Air Combat Maneuvering
continue to roll in the direction you used to initiate the exercise, allowing you to keep sight of the bandit
at all times. To accomplish this, increase the rate of roll and relax the backstick pressure slightly (until
established nose-low in the oblique) to avoid burying the nose. You should arrive in a nose-low slice
turn in lag pursuit. Once in the slice turn, maintain a 17-unit AOA to avoid depleting your energy, thus
delaying your ability to employ your weapons and even allowing the bandit to disengage. Remember,
patience is a virtue. As your airspeed increases in the turn, your g availability will gradually increase,
and you should increase back stick to allow you to move more rapidly with pure pursuit to a Fox-2.
Your second method is to execute a reversal away from the bandit prior to his passing beneath your
nose. Although you will momentarily lose sight of the bandit, this method typically prevents you from
burying your nose. Following the reversal, overbank toward the bandit, executing the same nose-low
slice turn as above, pulling 17 units AOA to end up in lag pursuit. As in the first method, continue
appropriate pursuit to a Fox-2.
As soon as you see the bandit breaking back into you, evaluate your range. Chances are, you will be
outside of his bubble. Remember, you cant employ effective BFM prior to breaking into his bubble, so
if youre not there, get there! An aggressive 0-g unload will get you there the fastest. You would like to
arrive inside his bubble through lag pursuit, to a point just outside of his post. Once the post has been
reached, an aggressive transition to lead pursuit through a maximum performance break turn (you
unloaded for all those knots, now use them!) will get you as close to the control zone as you can
possibly get given the range at the start.
What are you going to use for visual cues throughout this exercise? Obviously there isnt a big post
out there that you can drive toward. Try this. As long as youre outside of the bandits bubble, his
position on your canopy will remain relatively constant, even while in lag. So at the Fox-2, start your
unload at the spot where you shot the bandit and maintain this lag pursuit even as the bandit begins his
Aspect will change throughout his turn, but you wont pick up much line-of-sight movement (LOS) until
you have entered his bubble. But once that LOS starts to become noticeable, youre inside! Now, just
wait a couple of seconds until LOS starts rapidly increasing (somewhere around your 2 or 10 o clock)
and its time to bleed that jet out of every g available (within structural limits, of course).
The excess rate you have over the bandit should allow you to come nose on with weapons separation.
A second Fox-2 is an option here, as is a gunshot, as long as you can achieve controlled closure.
Remember, this is an energy game, so manage yours wisely.
If you begin your transition to lead too early, you will overshoot the bandit inside of his control zone,
possibly giving him a reversal option. If he starts to reverse, get into your one-circle game plan
immediately with an aggressive nose-high move, repositioning lift vector aft of the bandit. Any delay
could cost you the offensive position.
If the turn around the post is delayed, or the initial unload is toward a point well outside the post, you
will allow the bandit to create angles which you may be unable to make up. This could lead to seriously
misaligned turn circles and a disengagement opportunity for the bandit.
One other possibility from the break turn exercise is a bandit pitchback in the vertical. Normally, if the
bandit is able to achieve separation beyond a mile or more (putting the fighter well outside of his
bubble), it is not advantageous for him to do this. By coming back horizontally or nose low, hell