Two-Plane Road Reconnaissance
TWO-PLANE ROAD RECONNAISSANCE
The two-plane missions flown in the Training Command are reconnaissance missions, flown to
search for targets (hence the term reconnaissance or recce), rather than flying point-to-point in
section to destroy a known target. The latter mission would be flown like the single-plane missions
except with two aircraft, a lead and a wingman.
The purpose of two-plane road reconnaissance as flown in the Training Command is to familiarize
you with the basic skills of the mission. You will apply what you learned in Tactical Formation,
Weapons Delivery, and Operational Navigation to the more fluid aspects of flying the recce forma-
tion, describing and attacking targets, and maintaining mutual support. Road recce as flown in the
Training Command employs tactics for a low-threat environment, with little or no anti-aircraft artillery
(AAA) or surface-to-air missiles (SAMs). Although high-threat tactics are not used here, many of the
skills learned at this medium altitude can be adapted to the low-altitude regime. Recce missions are
flown over road or railroad segments, river segments, etc., and do not extend to large population or
industrial centers. Road recce is a tactical mission aimed at enemy support and material production.
Planning is similar to planning for a single-plane point-to-point mission, but rather than straight
courses between points, your route will simply follow a road, railroad, or river. (In the training
command, you will use roads.) You still stay within the route structure as defined by AP/1B. For fuel
planning purposes, multiply the EFR for each road reconnaissance leg by 1.2 to allow for attacks
and jinking. Plan to fly the route at 300 knots with no particular radius of turn. You do not plan for
time at the checkpoints, but your doghouses should show headings from one checkpoint to the next.
The formation must meet several criteria. It must allow ample opportunity for all pilots to view the
area being searched, because even from a relatively short distance, many ground targets are
extremely difficult to see. The formation must be one from which an attack can be quickly mounted
when a target is located and one in which airspeeds and/or altitudes can be kept high enough so that
even an ordnance-laden aircraft can rapidly climb to a roll-in position. It must enable both leader and
wingman to keep sight of one another, but not require constant attention by either pilot. The
wingman should not fly so close to the lead that he degrades the lead's ability to maneuver, nor so
far away that he is hard to see. The formation must present minimum exposure to various types of
enemy defenses, and allow maximum opportunity for mutual support against ground and air threats.
A low dive angle minimizes exposure time to ground threat while a high dive angle maximizes
accuracy of attack and effectiveness of weapons. (NOTE: Performed only on road recce flight
events, not permitted by students at low altitude.)