Return to Parade Position
After all maneuvering, the lead reduces the power and then passes the join-up signal (porpoise the
aircraft or pat either shoulder). As the lead passes the join-up signal, the wingman moves into the
parade position, adjusting power as necessary.
Column formation is used to instill confidence in section maneuvering and to practice smooth
application of g. The lead will always maintain at least one positive g and will not normally exceed three
g's during maneuvering. The lead may perform wingovers and modified barrel rolls as in cruise, and
also may perform aileron rolls. The lead's power will be set at approximately 92%. At no time will the
speed brakes be used while in column formation.
Column position is directly behind the lead with 15 ft of stepdown and 10 ft of nose-to-tail separation
(Figure 30). To maintain this position, place the top of the canopy bow on the lead's wingline. In
column, maintain position directly behind the lead with AOB. Maintain nose-to-tail separation with
power, and control stepdown with g. Your smooth application of g is crucial to maintain stepdown in
section column maneuvers.
Maintaining stepdown is of primary importance during column formation. If the wingman ever has any
doubt of safe aircraft clearance during maneuvering, he merely needs to relax his back pressure on the
stick and separation between the two aircraft will occur almost immediately. Corrections for nose-to-tail
errors are similar to those of cruise maneuvering. For example, if the wingman is slow to match the pull
of the lead and becomes acute and low, smoothly increase g to return to the proper position, making
small power corrections as necessary.
It is important for the wingman to remember that as the lead's nose starts down, the lead will accelerate
first and have a tendency to open on the wingman. The wingman will have to add a small amount of
power to compensate, then readjust the power as both aircraft approach the same speed. The opposite
is true as the lead's nose starts up. Use small, almost imperceptible, control inputs to make corrections,
especially in pitch during maneuvering.