T-34C PRIMARY FORMATION FLIGHT TRAINING
FORMATION VISUAL SIGNALS
Visual signals between formation aircraft are utilized to reduce the need to coordinate common
formation tasks on the radio. Use visual signals to the maximum extent possible. Formation
visual signals also have a tactical benefit in that they allow communication between flight
members without the use of radio emissions (which could reveal the location of the formation).
Good formation discipline depends on the proper use and execution of visual signals. Poor
visual signals could cause a very common task to become hazardous and lead to confusion.
901. PASSING SIGNALS
Announce what signal you are going to pass over the Intercommunications System (ICS) before
initiating the signal. When initiating any signal as Lead pass the signal while looking
forward, even when on the ground, then pull the signal down and look at Wing for a
response (if required).
This action will reduce the time spent looking aft, thus enhancing outside scan and basic airwork.
All hand signals, except the Lead change, will be given with the hand nearest your Wingman.
All optional signals do NOT require an acknowledgement. On F4001 both the student and
the instructors will pass signals. On F4002-5 instructors are not required to pass signals.
902. GENERAL SIGNALS
MESSAGE TO BE SENT
Affirmative (I understand, ready).
Thumbs-up, or head nod.
Negative (I do not know, not read).
Thumbs-down, or turn of head from side to
side. (Shake-off signal).
Hand held up with palm outward.
Ignore last signal.
Hand waved in an erasing motion in front of
face (palm turned forward).
With forearm vertical, extend fingers to
indicate desired number from 1 to 5. With
forearm horizontal, indicate number which,
added to 5, gives the desired number from 6
through 9. A clenched fist indicates zero.
"Eyes-on" landing environment.
Lead points to eyes with two fingers, then
raises forearm horizontally with fingers
extended, palm inward, pointing in direction
FORMATION VISUAL SIGNALS 9-1