You are on page 1of 29

74th vTraining Squadron

Formation Guide

FORMATION GUIDE
Prepared by Snoopy (paulrkiii)
WARNING
If using this guide ensure you follow your vOrganizations Standard Operating Procedures
(SOP), Operating Instructions (OI), or other applicable guidance/directives.

NOTE
Members of the 476th vFG should review 476th vFS OIs for latest requirements.

NON CLASSIFIED
FOR PUBLIC RELEASE

PUBLISHED UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE 476TH vFG COMMAND STAFF

www.476thvfightergroup.com

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide
INTRODUCTION
CONTENT
This guide is for DCS World but can be used for any aircraft, specifically a quick
reference guide for formation flight. Information to create this guide was pulled from
various real world USAF and NATO documentation.
Any reference to broadcasting on a specific radio channel while in a multiplayer (MP)
server is implied TARS is in use.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TAKEOFF.
LINEUP.....
INTERVAL TAKEOFF.
FORMATION TAKEOFF....
DEPARTURE
AIRCRAFT FORMATIONS.......
CLOSE SPACING
ROUTE SPACING..
CROSS UNDERS...
ECHELON.
FINGER-4 (FINGERTIP) ...
4-SHIP CROSS UNDERS..
FIGHTING WING.
2-SHIP LINE.
2-SHIP TRAIL..
CHASE.
2-SHIP WEDGE..
4-SHIP WEDGE..
4-SHIP VIC...
4-SHIP BOX.
OVERHEAD PATTERN.
INITIAL.
BREAK.
DOWNWIND
PERCH.
FINAL TURN
FINAL...
MANEUVERING....
TURN INTO WINGMAN...........
TURN AWAY FROM WINGMAN....
CROSS TURN...
INPLACE TURNS..
POINT MANEUVER......
SHACKLE..........

2
2
4
4
4
6
6
7
8
9
9
9
10
10
11
11
12
13
14
15
17
17
17
18
18
18
19
20
20
21
22
23
24
24

ATTACHMENT 1 FORMAITON QUICK REFERENCE..


ATTACHMENT 2 MANEUVER QUICK REFERENCE....

25
27

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide

Takeoff
Lineup
Lead will brief interval or formation takeoff.
NOTE
During four ship formation takeoff two and four will maintain position off their respective
element lead with three and four rolling 20 seconds (or as briefed) after one and two
begin their takeoff roll. Steer towards the centerline of the runway. Formation Takeoffs
will NOT be made when crosswind exceeds 15 knots or when caring live ordinance. 20
second interval will be used when caring live ordinance.
Prior to taking the active broadcast on Ground/ATC radio channel [AIRFIELD] traffic
[FLT CALLSIGN]X taking active, runway XX
Lochini traffic, Tiger1 taking active, runway 13 Right
Each respective flight member will follow broadcasting on Ground/ATC channel [FLT
CALLSIGN]X taking active."
Tiger2 taking the active
Tiger3 taking the active
Tiger4 taking the active
Line up on the runway as briefed (2 or 4 ship, ensure proper flight position). See
pictures below for visual reference.

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide

Lead must ensure that enough space aft exists for three and four
to line up. Three directly behind one and four directly behind two
with 600 feet spacing.
Once in position broadcast on flight radio channel
[FLT CALLSIGN]X in position, brakes set
Tiger2 in position, brakes set
Tiger3 in position, brakes set
Tiger4 in position, brakes set
Lead will broadcast [FLT CALLSIGN], run up
Tiger, run up

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide
Run engines to 90% core RPM, check gauges read correct And no lights are
illuminated on caution panel. If no problems, in flight order broadcast [FLT
CALLSIGN]X in the green
Tiger2 in the green
Tiger3 in the green
Tiger4 in the green

Interval Takeoff
20 seconds (or as briefed)
Lead WILL broadcast on flight channel One Rolling.
Wingmen will release breaks 20 (or briefed time) seconds after the preceding aircraft.
o Monitor the time in HUD for accurate formation spacing.
Once rolling, maneuver towards the center of the runway.
NOTE
Pay attention to the previous flight member(s), they may abort prior to making a radio
call.

Formation Takeoff
Lead broadcasts on flight channel Release Brakes
o Flight will simultaneously release brakes and slowly advance throttles to
MAX.
Match leads rotation.
Raise gear and flaps, trim to compensate for configuration change.
Move into briefed formation.

Departure
Accelerate to 200 KIAS adjusting power setting to maintain airspeed through climb.
Flight lead will advise the flight when initiating all turns and passing altitude
increments. For example, [FLT CALLSIGN]X, turning [DIRECTION] reference
[WAYPOINT]
Tiger1 turning right (or left) reference Obora
or [FLT CALLSIGN]X, passing angles [Current Altitude (Thousand point hundred
feet)] for [Level off Altitude].
Tiger1 passing angles thirteen point five for 15
Wingmen will make all turns at the same point or specified interval and will advise the
flight when they initiate turns.
18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide
Turns should be made with 30 of bank.

At 20 miles or when crossing departure waypoint exit/entry points, Flight lead will
broadcast on Ground/ATC channel [AIRFIELD] traffic [FLT CALLSIGN], X-ship
[ACFT TYPE], departing traffic via [WAYPOINT], pushing [RADIO FREQ or
PRESET].
Vaziani traffic, Tiger, 4-ship A-10, departing traffic via Obora, pushing mid preset 5
or
Vaziani traffic, Tiger, 4-ship A-10, 20 miles out departing traffic, pushing mid preset 5

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide

AIRCRAFT FORMATIONS
Unless noted otherwise spacing will be directed by the Flight Lead as Close or Route.
Wingman should be stacked meaning each member should be slightly lower than
one (and so on).
If a pilot loses visual on lead they MUST broadcast on the flight cannel BLIND.
If a member of the flight other than Lead is moving excessively, pilots should attempt
to fly a stable position relative to lead.
NOTE
Formation pictures are not to scale.

Close Spacing (A-10C References)


Primarily used for weather penetration, just prior to overhead break, and aerial
demonstrations. 11 to 12 feet lateral spacing.
Lead should avoid turns into wingmen.
Reference:
o Forward/aft: Leading edge of the wing tip above the ejection triangle but
below the canopy
o Vertical: Wingtip position light on the bottom of the star on leads fuselage
o Lateral: Aft end of the tail pipe of the close engine with the aft end of the
cowling on the far engine

Close Example 1

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide

Close Example 2

Route Spacing (A-10C References)


Primarily used when traveling long distances.
Allows wingmen to check cockpit instruments, provide lookout, and transition to close
formation if directed
Reference:
o Use the same visual references as close formation with the addition of a V
between the vertical tails.
o Maintain up to 500 feet separation

Route Example 1

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide

Route Example 2

Cross Unders
Used to reposition wingman from one side of the formation to the other.
Lead will direct a cross under via the radio. For example, [FLT CALLSIGN], Cross
Under
Execution:
o Reduce power slightly - descend until below leads aircraft.
o Bank slightly, start a slow/controlled movement toward the other side of lead.
o Cross below & behind leads aircraft.
NOTE
Avoid crossing through jet wash.
o Bank slightly in the opposite direction to stop lateral movement, add power to
move forward and up to the proper position.

or

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide

Echelon
Primarily used to align a flight for break up during landing or range work.
Echelon Left

Echelon Right

Finger-4 (Fingertip)
Primarily used for travel as well as weather penetrations.
Finger-4 Left

Finger-4 Right

4-Ship Cross Unders


Finger-4 Right to Echelon Right:
2 conducts cross under same as they would for a 2 ship.
3 and 4 stay in relative position, move to right to make room for 2.
Once 2 has nose to tail clearance and in correct position (3s former position) 3 and 4
move to wing tip of 2.

Finger-4 Right to Echelon Left:

3 and 4 slide aft.


4 continues further aft than 3 to cross behind 3.
Once 3 has nose/tail clearance with 1 start crossing but continue to fall aft of 2
Once 3 is left and aft of 2s left wing, 4 continues to cross behind 3 to 3s left and aft
then forward into correct position.

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide

Fighting Wing
Often flown as a proficiency exercise.
Highly maneuverable formation with both aircraft remaining relatively close to each
other

2-Ship Line
Suitable for situations where mutual support is required against air and surface
threats.

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

10

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide

2-Ship Trail
Used as an en route formation when required due to threats, terrain, weather, or night
operations.
Wingman is free to maneuver to either side
Avoid direct 6 oclock position when switching sides
To transition, lead will broadcast on flight channel GO TRAIL.
Maneuvering: Maneuver is fluid; Wingman will turn the same direction as lead,
using lead/lag as necessary to maintain position. Monitor Lead to prevent flight path
conflicts during maneuvering.

Chase
Similar to trail, generally flown as a safety observer.
Also used by an instructor pilot (IP) or Flight Examiner (FE) to observe performance
(IQT, MQT, etc.)
30 to 60 degrees aft (right or left) of the lead aircraft, with a minimum of nose/tail
separation out to approximately 1,000 feet.
Chase aircraft responsible for maintaining formation, ensuring flight path
deconfliction.
Maneuvering: Same as Trail Formation

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

11

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide

2-Ship Wedge
Used as an en route formation when required due to threats, terrain, weather, or night
operations.
Wingman is free to maneuver to either side
Avoid direct 6 oclock position when switching sides
To transition, lead will broadcast on flight channel GO WEDGE.
Maneuvering: Maneuver is fluid; Wingman will turn the same direction as lead,
using lead/lag as necessary to maintain position. Monitor Lead to prevent flight path
conflicts during maneuvering.

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

12

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide

4-Ship Wedge
Used as an en route formation when required due to threats, terrain, weather, or night
operations.
Wingmen fly a standard Wedge position relative to the lead aircraft in each element.
Three will fly trail in relationship to Number One.
To transition, lead will broadcast on flight channel GO WEDGE.
Maneuvering: Flight members will maneuver off their element lead and Three in
relationship to One. Three will ensure deconfliction from Number Two.

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

13

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide

4-Ship Vic
Designed to allow a four-ship flight lead maneuverability while maintaining good
visual lookout.
First element flies either Combat Trail or Wedge formation. The second element, in
Trail formation, maintains Line formation.
To transition, lead will broadcast on flight channel GO VIC.
Maneuvering: Elements employ the low-altitude maneuvering concepts. The leader
of the trailing element will maneuver to maintain the desired positioning and is
responsible for deconfliction with the lead element. The rear element lead must
ensure spacing between the lead element and the rear element is greater than the
spacing between aircraft in each element. Additionally, during the turn, the rear
element must maintain visual with both members of the front element.

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

14

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide

4-Ship Box
Allows the lead element to concentrate on navigation while the rear elements
emphasis is mutual support and 6 oclock coverage.
First element flies line. The second element may be stacked high or low in relation to
the lead element and flies in trail.
To transition, lead will broadcast on flight channel GO BOX or GO OFFSET BOX
Maneuvering: Elements employ the low-altitude maneuvering concepts. The leader
of the trailing element will maneuver to maintain the desired positioning and is
responsible for deconfliction with the lead element. The rear element lead must
ensure spacing between the lead element and the rear element is greater than the
spacing between aircraft in each element. Additionally, during the turn, the rear
element must maintain visual with both members of the front element.

4-Ship Box

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

15

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide
4-Ship Offset Box

4-Ship Box High Stack*

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------4-Ship Box Low Stack*

*2,000 ft stacked or as briefed

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

16

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide

Overhead Pattern
Primarily used to increase the ability to get multiple aircraft in a flight on the ground in
the least possible time and use of airspace.
Lead will direct the flight to form up Echelon Right or Left. When in Echelon Right the
break will be to the left. When in Echelon Left the break will be to the right.

Initial
Lead will obtain wind information from tower and consider its effect throughout the
pattern.
Roll out on initial at the 1500 AGL, maintaining between 250 and 300 KIAS
Lead broadcast on ATC/Ground Channel intentions, [AIRFIELD] Traffic, [FLT
CALLSIGN], X-ship [ACFT TYPE], INITIAL, [LANDING TYPE], [INTENTION], 15
minutes out).
Senaki Traffic, Tiger, 4-Ship A-10, Initial, Overhead, full stop, 15 minutes out

Break
Breaks are made AWAY from the tower.
Execute the break when crossing the runway numbers, on ATC channel broadcast
[FLT CALLSIGN]X in the break.
Tiger1 in the break

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

17

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide
Roll into a 60- to 70-degree bank level turn and reduce power while increasing
backpressure to 2 to 3 Gs.
Use the TVV as an aid to maintaining a level turn; trim as needed.
Wingmen will break FIVE seconds after the proceeding ACFT, no radio calls be
made.

Downwind
Roll out on downwind referencing the runway.
Take crosswinds into account, crab into the wind as needed.
Place runway halfway between the outermost wing pylon) and the wingtip as viewed
from the cockpit.
Once below 200 knots lower Landing Gear and Flaps FULL down.

Perch
When the aimpoint is just aft of the trailing edge of the wingtip (approximately 1 mile
beyond touchdown), begin the base turn and transmit [FLT CALLSIGN]X,
[DIRECTION] (Left or Right)base, gear down, [INTENTION].
Tiger1, left base, gear down, full stop

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

18

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide
The perch is the first critical point of the final turn. Be stabilized on altitude; if fighting
the parameters, the final turn will most likely be erratic.

Final Turn
Fly a symmetric final turn
Rolling out on final at 1 NM and 300 feet AGL.

Final
Reduce bank and backpressure to roll out on final, adjust power , slowing to final
approach airspeed.
Adjust bank as necessary to maintain alignment with centerline. (Place the TVV on
the aimpoint)
Touchdown approximately 500 feet down the runway.

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

19

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide

Maneuvering
Turn in to Wingman
For turn, lead will broadcast on flight channel [FLT CALLSIGN], 90/45 Left/Right
Wingman will wait until leads aircraft is at the 5 or 7 oclock position before initiating
the turn.
Match leads heading.
90-Degree Turn into Wingman

Less than 90-Degree Turn into Wingman

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

20

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide

Turn away from Wingman


For turn, lead will broadcast on flight channel [FLT CALLSIGN], away 90/45
Left/Right
Wingman will stop turning and roll out as soon as seeing lead turn.
The flight lead will then continue the maneuver to regain line.
90-Degree Turn Away

Less than 90-Degrees Turn Away

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

21

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide

Cross Turn
Used to turn a line formation 180 degrees.
For turn, lead will broadcast on flight channel [FLT CALLSIGN], Cross Turn

Side View

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

22

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide

In Place Turns
Used to turn a line formation 90 degrees.
For turn, lead will broadcast on flight channel [FLT CALLSIGN], In-place 90 Right
(Left)
In-Place, 90-degree turn

Used to turn a line formation 180 degrees.


For turn, lead will broadcast on flight channel [FLT CALLSIGN], Hook Right (Left)
In-Place, 180-degree (hook) turn

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

23

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide

Point Maneuver
Provides a means to increase 6 o'clock coverage
used to regain proper tactical formation
Lead will broadcast on flight channel [FLT CALLSIGN], Point

Shackle
Primarily used to switch lead/wings side in line formation or to correct formation
integrity.
Lead will direct by broadcasting [FLT CALLSIGN], Shackle
Both aircraft turn 45 degrees towards each other, aft aircraft should turn slightly less.
Rollout in the proper position on the opposite side.

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

24

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide
ATTACHMENT 1

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

25

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide
ATTACHMENT 1
Cont

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

26

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide
ATTACHMENT 2

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

27

74th vTraining Squadron


Formation Guide
ATTACHMENT 2
Cont

18 OCTOBER 2013

CHANGE 3

28