LOW-LEVEL AND TACTICAL FORMATION
There will be a timing mismatch between the two routes, however we can adjust our speed on
the BIG MAC recovery to arrive at the entry point at the time depicted on the LOU ONE flimsy.
Use the stick diagram to record any other information that will enhance SA in the low-
level. Examples include calculated takeoff time, locations of required frequency changes, and
drop zone altitude. On Tac Form flights, include threat locations, fluid trail legs, line abreast leg,
lead changes, etc.
Once completed and checked for accuracy, make enough copies for each pilot in the flight
AF Form 280 Preparation. Similar to the stick diagram, the Form 280 is a one-page
information sheet that displays all pertinent data to conduct a safe and effective formation sortie.
Be sure you are using the correct Form 280 (VT-31 / VT-35). There is a sample AF Form 280
and a blank 280 included in this handout. More blank 280s can be found in the LL/TF supply
lockers. The Form 280 should be completed prior to the mission brief. If you make any changes
after handing out the final copy, make sure to collect all the old copies and replace them with the
Assign chattermark to all the frequencies. Don't forget to fill in a frequency (TWR or CTAF
appropriate) and assign a chattermark for the transition field. Chattermark terms will follow
themes. The first theme will include all ATC frequencies; the second will include all interplane
frequencies. As a technique, many students use a common theme (beer, sports teams, etc.) for
their ATC chattermarks. It is not required, but standard practice, to assign the UHF interplane
303.0 as "winchester". For example, give primary and secondary VHF interplane and peg base
firearms names to go with "winchester" 303.0.
The right side of the Form 280 will be filled in as follows.
D101. FIRST ROUTE
Formation callsign: Choose the side number of the airplane that will be LEAD on
the initial takeoff (it may not necessarily be the mission commander's airplane). Fill in
the "route" and the "type of drop" blocks (your options for type of drop are personnel,
heavy equipment or CDS). Make stations time 30 minutes prior to takeoff, start 25
minutes prior and taxi 20 minutes prior.
Formation lineup diagram: Fill in the IP/student, BUNO/side # and parking spot
in the order you will take off from NGP.
Remarks section: "Autoswitch from ground to tower ..." is standard; make sure
you have it there.
Fluid trail block: Fluid trail is the standard formation geometry employed. This
geometry will be used from route entry to the IP except when a LOC is directed by threat
FLIGHT PREPARATION D-7