tactical roles of engaged and free fighter are identified, the formal roles of lead and wingman are dropped
during the engagement.
Although the engaged fighter (wingman) has a tally, the free fighter (lead) is better positioned to direct the
fight and calls the initial bogey overshoot. Once the engaged fighter has turned hard into the threat, the
bogey overshoots and reverses to neutralize the attack of the free fighter. The free fighter becomes the
new engaged fighter (lead) when he calls: directive action, bogey information, role change, position, and
the bogey position in relation to himselffor example, Reverse, bogey overshot, Im engaged at your left
seven, bogeys on my nose 1/2 mile. At this time the new free fighter (wingman) reverses to get a tally on
the bogey and a visual on the engaged fighter, who is in a turn away, low and inside. Now that you are the
free fighter, acknowledge sight of both aircraft, and identify your role by calling, Tally, visual, Im free.
You now move into a high cover position approximately 2000 feet behind the engaged fighter outside his
turn with approximately 2000 feet of vertical separation.
The engaged fighter reduces power approximately to 92% and continues his turn. Since your (free fighter)
turn is now outside the engaged fighter, the necessary nose-to-tail separation should quickly develop.
Maintain power at MRT and adjust the nose as necessary to slide into high cover. Three problems may
arise shortly after the reversal: 1) nose-to-tail separation does not adequately develop, or 2) you drift into
and on top of the engaged fighter, or 3) you maintain high cover too long generating too much nose-to-tail
separation. Correct by rolling wings level momentarily to place you back outside his turn.
High cover is an offensive free fighter position. To maintain high cover and preserve your vertical
separation, reduce AOB as necessary to hold up the nose. Remain outside the engaged fighters turn by
reducing AOB until proper nose-to-tail separation develops. Adjust your radius of turn to maintain position
The free fighter flies to low cover when called upon to engage or whenever he needs to close nose-to-tail
distance. The low cover position is inside the engaged fighters turn at 4 or 8 oclock but no closer than
500 feet nose-to-tail separation. As the free fighter, you may be called upon to engage at any time during
the transition from high to low cover. Once you have reached approximately 2000 feet nose-to-tail,
overbank the aircraft down and inside the engaged fighters turn, smoothly pulling your nose in front of the
engaged fighter (lead pursuit). You will close on the engaged fighter and be in position to assume the role
of engaged fighter, if necessary. When transitioning from high to low or low to high cover, transmit your
intentions and check the engaged fighters sixfor example, Murphs high cover, going low, your six is
Do not allow too much closure to develop through an excessive lead pursuit angle or increased airspeed
(50 knots overtake maximum). High closure may force you to make a hard, energy-bleeding roll away to
avoid an overshoot. Recognize closure early. It is always better to roll away too soon, rather than too late.
You can successfully transition from high to low or low to high cover by smoothly controlling pitch and roll
rate. Be fluid, not erratic.
At this point in the exercise you have three options:
1) Return to high cover when nose-to-tail distance is inside 1000 feet.
Example: Free fighter: Murphs low cover, going high, your six is clear.
Engage at the engaged fighters request