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AIR FORCE T-38 TRACK INTERMEDIATES
CHAPTER 6
Figure 6-1
The Cone
611.
WING'S TOOLS TO MAINTAIN THE CONE
Before we go further, let us describe the cone that you must maintain. You must manage three
things to maintain position; the first two, Aspect and Range, are ingredients you reference from
Lead's aircraft. The Aspect is approximately 30-45 degrees and range is 300-500 feet behind
Lead. As a technique, most pilots fly in the aft portion of the cone, 400-500 feet, so that you
have time to react to Lead's maneuvering. The third item you need to stay in the cone is a little
more subtle; it is energy. Since the goal of Extended Trail for Wing is to maintain the cone, then
Wing must emulate Lead's energy state to a certain extent. If Lead is going over-the-top
(Cloverleaf, Half Cuban Eight, etc.), then Wing must ensure he has sufficient airspeed to do the
same. Splitting the outboard wing with the vertical stabilizer (ventral fin point on "cutout") will
define 45 degree angle-off; Lead's nose on the canopy bow approximates 30 degree angle-off.
Distance behind Lead can be estimated by noting the amount of detail on Lead's aircraft.
Clearly reading the side number approximates 500 feet; the ability to discern detail on the lead
pilot's helmet will indicate range inside of 300 feet. One area to avoid, but is still in the cone,
however, is Lead's high six. Avoid this area, since it is easy to lose sight of Lead under the
engine.
T-38 FORMATION AREA WORK
6-11


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