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LOW-LEVEL AND TACTICAL FORMATION
CHAPTER ONE
Simulated Airdrops. We will be simulating airdrops on several drop zones. A drop zone is a
geographic location that has been surveyed by a team and approved for airdrops.
Actual drop zones will have some kind of marking to identify the drop zone and define where the
load should impact (Point of Impact, PI). The markings are briefed prior to the flight and will
consist of a Block Letter, Raised Angle Marker (RAM), smoke, flares, mirrors, etc., or any
combination of these. Rectangular drop zones will be marked towards the front, while circular
drop zones are marked at the center. The drop zones we simulate will not have markings.
One minute prior to reaching the point of impact (PI) on the drop zone, call "one minute
advisory". Five seconds prior to reaching the PI on the drop zone, call "5 seconds". Call "green
light" when over the PI to simulate the airdrop. Green light time is defined as the amount of
useable time over the drop zone during which the load may be dropped and still land on the drop
zone. Red light denotes the end of green light time and will be called at the expiration of green
light time. Our simulated drop zones have been determined to have a green light time of 7
seconds.
Escape. At red light, retract the flaps, turn to escape heading, accelerate to enroute airspeed and
climb or descend as required.
LZ Transitions
Slowdown. Prior to any slowdown, accomplish the approach checklist, check WX, and make
traffic advisories. If traffic exists at the airfield enter a standard civilian pattern or abort the
approach attempt and continue on with the next part of the mission.
For landing zone transitions, slowdown is accomplished in one of two areas depending on your
planned airfield entry. For tactical arrivals that involve anything other than a straight-in,
slowdown is typically accomplished once in the airfield environment by executing an energy
dissipating maneuver to get the aircraft configured to land. For straight-ins, slowdown must be
done at a point prior to reaching the landing zone. The straight-in approach is the more
challenging of the two types. Wait too long to configure and you will have to go around
exposing your aircraft to possible enemy fire as you maneuver to get back to the airfield. If you
configure too soon, now your aircraft is moving slow and exposed on a straight line, making an
easy target for enemy forces to shoot at. For a basic idea on approach types available, see
Appendix E section 103 and ask your instructor about their experiences doing these types of
approaches.
Once slowdown has occurred, configure the aircraft as airspeed permits, complete the landing
checklist and back the PAC up by monitoring airspeed, aim point, and watching for any traffic.
Either a touch-and-go or a go-around may be accomplished depending on runway lengths/widths
available.
Escape/Transition. Once airborne, hack your clock, clean up the aircraft, turn to your next
course, and accomplish the climb checklist.
LOW-LEVEL NAVIGATION 1-29


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