EXCESSIVE AIRSPEED AT RELEASE POINT
Failure to monitor power settings, roll-in airspeeds, and dive angles can easily result in excessive
airspeeds at release altitude. Disregarding any of these variables not only creates a dangerous situation
because of a resultant low pullout, but detracts considerably from the pilot's ability to bomb effectively.
Be a professional and strive to arrive at the release point on airspeed. Not only will your runs be safer,
but your hits will be more accurate.
DIVE ANGLES STEEPER THAN OPTIMUM
Not only does a steeper dive angle result in a lower than normal pullout, but it usually causes a faster
run. The pilot thus introduces two variables into the bombing solution merely by being steep. Learn to
recognize steeper than optimum dive angles early in the run with the help of your HUD, and make the
appropriate correction when it won't cost you too much valuable tracking time. If the dive angle is more
than 5 degrees too steep or shallow, abort the run.
Every pilot would like to get a bull's eye on every run, but unfortunately, some have become so en-
grossed in achieving hits that they have flown into the ground by fixating on the target and disregarding
their release altitude. This is especially a problem with forward firing ordnance where it is easy to "follow"
the projectiles' flight path. Last-second corrections usually result in both a false sight picture and a loss
of altitude. If the run is that bad, abort and go around to try again. The breakaway cross and the Low
Altitude Warning are both designed to wake you up if you get fixated in the dive, but don't get accus-
tomed to using these as crutches. Many people have flown right through minimum release altitude, the
breakaway cross, and the RADALT and paid the ultimate price for their mistake. Continually scan the
altimeter; don't become another statistic. The RADALT is set such that if you are recovering at the
appropriate altitude, you will bottom out above the RADALT setting and not activate the Low Altitude
Warning. If you hear the LAW tone during pullout, you are recovering too low.
CORRECTING BY RELEASING LOW
The objective when we drop a bomb is to hit the target. To hit the target we have to either fly a perfect
pass or make a good correction in the dive. Since we seldom fly a perfect pass, it makes sense to plan
for a small release "window" above and below our planned release in which we can make a correction
and still be safe. The absolute bottom of this window is your minimum release altitude. We have told
you several times not to correct for errors by releasing below minimum release altitude. The primary
reason is safety. But there is another reason not to go low, a reason connected with the combat job you
are learning. That reason is fuse arming delay, which involves a time delay set into the fuse to allow safe
separation of the bomb from the aircraft. A bomb with a timed fuse must fall for a set length of time
before the fuse is armed. Consequently, going low for release may not give sufficient time for your
weapon to arm and you are in the position of trying to drop scrap iron on somebody instead of high
explosive. With live ordnance, you will also have a fragmentation pattern to avoid. Do not go low.
PITOT STATIC MALFUNCTION
You have two altitude readings on your HUD, barometric and radar. If the radar altimeter readout does
not appear below 5,000 AGL, something is wrong. (You may simply not have the radar altimeter turned
on.) If the barometric altimeter does not display, then there is a failure of some sort, either in the HUD or
in its inputs. If only the HUD or one of its transducers has failed, you have the option of continuing with
the flight using your cockpit altimeter. But remember that a failure may affect more than just the HUD; if
you have reason to suspect that something is wrong with the pitot static system itself, investigate at a