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WHAT IF - Join Ups / Break & Re-joins

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1: Flight lead briefed a training flight for a flight of 4 aircraft. You remember hearing the part of the brief “We will execute the flight under FAST rules and procedures.” Take-Off was single ship and the flight lead enters a left hand orbit over the airport. Flying the #3 position, you watch the #2 aircraft rejoin to the outside of the turn. What do you do?

Short answer – do not join-up on the inside as #2 may realize his mistake and move back to the inside - ask lead for instructions over the inflight frequency. Get any confusion straightened out. IT IS A SAFETY OF FLIGHT ISSUE. And the #4 aircraft should hold a steady position clear of the flight. Lead can then turn a unsafe condition into a safe condition by being directive.

2. RED flight is a 4-ship. Red lead has set up a left turning rejoin. You are flying as Red 3. A previous debrief indicated that your rejoins tend to end up as a tail-chase. So you pull a good amount of ‘Lead Pursuit’ on Red Lead. You decide that this is not going to work out, you are moving too far forward as you stay on the inside of the left turn. Red Lead commands “Red 3 Overshoot”. What do you do?

Maintain vertical separation from Red 1 and Red 2 as you roll out of bank to fly to the OUTSIDE of the turn. YOU SHOULD NOT FLY UNDER THE FORMATION. At the same time, transmit “Red 3 Overshooting”. Once outside the turn it will be easy to regain control. Do not go too far outside the turn. Maneuver to stay with the formation. Request permission to rejoin. Complete the rejoin when Red Lead grants approval. All this time, Red 4 should stay safely clear and not rejoin.