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CHAPTER SEVEN
FORMATION VISUAL SIGNALS
700. INTRODUCTION
In general, there are two types of formation visual signals; those given using the aircraft (e.g., a
porpoise ), and those given using the aircrew (e.g., a shoulder pat). Good formation discipline
depends upon the proper use and execution of visual signals. These signals cover most
maneuvers encountered and preclude the need for in-flight radio transmissions.
Aircrew-to-aircrew visual signals are generally used anytime the Wingman is close enough to
see them such as in the parade position or "administrative cruise" (administrative cruise is a
reference to the cruise position utilized while transiting vice the maneuvering cruise).
Furthermore, Lead would not want to porpoise his aircraft (means: "join in parade") with his
Wingman just outside the parade position for obvious reasons. Typically, giving aircraft signals
is reserved when the Wingman is not close enough to see aircrew-to-aircrew signals such as
when the Wingman is in the tactical position.
As Lead, when initiating any signal, pass the signal first, then pull the signal down and look at
the Wingman for a response (unless the response is obvious, i.e., the wingman begins a
crossunder maneuver after you give the cross under signal). This will reduce the time spent
looking aft, thus enhancing outside scan and basic airwork. Always give signals with the hand
nearest your playmate.
NOTE
Due to the unique characteristics of the lead change, the Lead pilot
will look as he passes this signal and give the signal across the
cockpit to ensure a safe, positive change of the lead. The lead
change will involve only the pilots; students shall keep their hands
below the canopy.
701. AIRCREW VISUAL SIGNALS
General Signals:
SIGNAL
MEANING
1.
Affirmative (I understand, ready to go)
Thumbs-up, or head nod
2.
Negative (I do not know, not ready to go)
Thumbs-down, or head shake
3.
Wait
Hand held up with palm outward
4.
Ignore last signal
Hand waved in an erasing motion in
front of face, with palm turned forward
FORMATION VISUAL SIGNALS
7-1


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