JOINT ADVANCED MULTI-ENGINE T-44A
CHAPTER 5. FORMATION STAGE (FORM)
Introduction. The formation stage reacquaints the student with formation flight procedures/principles and
introduces formation flight in a multi-engine aircraft with side-by-side seating and limited visibility from
Formation Defined. A formation consists of two or more aircraft flying at minimum safe separation while
performing coordinated maneuvers. The smallest formation unit is the Section, which consists of two
aircraft, a Lead (dash 1) and a Wing (dash 2). Next is a Division, which consists of either three aircraft or
Prohibited Maneuvers/Flight Conditions.
Intentional Form Flight in IMC Conditions. This does not prevent a flight, if adequately briefed,
from flying an IFR clearance in VMC. The only situation that would warrant IMC formation flight is a
recovery with a Wing who has lost communications and/or the radio instruments necessary to execute an
instrument approach, and is unable to continue in VMC. If section IMC flight is required, both IP's will be
at the controls.
Night Formation Flight.
Division Formation Flight. T-44 formation training will be conducted in section formation only.
Fan Breaks. Breaks wherein both aircraft execute break turns at the same time.
Section Takeoffs and Section Landings.
"Running" Lead Changes. Lead changes executed from other than a stable parade position.
Formation Brief. The Flight Leader will conduct a formation brief using the Formation Kneeboard Card.
A good brief is the key to formation flying. Only those maneuvers and flight conditions briefed are
authorized. The brief must be complete, thorough, and follow NATOPS briefing format.
Crew Coordination. Safe formation flight requires exact crew coordination between the lead aircraft and
Wingman, and within each cockpit. A thorough brief is the basis for good crew coordination. Each
crewmember must know and precisely execute their responsibilities. Some responsibilities remain constant
from brief to debrief and other responsibilities are based on position in the flight (which changes). The
following is a summary of flight positions and corresponding responsibilities.
Flight Leader. A Flight Leader is assigned (via annotation on the flight schedule) for each
formation flight. The Flight Leader is responsible for the safe and orderly conduct of the flight, and
making decisions for the flight concerning weather, type departure/recovery, fuel requirements, operating
areas, etc. This responsibility is held by the same Pilot for the duration of the event and does not change
with position within the flight, i.e., the Flight Leader can be flying in either the Lead or Wing position.
Formation Leader (Lead). The Formation Leader is the PIC of the lead aircraft. The Formation
Leader changes with every lead change. Responsibilities include:
Conduct the flight in the briefed sequence.
Keep the flight clear of other aircraft.
Keep the flight in VMC.
Keep the flight in the assigned operating area, in compliance with course rules and any ATC
Initiate Climb and Approach Checklists.
Ensure his/her aircraft is flown precisely, giving his/her Wingman a stable platform to follow.