Cruise is flown at approximately 92%. The lead should set power at 92% and then pass the cruise signal.
The lead will maneuver through turns, gradually increasing the AOB and pitch while working into
wingovers and modified barrel rolls. The minimum airspeed during cruise is 150 KIAS and the lead
should maintain at least 1 positive g during the barrel rolls. The wingman should fly a cruise position so
as not to lose sight of the lead, i.e., lead's helmet. Maintaining nose-to-tail is of primary importance during
cruise; wingmen should maintain nose-to-tail distance while holding their position inside the lead's turn
radius. During straight and level flight, the wingman may fly on either side of the lead unless otherwise
Cruise Turns Away
When the leader turns away from the wingman, the wingman should roll with the lead and slowly
increase his rate of roll so as to smoothly maneuver to the inside of the lead's turn. A small amount of
power may be needed to maintain nose-to-tail while maneuvering to the inside. Once inside the lead's
turn, a slight power reduction and decrease in angle of bank will be necessary to maintain proper
position. As the lead increases the angle of bank and the wingman maintains position on the inside of the
turn, the wingman will find that he may need to reduce his stepdown on the lead. At no time should the
wingman allow himself to be stepped up on the lead.
Cruise Turns Into
When the lead turns into the wingman, the wingman should simultaneously and smoothly reduce power
and may slightly lag the lead's rate of roll so as to slide toward the lead's turn radius. Depending on the
rate of roll, this may be a gentle maneuver requiring almost no sliding, or one which requires the
wingman to expeditiously slide to the lead's turn radius. One common error for the wingman, particularly
if the lead rolls and pulls rapidly, is to lag too much behind the lead's rate of roll and get "spit out" of the
turn. Another error is to roll faster than the lead, and lose nose-to-tail by being inside the lead's radius of
Wingovers/Modified Barrel Rolls
"Over-the-top" maneuvers may be signaled to the wingman via the radio or by hand/arm signal.
Wingovers are performed as in the FAM stage; barrel rolls will be modified to be inverted after 45
degrees of heading change. When performing these maneuvers, the lead will start by increasing g into
the wingman in order to establish a climb. The wingman should match the lead's pull in order to
maintain position. If the wingman is slow in applying g, two problems arise simultaneously: (1)
lead will gain altitude faster than the wingman, and (2) lead will have more induced drag (less
airspeed) than the wingman. The end result is a wingman who is below and acute on the lead.
This uncomfortable position may be resolved by smoothly increasing g (and induced drag) to get back
into position, making small power adjustments as necessary. A common error is for wingman to reduce
power in order to regain proper position (due to the acute sight picture). This will decrease airspeed and
g available, and still leave the wingman out of position (low and likely going sucked) and now needing
more power to reestablish proper position.
When performing the modified barrel rolls, the wingman needs to understand how radius of turn affects
the maneuver. If the lead performs the maneuver to the left and the wingman is established on the left,
the wingman will be on the inside of the lead's radius of turn. However, when passing through the
inverted position, the wingman is now on the outside of the lead's turn radius, even though he is still on
the lead's left wing. Therefore, when passing through the inverted position, the wingman must add power
to remain in position. If the wingman is established on the right wing of the lead and stays there
throughout a left barrel roll, the wingman will begin the maneuver on the outside of the lead's turn radius,
therefore requiring a power reduction going through the inverted position. The lead will maintain positive
g during any rolling maneuver.