AIR FORCE T-38 TRACK INTERMEDIATES
the map! This technique will cause you to spend too much time with your cranium in the cockpit
looking at the map instead of watching out for the ground. Once on the low level, you will
probably need to apply course and timing corrections to hit the target on time.
Let us start with course corrections. The following techniques in order of priority should be used
to correct course deviations:
1) Aim for a feature in the distance that is on course.
2) Use funneling features between 10 and 2 o'clock to steer back to course. Funneling
features may include roads, power lines, natural terrain, etc.
3) If you cannot find a feature between 10 and 2 o'clock, you can use the Standard
Closing Angle (SCA), which is based on the 60-to-1 rule. For the T-34 at 150 knots
groundspeed, for every nautical mile you are off course, apply a 20-degree heading correction for
one minute. When back on track, analyze why you got off course and apply a correction to your
heading if required.
For timing corrections, you can cut off or extend segments of the low level by turning early or
late at a turn point. However, a better technique is to apply groundspeed corrections. Like
course corrections, timing corrections are also based on the 60-to-1 rule. Let us look at a T-34
traveling at 180 knots groundspeed, or 3.0 nautical miles per minute. For every 10 seconds off
of timing, change the groundspeed by 10 knots for 3 minutes. So, if you are 10 sec behind,
increase the groundspeed to 160 knots for 2.5 minutes. When back on time, analyze why you got
off time and apply corrections to your groundspeed as required.
FORMATION LOW LEVEL
The two-ship is the basic fighting element for low level flying. During a two-ship low level,
the number one priority for both aircraft is to avoid hitting the ground or anything attached to the
ground! After that, the lead aircraft is primarily responsible for navigation and timing, or in
other words, getting the formation to the target on time. The Wingman is primarily responsible
for station keeping and providing mutual support.
The basic Two-Ship Formation is Tactical. Low-level Tactical is flown the same as medium
altitude tactical with a couple of important exceptions. First, the Wingman never stacks low or
flies below the lead aircraft. As a visual reference, the Wingman should look out and see the
lead aircraft on the horizon or slightly below the horizon. If the Wingman sees the lead aircraft
above the horizon (can see sky between the ground and the lead aircraft), the Wingman is flying
below Lead's altitude and should climb immediately. The second major difference with low
altitude Tactical Formation involves turns. During tactical turns, the Wingman should climb
slightly to deconflict from the lead aircraft. In other words, if the two aircraft in the formation
are approaching each other in a turn, the Wingman is responsible for climbing to provide vertical
7-6 T-38 LOW LEVEL NAVIGATION