STANDARD SECTION FORMATION PROCEDURES
then call the Duty Officer with the status of the flight using the ROKT call sign (i.e., "Base,
ROKT 204, Back, complete 1.4").
A section recovery in IMC conditions is a valuable tool for several reasons. First, a section
recovery in IMC conditions is utilized to expedite the recovery of a formation. Another reason
to execute a section instrument approach is to recover a NORDO aircraft in the formation.
Weather is the most important consideration for a section recovery. Landing field weather must
be TACAN circling minimums or better to attempt a section GCA. If the weather is below
circling minimums, individual instrument approaches will be performed.
Procedures are, basically, the same for all possible types of section recoveries: PAR, ASR,
TACAN, and Visual Straight-in. Primary consideration is to comply with either the controller's
directions or the printed approach plate. All FAM procedures for an individual approach apply
(i.e., navigation, altitude calls, penetration checks, etc.). The wing student will continuously
back up the navigation while complying with his or her own checklists.
On a precision approach, the lead OUI should call to slow the section to gear speed within 10
NM and 30º heading of the final approach course. On a non-precision approach, this call will be
initiated 5-7 NM from the Final Approach Fix. Although these procedures are identical to the
instrument procedures previously covered in the RI and FAM chapters, special emphasis must be
made on the above ranges due to the limited maneuverability inherent in a formation.
At this point, the lead pilot will slow the formation to configure. After passing the preparatory
gear signal to the wingman, (at or below gear speed) the lead will give a head nod for execution
and place the gear handle down, flaps to one half, and speedbrakes in, if extended.
When each aircraft has three down and locked, the wing OUI will pass a thumbs-up to the lead
OUI. With the landing checklist complete, the lead OUI will report "6 down and locked" to the
controller. On a PAR or ASR, the "down and locked" call is permitted before the landing
checklist is complete (i.e., the speedbrakes should still be retracted until the section is up and on
When executing a section approach, ATC controllers will expect the formation to take its own
separation on final. At the discretion of the lead IP and with the runway environment in sight,
the lead pilot will detach the wing with a hand signal. At fields where parallel runways are
available, the lead student may request to "split the duals" if briefed.
If "splitting the duals", lead will ensure the wing is on the side of the formation of the approach
runway (i.e., if the approach is to 25 right, the wing should be on the right side). This allows an
easy transition from formation flying to landing for the wing pilot.
The landing rollout and subsequent section ground procedures are identical to VFR post landing
5-12 STANDARD SECTION FORMATION PROCEDURES