AIR FORCE T-38 TRACK INTERMEDIATES
low-level navigation. The leader may call for a specific turn (e.g., Pork 21, 90 left), but is not
required to turn that amount exactly. The Wingman's primary reference is the flight Lead, not
the RMI! At low altitude the Wingman should anticipate the required heading change for pre-
planned turns to maintain course, but should still reference the Flight Lead to maintain position.
After achieving the Tactical position, you will make your corrections in three steps; first, you
will fix your line abreast (Figure 6-4) from Lead, then your horizontal distance, then your
elevation. For line abreast references, you want to have Lead over your rank, over the wing spar
running out to the wingtip, with Lead's prop as a perfect up and down line.
Power corrections are not going to show up very fast in Tactical, so you are going to have to
use energy (vertical, climb or descend) to attain your line abreast references. Lead should give
you a stable platform and should give the flight check turns as appropriate to help the flight keep
line abreast. Two of the references, the wing spar and the prop are great aids for assessing line
abreast. If you keep Lead on the wing spar and keep the prop as a vertical straight line, then you
will be line abreast. If you see Lead ahead or behind the wing spar or you see any of the prop
arc, then you are not line abreast.
As you slide out to the Tactical position, you will see the detail of Lead's aircraft start to
diminish. Key in on the stars and stripes on the side of Lead's fuselage. At about 1200-1800
feet (.2 to .3 miles on the NACWS) of horizontal separation (Figure 6-5), you are going to
notice that the star is going to go from a five-pointed star to a white dot and the blue and white
stripes are going to blend together. Go no further out than the star looking like a white dot and
you are in the proper position. If you close in, you will start to see the detail in the star again and
the different color stripes, and the lead aircraft will just look bigger. Too far out, the white dot
will fade away and you will not be able to make out any detail on Lead's insignia.
T-38 FORMATION AREA WORK