Maintaining Combat Spread. Once in combat spread the Wingman returns to
referenced base heading. A slight power increase may be required in order to match
the Lead's forward velocity. Pitch attitude is adjusted for level flight. In order to
correctly determine the abeam position, the Wingman must look straight out over his
shoulder directly at the Lead. The tendency is to become sucked since it is easier to
look forward at the Lead. The goal is to maintain good combat spread as the
Wingman requires a good cockpit scan both inside and out. The outside scan must
include both the Lead's relative position as well as the Wingman's lookout area of
responsibility. The inside scan compares reference airspeed, heading, and altitude in
order to recognize deviations and make necessary adjustments.
If the Wingman's position is determined to be sucked, make corrections by
immediately lowering the nose and adding power to accelerate to the abeam bearing.
The Wingman may dissipate as much altitude and airspeed as required to regain the
bearing line expeditiously. When approaching the bearing line, the aircraft nose is
raised to arrive on bearing at base airspeed typically 200 KIAS. Reset power to
referenced setting when stable.
If acute, an aggressive nose-up pull can be utilized to dissipate forward velocity and
regain bearing line. As the bearing is approached, the nose should be lowered to
arrive on bearing with 200 KIAS. If the Wingman is acute and close or very acute, an
S-turn, or the speed brake, may be used to regain position. This is accomplished by
using power as required while smartly turning at least 30º away from Lead, then
returning to base heading. The Wingman should use caution, however, since a sucked
position may develop if a correction is too aggressive.
If bearing line and abeam distances are correct but altitude is off, power is
manipulated in order to climb or descend. Remember, maintaining proper altitude is
the last priority.
The amount of any correction depends on the amount of positional error. Small errors
require minor maneuvering to finesse the aircraft into proper combat spread. Gross
errors require more aggressive maneuvering.
Combat Spread Voice Calls. All called turns will be completed as follows:
Lead - "(Tactical Call sign), type turn"
Wingman - "Two"
The preparatory command is when Lead calls the type of turn. The response "Two", is the
command of execution and indicates the Wingman understands and will comply. The response
is normally given by the Wingman PILOT. This ensures the pilot flying is ready to respond to
the maneuver. If there is no response to the preparatory command, the Lead will repeat the call.
The first aircraft to turn will check old six and the last aircraft to turn will check new six (for 180°
turns, each aircraft will check old six and new six). Over the Intercom System (ICS), report
4-14 SECTION PARADE