LOW-LEVEL AND TACTICAL FORMATION
Figure 1-4 Ground References
As a composite example, look at the town of Falfurrias, TX, shown in Figure 1-4. First, the town
is fair sized (not just a few buildings), has an oblong shape, and is more or less oriented north
and south. There is a highway and railroad (single track) running north and south parallel to
each other with each railroad to the east. To the west of the highway is a powerline, also running
north and south. An east-west highway passes through town. To the southeast of town is the
Brooks County Airport (asphalt runway - 3300 feet) with a beacon on the north side of the field.
Farther to the southeast (about 5 NM) is a lake generally oriented east-west with two inlets and
bays at the western end. The southern inlet crosses the highway and railroad to the south of
town, and although there are no bridges indicated, there are two. Note the tower west of the
airport. To the northwest of town, an east-west powerline joins the north-south line. Note this
powerline crosses the east-west highway at a prominent bend. These are only a few of the
details that can be extracted from the chart.
Determine Turn Radius over Turnpoints and Draw Course Lines. Prior to drawing course
lines on your chart, you must consider the turn radius of your aircraft. Your turn radius can be
determined from the turning performance chart located in AFMAN 11-217 VOL 1. Turn radius
varies with TAS and bank angle. Use a tactical plotter to plot turn radius at various airspeeds
and bank angles. Align the straight edge of your plotter along your cruise line to the turnpoint.
For example, draw the turn radius using 30° angle of bank and 180 KIAS (on the tactical plotter
20°/150 KIAS). The course line to your next turnpoint should begin as a tangent line to the turn
radius. Continue this process for each turnpoint.
The IP to Drop Zone segment, or Run-In, should not include a turn radius. You should plan to
cross the IP on heading, altitude, and airspeed for the Run-In.
Required Chart Symbols. The use of each symbol shown in Figure 1-6 is briefly discussed
1-12 LOW-LEVEL NAVIGATION