SECTION DAYTIME FLIGHT PROCEDURES
SECTION ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The section, consisting of two aircraft, is the basic flying unit used in formation. The section has a
lead and wingman, each with specific roles and responsibilities in the formation.
The lead's responsibilities cover two areas: flight lead and formation lead. The flight lead is an
instructor ultimately responsible to conduct a safe and orderly flight. The flight lead may fly either
position (lead or wingman) in formation. The formation lead flies the lead position and is responsible
for immediate conduct of the flight. In the Training Command, these responsibilities include staying
clear of traffic, weather and remaining within the briefed operations area, executing checklists,
utilizing proper visual and radio communications, and performing smooth/consistent changes in
power and heading. In addition, the formation lead must be considerate of the wingman both by
providing a smooth and consistent platform for the wingman and by planning the flight such that
signals and maneuver execution are not rushed.
The wingman's primary responsibility is to maintain position off the lead. Wingmen must know
the procedures to carry out the flight's mission, maintain situational awareness, and be prepared
to assume the lead at any time. By maintaining position as a wingman, you enhance the
formation's effectiveness and ability to accomplish the mission.
KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL FORMATION FLYING
1) Relax, using a light touch on the aircraft controls--easy to say, but hard to do. By relaxing, you
will be amazed at the ease of flying formation. 2) Keep the aircraft trimmed. 3) Scan the lead's
entire aircraft, and don't fixate on any one gouge or aspect of the lead aircraft. 4) For every
correction, apply a corresponding re-correction. For example, if you are sucked and add power,
you will reduce power approaching the position, and then slightly increase power to stabilize. 5)
Have fun. If you're not, you're not doing it right.
Safe formation flight requires control of direction and rate of relative motion between aircraft. Because
the lead is considered to be fixed, he is the primary reference for attitude control. Any movement
between aircraft involves the wingman as he moves around the three axes of the lead's aircraft. You
can control relative motion through anyone axis or a combination of all three axes. Power
controls nose-to-tail distance, pitch controls stepdown, and AOB controls wingtip separation. Good
formation flight results from anticipating and controlling relative motion, with small, timely corrections
about all three axes. By keeping the aircraft trimmed and in coordinated flight, you reduce fatigue and
enhance your ability to fly a smooth wing position.
Another key to good formation flight is to clearly understand radius of turn and how it relates to
controlling position during formation. Because the lead aircraft acts as the source of all position
information, you need to anticipate position corrections in relation to the lead's radius of turn. As a
wingman in parade position, if the lead turns into your position, you will require less power to
complete the turn because you fly a smaller radius of turn. When the lead turns away from your
position, you will require more power because you will fly a larger turn radius. Radius of turn is
especially important when executing parade turns, during the breakup and rendezvous exercise,
and especially during the tail-chase exercise.