Formation Flying

tlewis95

I drive planes
I had a nice formation flight today. :)

I was in a rented Cessna 140, flying wing off of my CFI in an Aeronca L-3.

I had my friend Paige riding along (eventually in both planes) taking pictures.

Flying a 110mph plane off of a 75mph plane was definitely "different" than what I am used to for flying formations, but still fun.



















and a youtube video to go with it. :panic:

[YT]rnzwWdSml8Y[/YT]
 

jrh

Well-Known Member
You cruise at 110 in that 140? I'm jealous. I never get more than about 90 or 95 out of mine. It's got good short field performance though, so I can't complain too much.

In any case, looks like you had a good time!
 

tlewis95

I drive planes
Awesome pictures!

What were you guys doing? Going to a fly in or just cruisin?
Thanks!

I was going out to practice some landings, when my friend happened to be getting ready to do the same thing. So we just did two local trips around town, with my camera girl switching planes after the first one.

You cruise at 110 in that 140? I'm jealous. I never get more than about 90 or 95 out of mine. It's got good short field performance though, so I can't complain too much.

In any case, looks like you had a good time!
Ya, 105-110 mph. That is at "rental" cruise power settings though, paying by the hobbs gauge instead of the fuel gauge. :rolleyes:

What kind of training did you get in formation flying?
Lots of practice in simulators, and a lot of informal "learn it or leave" formation flying in "gaggle" flying with gliders. Basically, up to 35 (the most ive been with) gliders doing steep turns together fighting for the same bit of lift. It gets exciting.

Also, any glider pilot that uses aero-tow launch, is kind of a natural at formation flying (after he figures out how to tow, lol)

I also flew lead a few times before I moved out to the wing, read a lot of online articles, and always do a very complete briefing.

For my first time on the wing, it was actually a lot easier than I thought it was going to be, and a lot more fun than flying lead. :D
 

SteveC

Really?
Staff member
What kind of training did you get in formation flying?
Lots of practice in simulators, and a lot of informal "learn it or leave" formation flying in "gaggle" flying with gliders. Basically, up to 35 (the most ive been with) gliders doing steep turns together fighting for the same bit of lift. It gets exciting.

Also, any glider pilot that uses aero-tow launch, is kind of a natural at formation flying (after he figures out how to tow, lol)

I also flew lead a few times before I moved out to the wing, read a lot of online articles, and always do a very though briefing.
I'm a big fan of not seeing people perform formation flight without training and thorough briefing. Glad to see you're on that path and take it seriously.

Here's a really good read from our own MikeD about formation flying:

http://forums.jetcareers.com/technical-talk/20633-things-go-bump-night.html
 

kiloalpha

Well-Known Member
Theres a FAA (works for the FAA) examiner and his wife out of the Gardner, KS airport that teaches "safe" formation flying. I bet I can get some contact information if anyone is interested.

He told me he learned it from an retired airforce pilot which is really the offical way to learn formation flight.
 

///AMG

Well-Known Member
It's in the FARs, Part 91:
Sec. 91.111 - Operating near other aircraft.
(a) No person may operate an aircraft so close to another aircraft as to create a collision hazard.
(b) No person may operate an aircraft in formation flight except by arrangement with the pilot in command of each aircraft in the formation.
(c) No person may operate an aircraft, carrying passengers for hire, in formation flight.
Hard to say for sure just looking at the video, but I would probably try and add a little bit of stepdown and bring -2 in a little bit closer, if you are going for a real parade formation.....or at least the added stepdown part. Not sure what you AF guys over in T-6 land do, but this is the letter of the law down here in the Turbo Weiner....

That said, from the short clip it looks like the OP is doing a good job holding bearing so this all probably wouldn't be difficult for him to do. Looks like fun!
 

fish314

Well-Known Member
It's in the FARs, Part 91:


Hard to say for sure just looking at the video, but I would probably try and add a little bit of stepdown and bring -2 in a little bit closer, if you are going for a real parade formation.....or at least the added stepdown part. Not sure what you AF guys over in T-6 land do, but this is the letter of the law down here in the Turbo Weiner....

That said, from the short clip it looks like the OP is doing a good job holding bearing so this all probably wouldn't be difficult for him to do. Looks like fun!
Well, I did a formation landing today. That's both airplanes landing on the same runway at the same time, but the runway needs to be 150' or wider. Basically each dude lands on his side of the center-line.

Our wingtip separation just flying around is supposed to be 10 ft. When I flew tweets it was 3 feet, but we didn't have the big spinny thing in front to worry about!
 

///AMG

Well-Known Member
Yeah our wingtip to wingtip was also 10', stepdown 20' for prop clearance. I would imagine like other jets, the -37 would negate this requirement since you could tuck up in there w/o a prop strike. We unfortunately don't do section landings to touchdown in the -34.....we break off short final (or coming around the 90 if not a straight in) and land in trail, joining back up on the roll out.
 

tlewis95

I drive planes
That is why glider formation is nice, no power-plants to hit, and very very little wake turbulence, so we can get pretty tight.
 

fish314

Well-Known Member
Yeah our wingtip to wingtip was also 10', stepdown 20' for prop clearance. I would imagine like other jets, the -37 would negate this requirement since you could tuck up in there w/o a prop strike. We unfortunately don't do section landings to touchdown in the -34.....we break off short final (or coming around the 90 if not a straight in) and land in trail, joining back up on the roll out.
Yeah, coming down through bad weather in the -37 we were tucked in tighter than ... [insert inappropriate imagery here!]. In the T-6 you just wind up going lost wingman a little more often.

The wing landings are pretty useless as a real "mission requirement"... I don't know why we teach them, (but they are the most fun!).
 
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