Air Combat Maneuvering
Defensive Diving Spiral
Figure 26 shows a diving spiral which is essentially a tight, extremely nose-low, two-circle fight.
(Two-circle fights will be explained in neutral starts.) The spiral is a last-ditch maneuver that
counters an in-close, medium-to-low angle off gun attack while retaining maneuvering potential to
neutralize a follow-on attack or seek disengagement. It is unlikely that the maneuver will result in an
offensive position for the fighter.
Figure 26: DEFENSIVE DIVING SPIRAL
You might consider the defensive diving spiral when the bandit nears his gun employment position
and your hard or break turn proves to be ineffective. You must have sufficient altitude (10,000 ft
above deck), a cooperative bandit who follows you into the spiral, and maximum deceleration (idle
To execute the spiral, bait the bandit into committing his nose low by initially lowering your nose
slightly prior to entering the excessive nose-low attitude. Continue a hard turn into the bandit, pulling
power to idle and deploying the speed brakes in an attempt to increase closure.