Air Combat Maneuvering
slow TCR of a flat scissors engagement makes almost any gunshot incredibly dangerous to you.
Plus, by definition, a flat scissors is a fight that does not allow you a nose-high gun defense. If this
fight does not develop your way, REDEFINE! And do it early, before the tracers start flying.
Oftentimes, you will be able to sustain a protracted position of relative neutrality when engaged in the
flats. Remember, however, that the 1 V 1 Training Command regime is incredibly sterile. In the real
world, you are hanging yourself out to dry as long as you remain in this fight. Your bandits wingman
is out there and, at 130 KIAS, you look like a giant flare to his missiles seekerhead.
Unfortunately, disengaging at 130-150 KIAS is extraordinarily difficult, no matter how neutral the
pass. So youre going to have to set this thing up. A butterfly is a good technique. It is little more
than a series of extensions/pitchbacks to separate your turning circle from the bandits and increase
your energy package at the merge.
As you merge with the bandit, unload the nose to pick up some airspeed while you maintain sight of
the bandit and monitor his reversal. You must initiate the pitchback before he brings his nose
through more than 45 degrees or so of his turn. Trade the airspeed for altitude/angles to achieve
another neutral merge, and then repeat. You may find yourself losing angles at first, but as the flat
widens, it will begin to take on the characteristics of a two-circle fight more and more. Eventually,
you should be able to hit the merge with a good bag of knots and little lateral separation beyond the
required 500 ft. From here, you may attempt a bug.
There are other times when a bug may be attempted even without optimum conditions. The easiest
is a bandit who has generated some vertical separation and attempts to early turn you at the merge.
If hes real aggressive with it, you may be able to unload out his six while hes belly up in the