An underrun provides a safe and orderly method for the wingman to pass below and behind the lead when
excessive closure precludes a normal join-up. Two situations dictate an underrun: 1) uncontrolled closure near or in
the join-up phase of the rendezvous, or 2) when the wingman is extremely acute and unable to return safely to
proper bearing prior to join-up. If the wingman fails to recognize the dangerous situation, the lead can order the
wingman to underrun. In that case, the wingman should acknowledge the command and underrun.
Whether the wingman recognizes the need to underrun or he is ordered to underrun by the lead, the maneuver is
performed the same way. The wingman simultaneously lowers the nose to ensure vertical separation, levels the
wings, reduces power to idle, and extends speed brakes. He then notifies the lead of the underrun by calling "[call
sign], [position number], underrunning". The wingman passes below and behind the lead and then stabilizes
outside the lead's radius of turn in a slightly acute parade turn away position at approximately 200 ft and slightly
stepped up. To stabilize, the wingman retracts the speed brakes, resets the power as necessary, and maintains
approximately rendezvous airspeed.
When stable and cleared to rejoin the flight, the wingman moves below and behind the lead to return to the 30-
degree rendezvous bearing on the inside of the turn and executes the join-up. During an underrun, the lead remains
in the rendezvous turn until the flight is properly joined.
A lead change normally occurs when the lead aircraft has radio or navigation equipment problems that hamper his
ability to lead the flight in a safe and orderly manner. In the Training Command, the lead change is normally
performed for practice. To ensure a safe and orderly transfer of the flight lead, the lead change procedures are
highly structured and much more involved than in the T-34.
Prior to passing the lead change signal to the wingman, the lead will ensure that the flight is clear of other aircraft
and weather, and that he will remain in the operating area during the lead change. The lead passes the lead
change signal to the wingman. If the wingman accepts the lead, he passes the acceptance signal and assumes
responsibility for the flight while maintaining rendezvous airspeed,
altitude, and the present heading until after the lead change. The new wingman must keep his eyes on the new
lead. Figure 28 shows that the new wingman moves out laterally to establish 10 ft of wingtip clearance and
then stabilizes. Flying wing from this position becomes uncomfortable because you are looking over your shoulder,
but do not let your head movement affect stick movement.