STANDARD SECTION FORMATION PROCEDURES
505. ENROUTE/SECTION RECOVERIES
During the enroute portion of the flight, the section will fly in cruise position. As previously
stated, in clear weather this is the best position to travel from point to point for both lead and
wing. The formation may "tighten up" into parade formation if hand signals need to be passed or
weather conditions dictate. As a rule, the wingman should fly in a position such that they are
clearly visible to the lead at all times. Frequency changes enroute will be made by a positive
switch and check in. For example:
ATC: "RKT 203, contact Mobile approach on 307.1."
LEAD: "RKT 203 switching 307.1. Turbo."
Prior to checking in the wingman on the new freq, lead will look for a thumbs-up from wing.
Upon completion of the tactical portion of the flight (section Low-level or ATM), the flight will
rejoin and return to base (RTB). The type of recovery conducted is dependent upon the weather
and the aircrafts' fuel states. The lowest fuel state in the section becomes the fuel state of the
flight. Weather may preclude the break or even a section PAR. Individual PARs may be
necessary if the ceiling is low enough to prevent safe separation of the aircraft after the landing
environment is in sight.
A VFR Course Rules recovery for a section is almost identical to a single aircraft recovery.
Wing will most likely be in cruise until just short of the initial. Approximately 3 - 5 miles prior
to the initial, both students should inform their pilots which side of the formation the wing
should be on for the break. At this point, the wing will close to parade position.
Upon initial check-in with the tower, the lead OUI will give the flight's position relative to the
initial in the same manner as FAMs. Similar to FAMs, a low break is the standard request. It is
a good idea to report the numbers just a little bit early to preclude being interrupted on the radio
and not getting clearance to break until 4 miles upwind. When cleared to break, and with proper
interval on other aircraft in the pattern, the lead IP will initiate the break with the appropriate
hand signal as briefed. There are several different types of breaks (fan break, 2 second interval
break, 4 second interval break, etc.).
Lead student will report the abeam position and obtain clearance to land for the flight. Upon
completion of the landing checklists, the formation elements will report "3 down and locked" to
the Tower in order. The wing student will wait until lead has either made his "three down and
5-10 STANDARD SECTION FORMATION PROCEDURES