Target Pattern Procedures
ABEAM TO ROLL-IN
Between the abeam position and the roll-in, strive to stay on the attack cone by placing the target at
your 3 or 9 o'clock. Arcing around the attack cone is much like tacan arcing. If you find yourself too
wide, increase your AOB to put the target forward of your 3-9 line and if you are too tight, ease your
turn to put the target aft of your 3-9 line. Experience will dictate how far forward or aft to put the target
when making a correction. You should strive to ingrain the sight picture for the proper attack cone
distance as you will use this sight picture throughout your career as a strike pilot. Pattern altitude and
airspeed must be maintained from the abeam to the roll-in.
Approaching the run-in line, set power to release rpm and start a 15-17 unit pull towards the target while
maintaining pattern altitude. The roll-in begins about 30 degrees of heading prior to the run-in heading.
Because the HUD only displays heading 15 degrees either side of the heading marker, you will have to
estimate this 30-degree lead point. At this point, relax backstick and roll the aircraft to put the lift vector
slightly below the target and smoothly pull the aircraft down so that it is aligned with the run-in line. (You
can accept a variance of less than 10 degrees from the target's run-in line.) Stop the pull as the "W" in
your HUD reaches the target, unload, and crisply roll wings level (Figure 13). Because of the "pendulum
effect" caused by the sight depression, the roll-out must be commenced while the pipper is still short of
the run-in line. If, after your roll-out, you find that you are not lined up with the run-in line, accept the
angling run-in if it is within 10 degrees of the run-in line. Continue the run, and correct your roll-in on
your next pass, since trying to fly back to the run-in line wastes valuable tracking time. However, if you
are more than 10 degrees off the correct heading, you must either make a correction or abort the run.
Immediately after rolling wings level, reset pitch attitude so that the target is at the appropriate initial sight
setting. You are now in the tracking run, which will be discussed in-depth in the next chapter.
Pickle your bomb or fire no lower than minimum release altitude with zero AOB in approximately 1-g
After pushing the release button or firing, pause about half a second to allow the weapon to clear the
aircraft. Begin pullout by smoothly applying 4 g's in a wings-level attitude. Application of "g" should not
be immediate but gradual, obtaining 4 g's over 2-3 seconds. As the nose of the aircraft comes through
the horizon, increase power to MRT and continue the pullout. Turn the master armament switch to
SAFE. If the breakaway cross appears, immediately initiate a normal 4-g wings-level recovery; avoid
snapping on the g and overstressing the aircraft. For strafe recovery, a level jink will be practiced. As
the nose of the aircraft comes through the horizon, roll to 70 degrees AOB and smoothly apply 4 g. After
20 degrees of heading change, relax g, reset AOB, and pull to the abeam.
Proper voice procedures are essential to a safe, orderly pattern. The standard voice comms are de-
signed to build SA; however, improper or unintelligible comms will actually degrade SA. Common
tendencies to avoid include using the wrong callsign (cross-dressing), shouting, mumbling, or talking too
fast, and cutting yourself off with a short-mic. Avoid the use of "apostrophe S" on the tail of your callsign
to make your transmissions clearer. "Three off safe" is a lot easier to understand on the radio than
"Three's off safe." These procedures apply to all three weapons delivery patterns.