Always remember that safety is paramount. As you move further into the tactical phase of flight training,
the potential for an incident increases significantly. If, however, you think only about being safe, you will
never achieve the level of proficiency necessary to be a competent tactical aviator. Safety is the natural
and number one by-product of operational proficiency. Complete knowledge, thorough preparation, and
continuous practice are the keys to achieving operational proficiency.
The following specific areas will go a long way in making you a safe and effective tactical jet pilot:
RELATIVE MOTION/EXCESSIVE CLOSURE
All midair collisions are a result of pilots failing to recognize constant bearing and decreasing range until it
is too late to take evasive action. Up until now, all your flying in close proximity to other aircraft has been
static and rates of change have always been tightly controlled. This will not be the case in the rest of your
Spatial awareness is the ability to project the flight paths of your aircraft and other aircraft in relation to
each other. By developing spatial awareness and fully understanding your aircrafts capabilities, you will
prevent midair collisions.
As you learned in CQ, if you arent in good position at the abeam, the chances are by the time you get to
the ramp you are not in a good position to land. Similarly, in TacForm near misses are often caused by
the wingman being out of position at the start of the maneuver. Strive to be in position at all times.
In order to minimize the potential for a midair collision, especially in the air-to-air phase, you must keep
your head on a swivel. Learn to take quick glances into the cockpit to get the information you want and
then to look back outside immediately. Any aircraft that loses sight for more than an instant must transmit
Lost sight. The other aircraft will provide descriptive/directive commentary to help the lost-sight aircraft
re-acquire sight. If this is unsuccessful, the instructor will call, Knock it off.
All aircraft have specific structural/aerodynamic limitations. If you do not heed these limitations, you could
damage the aircraft. It is mandatory that you know all the aircraft limitations and procedures.