual signals will be done with the head nod when on the runway/during flight. Start takeoff roll: Lead places head back, and nods head forward for brake release. Gear up: Clenched fist with thumb extended upward. Upward motion of the hand. Signal for execution is a backward head nod. Alternate execution signal is gear movement. Gear down: Thumb extended pointing down. Downward motion of the hand. Signal for execution is a head nod. Alternate signal for execution is gear movement. Reform or tighten formation: Rock wings slowly. Place formation to route: Gently fishtail the aircraft with rudder.


Frequency change: Tap headset near the ear. Extend fingers vertically for digits 1 through 5, horizontally for digits 6 through 9. Pull hand down out of sight between digits. Signal zero with a clenched fist. If using a briefed channel or tactical frequency, tap helmet and extend appropriate number of fingers. Fuel/Ops check: Close fist with thumb extended and perform drinking motion with thumb touching the oxygen mask or lips. Fuel remaining response: In response to fuel check, provide time above bingo as follows: 1 finger = 10-19 minutes 2 fingers = 20-29 minutes 3 fingers = 30-39 minutes 4 fingers = 40-49 minutes 5 fingers = > 50 minutes Cross Under Wingman: Hold clenched fist up, arm bent 90 at elbow, hold until acknowledged by wingman. Cross Under Second Element: Clenched fist held up with arm bent 90 degrees at the elbow, pump up and down twice. Look for acknowledgment or repeat. Cross unders may also be signaled by a small and quick wing dip in the desired direction of movement. Each wing Echelon Turn: When in two ship, use a clenched fist with forefinger and little finger extended upward. Move hand forward and aft repeatedly along canopy bow. Do not confuse with the hand signal for landing lights. Wingman to Close Trail: Clenched fist with thumb extended aft, motion aft. Provide signal to # 2 first, followed by # 3. Alternate may be signaled by porpoising the nose. Wingman to Diamond: Hold four fingers up (all but the thumb), followed by clenched fist with thumb extending aft with aft motion of the hand. Provide this signal to # 3, who will relay to # four. Flaps Up or Down: Biting motion with hand; fingers and thumb opening and closing (T-34 manual). Speed Brake Extend/Retract: Hand flat, palm forward with head nod for execution. (T-34 manual). Signal to Power Up/Power Back In-Flight: Clenched fist forward or backward motion. Change Lead: Point to the wingman to assume lead, followed by several pointing motions forward. Aircraft assuming lead acknowledges the signal with a head nod, moves to route and then moves forward, tapping head and pointing forward to signal to all flight members I have the lead.


Pitchout: Lead holds up index finger vertically and rotates to signal pitchout. If a specific interval is desired, follow immediately with number of fingers held vertically corresponding to the time in seconds between aircraft. Just prior to the pitchout, provide a kiss off signal by moving fingers away from the lips. A Salute may also be used. Attention in the Air: Wing Rock. Also used to reform the flight to fingertip. Turn Squawk Off: Place hand around neck as if choking ones self. Turn Landing Lights On/Off: Use pinky and pointer fingers extended vertically with clenched fist at eye level. To signal landing lights off, reverse signal with fingers pointing down. Do not confuse signal procedure for Echelon Turn. Oxygen Check: Cup hand over mask followed by ok sign. Wingman to Tactical Formation: Porpoise nose of aircraft. Do not confuse with the aircraft signal to close trail which is also the nose porpoise; brief accordingly. Note: tactical formation procedures are not discussed in this guide. Refer to FAST FKG for additional explanation.


Aircraft Damage Check: Hold clenched fist with index finger and thumb extended, as if holding a gun. Back of hand toward wingman. Descend to Lower Altitude: Hand at top of canopy, palm flat, facing down and move hand forward and down. Descend and Land Now: Movement of the hand, flat with palm down forward and down, finishing the movement by rounding out. I Must Land on Your Wing: Use your right hand, palm down, to tap your left shoulder or vice versa. Distressed aircraft lands, lead aircraft goes around when all landing coordination is complete and normally no lower than 200 feet. Radio Failure: Hand flat, fingers together, waved across the mask or mouth to indicate no transmitter. Wave across the ear to indicate no receiver. Perform both to indicate No Radio (NORDO). System Failures (HEFOE): Used when experiencing radio failure. Clenched fist held up, with back of hand touching the forehead in a woes is me signal. Followed immediately with the number of fingers extended vertically corresponding to the system malfunctioning: 1 = Hydraulic/Pneumatic 2 = Electrical 3 = Fuel 4 = Oxygen 5 = Engine


ATTACHMENT 4: Bonanza Type Specific

Mooney pilots will reference this Attachment prior to briefing with B2Osh Bonanza pilots. Mooney pilots will comply with Bonanza procedures to the maximum extent possible. If unable to comply, it is the Mooney pilots responsibility to ensure the Bonanza Flight Lead briefs appropriate speed/power setting to ensure the Mooney wingman will be able to maintain formation position. Bonanza vs. Mooney Performance Differences: All but the earliest Bonanza Models (225hp) will have a power advantage over most Mooney Models. Increased horsepower and longer props give the Bonanza a jump on the Mooney during acceleration. Similarly during deceleration the Bonanza will bleed airspeed faster than the cleaner Mooney design. Mooney pilots will need to ensure Bonanza Flight Leads use moderately paced power increases and slow, smooth power reductions. As a technique ask the Bonanza Flight Lead to use 120 KIAS as the reference cruise airspeed. All the Bonanza pilots are familiar with the performance of the classic E-225 V tails. Tell Lead that as an initial baseline to treat the Mooney like an E-225 Bo that cant slow down as quickly. The Mooney will fly-off the runway at a slower airspeed than the heavier Bonanzas. Mooney pilots should make no-flap takeoffs. During an element takeoff if you become airborne slightly (1-2 seconds) before your Bonanza Leader keep the Mooney flying, do not get too high on the Bonanza and then correct back as Lead begins climbing. Conversely the Bonanza will have less tendency to float in the flare. Emphasize the need for a slow power pull in the flare or the Mooney may get spit out in front. If that happens maintain your half of the runway and use normal braking. Once safely slowed regain formation position. Approach speed should be 90KIAS for both models. Brief gear-down configuration speeds (if element approach planned). If landing out of an overhead then comply with Leads briefed downwind speed and lower gear when able (NLT perch). Bonanza Fingertip References: Flying fingertip on the wing of a Bonanza is no different than flying on the wing of your fellow Mooney pilot except for the different aircraft references. Bonanzas to Oshkosh (and T-34s) use the following references: Angle-off: Aileron/Flap Junction with the Rear Edge of Cowling Spacing: Tailcone aligned with far ruddervator junction

Ask your Bonanza Lead to point out the references on his aircraft during pre-flight


T-34 Formation Manual 4th Addition Addendum Type Specific: Beechcraft Bonanza All procedures in T-34 manual are considered standard and need not be briefed unless there is change to standard. Before starting engines on any flight the pilot of each aircraft is responsible to have all information necessary to make the flight and that he/she has completed the preflight of their aircraft. This is considered standard. Element Take-Offs Lead give wingman 5 manifold pressure if both same horsepower engine. If wingman has lower horsepower engine make proper allowance to allow wingman throttle margin. On run up signal, lead and wing bring up briefed take off power, release breaks on lead head nod. T-34 Manual [page 15] Formation Takeoff considered standard procedure for Bonanzas. Climb 100 Kts @ 500 per minute. If aircraft with 225 and less horsepower is in the formation adjust for slowest aircraft in briefing. Lead Aircraft climb to at least 500 above ground before turning for join up for 2 ship element take off and 1000 for single ship 4 ship take off. On 4 ship formation # 2 always takes the inside of the turn to join regardless of position relative to lead on take off unless specifically briefed otherwise. # 2 assumes this position when lead starts turn using bank angle of 20 degrees. Lead uses bank angle of 20 degrees for initial join-up and rejoin-up. Cruise speed 130 Kts. Adjust speed if slower aircraft is in formation. Do not exceed 160Kts on descent from initial to pitch out altitude for 360 overhead breaks. All break bank-angles 45 degrees unless specified in briefing. When lead is level after pitch out on 360 overhead break lead will lower gear at runway numbers of landing runway. All others in formation maintain downwind leg speed until gear drop at runway numbers. Maintain descent and spacing position, use full flaps on base and final as set by lead with final approach speed of 90 Kts. Element break and element landing use same speed as single ship break and landing. Follow T-34 manual [page 16] for Formation Landing using full flaps when leader gives flap signal. Lead lands with adequate power to allow wingman maneuvering margin. Briefing, Starting Engines, Radio Procedure, Shut Down Briefing: Lead is Boss. Declare the type of flight. Although not a check ride all flights should be conducted as if. Lead briefs flight with standard items not being discussed unless there is change to standard.


Startup and Shut Down: Due to visibility limits in Bonanzas it is strongly urged a time start be used with all pilots setting watches to a time hack. There are many advantages to this, however the main one is it works. Use the same procedure for engine shut down. When lead observes all the flight members are parked leads gives radio call Bonanza Flight shut down on 30 or 60, . Acknowledgement by 2, 3, 4, acknowledgement indicates pilots understand and are able to comply with the shutdown time. Radio calls: T- 34 manual page 23. The first radio call is made by lead an adequate time after engine start time to allow pilots to check gauges, controls, radios, winds etc, and be ready in all respects for taxi. On Channel 1, Lead announces Bonanza Flight radio check . An acknowledgement indicates the pilot is ready to taxi. 2 sets the pace and the answers are 2, 3, 4. On all Channel changes lead calls Bonanza Flight go to Channel 2, [or what ever new channel lead directs]. While on the active channel all pilots acknowledge 2, 3, 4 before switching to new channel and then switch to channel 2 [the new channel directed]. Lead after reasonable time calls on channel 2 [new channel] Bonanza Flight Radio Check the response again is 2, 3, 4. This is standard procedure and after accepted will not need to be briefed; only the channels to be used on the flight need to be briefed. Emphasizing WINGMAN ACKNOWLEDGES channel change on channel in use. Lead then calls for radio check on new channel and WINGMAN ACKNOWLEDGES` on new channel. Echelon Turns Echelon turns are a flight maneuver with the flight maintained on a horizontal plane in lieu of the typical inclined plane [plane of leads wing] in the other formations. Turns from an echelon are generally required for maneuvering to the initial approach/break or can also be used for general maneuvering when in echelon. Note: All echelon turns are required to be in the direction away from the element the maneuver cannot be turned into the element. Echelon turns are normally either 20 or 30-degree bank turns. Shallower or steeper echelon turns are difficult to maintain. The sight line in the turn is more akin to a turn in close trail than a typical finger turn in that the normal spacing clues are replaced with the view of the underside of the airplane in front. Position is maintained by orientating the airplane fuselage in front slightly above the horizon and maintaining good spinner/tail alignment. From #2 position #1 fuselage is slightly above the horizon from #4 position #3 fuselage is slightly above the horizon and it follows #2 and #1are higher on the horizon. Remember the formation is stepped down and when coming out of an echelon turn the formation planes should be in the same relative position to each other as when entering the turn. Turns are generally initiated by lead to a smooth 30 degree bank angle. The entire flight should roll into the same bank maintaining the flight on a horizontal plane. An indication of a good echelon turn is instant reestablishment of position on roll out. Any discussion about what the flight is about or flying techniques should be done prior to the brief. Lead should know what the flight will be; all participating should know standards used in the flight. Lead will brief the flight as if it were a FFI check ride in accordance with FFI, T-34 4th addition manual with Bonanza type specific addendum.



ACUTE: The opposite of sucked. To be in a position too far forward in the formation or on a bearing (angle) that would place the aircraft too far forward during rendezvous, creating an uncomfortable closure rate and angle for the joining aircraft; vis. an acute rendezvous bearing as compared to a sucked rendezvous bearing. ASPECT ANGLE: The angle from the leader to the wingman, measured from the leads six oclock. Wingman heading has no bearing on AA. Flying directly aft of lead is zero degrees aspect, abeam is 90 degrees and directly in front is 180 degrees AA. ANGLE OFF (AO): Also called Heading Crossing Angle (HCA). The angular difference between the longitudinal axis of leader and wingman. The difference in headings between aircraft. ABORT: Directive to cease current operation or inform others of your intentions, such as during an aborted formation takeoff. ALPHA CHECK: Term to request a bearing and range to the target, as in when lead loses his bearings and radios, Mooney 2, request alpha check to field BOGEY: A visual contact whos identity is unknown. CONTINUE: Directive instruction to continue maneuvering. BUTTON: Term describing a preset frequency, as in Mooney Flight go button 2 BEARING LINE: The line angled off the leads nose as flown by the wingmen. BINGO FUEL: The fuel state at which the flight must return to base. A predetermined fuel figure remaining in gallons, pounds, or minutes which will allow return to base plus sufficient overhead reserve. When the wingman signals bingo fuel, the leader acknowledges and heads for base. CALL SIGN: The word and position number that designates a flight and the members in it. Usually selected by the flight leader for that particular mission, such as Mooney Flight. During flight, the lead is referred to by his/her position number; Mooney 1, as are all flight members (Mooney 2, Mooney 3...) CLOSURE RATE (Vc): Overtake created by airspeed or angular advantage between lead and wingman. Can be positive or negative. CROSSUNDER: A maneuver to change the position of a wingman from one side of lead to the other. DASH ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR: A US Navy term to refer to successive wingman in a flight. A-15

EXTENDED TRAIL: A two ship fluid maneuvering exercise to teach in and out of plane closure control to formation pilots. Places the wingman between 30 and 45 degrees aspect angle with range based on maneuvering speed. Extended trail may include maneuvers such as barrel rolls, wing overs (modified lazy eights), loops, half Cuban Eights and the Cloverleaf if pilots are so equipped, certified and trained. ELEMENT: A flight of two aircraft. The section is the basic fighting element and is selfsupporting covering each others six oclock in combat (real or otherwise), and providing backup on routine flights with radio or equipment malfunctions in addition to moral support and good company. US Navy historically refers to this as a Section. ENERGY (E): A term describing the current state of conditions in regards to altitude and airspeed of an aircraft. Altitude reflects an aircrafts potential energy, while airspeed reflects kinetic energy. Either may be transferred between the two as required. FLIGHT INTEGRITY: The ability of the wingman to maintain proper relative position while the flight is maneuvering. FLIGHT: Term denoting multiple aircraft flying under the direction of one aircraft, whos pilot is designated the flight leader. The flight is usually led by the most experienced pilot, with the second element leader as his deputy flight lead. USN may refer to this as a Division. FLUID MANEUVERING: The opposite of Parade/Close/ Fingertip formation. Aircraft fly defined range and offset parameters, but maneuver relative to one another. Extended Trail and Tail Chase are Fluid Maneuvering formations. FLUID FOUR: A formation consisting of four aircraft in which the element leads fly a tactical position off one another and the wingmen fly extended trail position off their respective element leaders. FORMATION: A disciplined flight of two or more aircraft under the command of a fight leader using a standardized set of signals and commands to direct the wingmen. Not to be confused with a GAGGLE of aircraft. FIGHTING WING: Nearly identical to the Extended Trail concept and used interchangeably in this manual. A position of mutual support between two aircraft that allows maximum maneuverability and look out between element lead and wingman. During Tactical Formation using Fluid Four procedures, the element wingmen are flying a fighting Wing position off their respective element leads. GAGGLE: An undisciplined group of aircraft, milling about in roughly the same piece of sky, sometimes attempting to impersonate a FORMATION. GIMME ONE: What the wingman calls to the lead when he has insufficient power to keep up, asking for lead to reduce power by one inch or more of manifold pressure/reduce EGT, RPM or burner setting in jets as applicable.


GO: Used to direct the flight to switch to a new frequency after acknowledging with call sign and or position number, in-sequence. See also Push. HEADING CROSSING ANGLE (HCA). Also referred to as ANGLE OFF (AO). The angular difference between the longitudinal axis of leader and wingman. HI YO YO: A maneuver performed out of plane with lead to control excessive closure, decrease aspect and prevent an overshoot. INITIAL: As in initial approach. Refers to the approach on runway heading used when doing a 360 overhead break. IN-TRAIL: A multi-ship fluid maneuvering formation where each aircraft follows the other. See also Tail Chase. JOKER: The fuel state at which formation time must be prioritized to meet mission objectives. Joker will be briefed by the Flight Lead and may be in time or volume. KNOCK IT OFF/TERMINATE: Terms used to cease maneuvering. LAG ROLL: A rolling maneuver executed from a trail position, performed opposite the direction of target turn in an attempt to reduce aspect angle and control closure. LIFT VECTOR: An imaginary plane going vertically through the top of the aircraft, representing the plane of motion in a straight pull. Set the lift vector means to roll the aircraft to set the point you want to pull to at your 12 oclock high. LINE OF SIGHT (LOS): A direct line between two aircraft as seen through the canopy. LOS RATE: The rate of change in position of an aircraft in the canopy caused by relative motion between lead and wingman. LAG PURSUIT: Maneuver to increase distance between lead and wingman by pointing wings nose aft of leads tail to fly a larger turn circle. LEAD PURSUIT: Maneuver by wing to decrease distance to lead when the leader is in a turn. Wing maneuvers inside leads turn by pointing the aircraft nose in front of lead. LOST WINGMAN: Term used by the wingman when he has lost sight of lead while flying in IMC. LOW YO YO: A maneuver performed out of plane with lead to reduce excessive range. This maneuver usually increases aspect and closure.


NOSE TO TAIL OVERLAP: As viewed from above, the nose of the #2 aircraft is farther forward than the tail of the #l. Naturally, as long as there is lateral separation between aircraft, no danger exists. NO JOY: Used to indicate that you have not visually acquired whatever it is you are looking for. BLIND: Call when you have lost sight of the lead or reference aircraft. OPS CHECK: Periodic check of aircraft systems and fuel state. OVERSHOOT: A maneuver to allow a wingman to pass behind and below leads plane of motion when closure is excessive during a rejoin. The USN refers to this as an under run. OFFSET TRAIL: A maneuver and training formation completed in two ship that places the wingman 45 degrees aspect angle either side of the lead aircraft. Similar to Extended Trail, however restricted to in-plane (non aerobatics) maneuvering with the wingman stepped down at all times. PARADE: (aka, FINGERTIP) Formation configuration to be used when under observation by the public, as in an airshow appearance. Parade formation is demanding, since the aircraft are in close physical proximity to each other. It requires absolute concentration on the part of the wingmen and smooth leadership by the flight lead. Close and fingertip formation also describes this flying style. The aircraft are welded together and fly as one unit. PLANE OF MOTION (POM): An imaginary plane defined by the aircrafts flight path. PUSH: Go to designated frequency without acknowledgment. Used in lieu of Go, which requires an acknowledgment by all wingmen before changing frequencies. PADLOCKED: Term used when you can not look away from a target (another aircraft, ground observation point, etc.) or you will lose visual on that object PERCH: The point during the overhead pattern that each aircraft initiates the turn to base. REJOIN: To join the flight onto the leader, as after takeoff. USN historically refers to this maneuver as a Rendezvous. ROUTE: A much looser version of fingertip formation. It allows the leader to control the flight, and reduces fatigue on the wingmen. Wingmen maintain the same relative bearing on the leader but move out between two wingspans and 500 feet. Goal is 2-4 wingspans ROE: Rules of Engagement. The agreed upon rules the members will operate under. STEP DOWN: The #2 aircraft is positioned a number of feet lower than his/her element lead. This allows room to maneuver in case of abrupt turns into the wingman.


STEP UP: What the thinking wingman does when the leaders making low passes SUCKED: To fall behind the lead, or be aft of the desired position. Aft of the bearing line. SMASH: Airspeed or Energy. Normally used to denote energy available to accomplish a snappy fighter-type maneuver, such as a pitchup to landing. SOP: Standard Operating Procedures. Those procedures that should be understood and used unless briefed differently by the flight lead. TACTICAL FORMATION: A formation consisting of two or more aircraft maneuvering approximately one turn radius apart. TALLY HO: Used to indicate that you have visually acquired whatever it is you were looking for. TAIL CHASE: Alternate term for a multi-ship fluid maneuvering formation where each aircraft follows the other. See also In Trail. THE BREAK: The breakup of the formation over the runway when a flight does a 360 OVERHEAD. Also called a pitch out. A fighter maneuver indicating an abrupt bank and pull to accomplish a change of direction and/or altitude. TURN CIRCLE: The flight path described by an aircraft in a turn. The size of the turn circle is based on bank angle, load factor and velocity. TURN RADIUS: The distance from the aircraft to the center of his/her turn circle. TURN RATE: The rate of heading change by an aircraft. VISUAL: Call when you have the leader or reference aircraft in sight. 3/9 LINE OVERSHOOT: When your aircraft moves ahead of the leader. WINGTIP OVERLAP: No lateral separation exists.