503. SECTION APPROACHES
As a minimum, section approaches are practiced during the FORM 5002 flight in addition to any
other FORM flight where the weather precludes a VFR recovery. Therefore, be prepared at all
times. They should be thoroughly briefed to include signals and procedures for the approach and
Since we are simulating IMC during the section approaches, all turns will be made using IFR
parade position (i.e., keep the same checkpoints as straight-and-level parade). In IMC, it is
imperative the Wingman maintain section integrity by safely maintaining visual contact.
Prior to conducting an actual section approach, consideration should be given to the approach,
missed approach, and the procedures for separating the flight on final. In the event of a missed
approach, unless specific instructions were given, execute the published procedure using normal
1. Prior to commencing an approach there are many tasks that must be accomplished and
unlike instrument flights, everything takes longer to accomplish in a formation. The following
should be carefully planned and accomplished prior to Final Approach Fix (FAF) or glidepath
intercept (not necessarily in this exact order):
Bring the Wingman into parade.
Slow the flight down.
Configure the flight.
Although these tasks appear simple at first glance, they may become task saturating when you
add the appropriate visual signals (Section 702) and combine required Instrument Navigation
(INAV) briefings and checklists. Study, planning, and practice (chair flying) will greatly help in
this area of the Formation stage.
2. The flight will comply with approach control instructions. Generally, the flight will receive
radar vectors to the final approach course. The flight should transition to BAC (gear down, flaps
TO), preferably in VMC, but no later than 30º prior to the final approach course or five miles
from the FAF.
3. Lead Low Approach, Wingman Touch and Go. Lead should give wingman the land signal,
point to the Wingman, and kiss him off. This signifies, "You are cleared to land, detach." The
Lead turns away smartly and executes a low approach.
4. Section Drag. Lead passes the land signal and kisses the Wing off. This signifies, "We are
cleared to land, detach." The Lead continues straight ahead, 120 KIAS, TO flaps, and continues
the approach. The Wingman will lower LDG flaps and slow to 100 KIAS to create nose-tail
separation prior to landing behind Lead. Initiating the drag two miles from the landing threshold
SECTION RECOVERY 5-3