Air Combat Maneuvering
may need another defensive maneuver. Because this maneuver requires a great amount of time and fuel,
the instructor may decide to terminate the lufbery prior to a disengagement attempt.
The defensive maneuvers previously discussed were developed to safely keep you from ever having to
defend against a bogeys guns solution. But what about the times when the bogey has out-maneuvered
you or has surprised you, and is behind you pulling lead for a shot? You have to do something, and you
have to do it now! To survive, you have to perform a counter that is extremely aggressive and
unpredictable. These counters are referred to as last-ditch maneuvers.
Defensive Diving Spiral
Figure 23 shows a diving spiral which is essentially a tight, extremely nose-low, two-circle fight. (Two-
circle fights will be explained in neutral starts.) The spiral is a last-ditch maneuver that counters an in-
close, medium-to-low angle off gun attack while retaining maneuvering potential to neutralize a follow-on
attack or seek disengagement. It is unlikely that the maneuver will result in an offensive position for the
Figure 23: DEFENSIVE DIVING SPIRAL
You might consider the defensive diving spiral when the bogey nears his gun employment position and
your hard or break turn proves to be ineffective. You must have sufficient altitude (10,000 ft above deck),
a cooperative bogey who follows you into the spiral, and maximum deceleration (idle power/speed brakes).
To execute the spiral, bait the bogey into committing his nose low by initially lowering your nose slightly
prior to entering the excessive nose-low attitude. Continue a hard turn into the bogey, pulling power to idle
and deploying the speed brakes in an attempt to increase closure.
Overbank the aircraft utilizing aileron and rudder to place your lift vector on the bogey. Your rate of roll
should be sufficient to keep the bogey out of phase. Use aileron and rudder to maintain your lift vector on
the bogey throughout the diving spiral.
T-45C Revision 1