LOW-LEVEL AND TACTICAL FORMATION
Maximum Altitudes. You must comply with a maximum altitude on your low-level
routes. FLIP AP/1B defines the vertical limits of your route corridor. Ensure you do not exceed
the published vertical limit of the route when correcting for obstacles. If required, go around the
obstacle instead of over it. There is not a maximum altitude for non-MTR routes.
Times. Plan to fly an indicated airspeed that gives you 180 knots groundspeed considering
the predicted winds enroute.
Place one-minute timing marks between all turnpoints. Arriving at a preplanned Time over
Target (TOT) is the desired techniques for low-levels and here are two techniques to help you
arrive at your TOT:
Leg Time. This is the amount of time from one turnpoint to the next. Hack the clock
at the first point and again at each turnpoint along the way. You may find leg time
useful for locating individual turnpoints because it eliminates the cumulative error of
Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA). This is the time you compute on the clock at
each turnpoint. In-flight GS corrections are based on your planned ETA.
Compute Indicated Airspeed for Each Leg. Using preflight winds, calculate the
necessary indicated airspeed to maintain 180 knots groundspeed. Use NATOPS or the wind side
of your whiz wheel (or CR-2) to determine headwind/tailwind corrections.
Calculate Continuation Fuels for Each Turnpoint. Continuation fuel is the minimum
amounts of fuel required at each turnpoint to be able to continue with the flight planned route
and proceed to the destination with required reserves. Compute continuation fuel by starting at
the destination and working backward. Add the amount of fuel required to fly each portion of
the flight plan from the destination all the way back to initial takeoff. If you arrive at a turnpoint
below your calculated continuation fuel, modifications will need to be made.
An immediate abort is not necessarily required. Modifications to the escape/recovery may be
made or you may terminate the route early and fly direct to the destination. Compare fuels while
straight and level (i.e., before or after the turn, NOT DURING THE TURN).
Determine Your Entry and Exit Route. Plan an appropriate route of flight to and from
the low-level route. Plan your entry onto the route carefully. You will find that crossing your
hack point on heading, airspeed, and altitude will make the rest of the low-level go smoother.
The following techniques should help you get to your entry point easily:
Use your chart to allow room to maneuver so you approach the entry point on the heading you
have planned for your first leg. In most cases, you will be descending from an IFR altitude onto
the route. Plan the descent carefully by allowing distance from an IFR altitude onto the route
and allowing distance for smooth clearing turns while descending on course. Carefully study the
terrain surrounding the entry point to ensure your route altitude provides adequate terrain
clearance for the entry area.
1-16 LOW-LEVEL NAVIGATION