Sunday, March 2, 2014

Week Forty-Seven: Formation Solo

It's been a pretty good week, the weather cooperated with us and I got the chance to fly solo in a two-ship formation on Friday afternoon.

I had three tours in the RSU as spotter this week, which is when you ensure the 38s landing on the outside runway don't land gear up. We have to do this from time to time as students. Usually it goes for two hours or so, and it's not too bad, just another thing we have to do.

I only flew twice this week, but both times were pretty sweet. The weather was sunny and the sky was pretty clear, so we got a lot of sorties launched. Funny, since it's snowing like crazy today. Anyway, my last formation ride before solo was a pretty good one, I flew with an F-15C instructor who had some good feedback and was pretty chill. You have to fly your solo with the IP who flew backseat on the ride prior. So on Friday afternoon when I was scheduled, we briefed up the flight and stepped out to our jets.

We taxied out, and I was leading out. We went out to the outside runway, which is supervised, as solos always have to do. After getting everything all checked out, we taxied out onto the runway and started the engine run-up. After both jets are parked and ready to go, the lead jet looks over to #2 and waits for him to nod. Lead then points upward and moves his hand in a circle to signal "run it up" and both pilots look at each other while they run up their engines. #2 then checks out his engines and nods again, after which lead checks his engines over and then signals brake release and selection of MAX power. For my solo, though, we did a 10-second interval takeoff. So after I checked out my engines, I just took off without signaling for simultaneous brake release.

The solo went really well, we went through the entire baby formation profile and had a lot of gas to spare, so we got a chance to do more fighting wing and extended trail which are important for judging aspect, closure, and using geometry and angles, instead of power, to stay in the proper position. We switched leads and I practiced everything on the wing, which is a bit more challenging than leading. But my wing work and rejoins went pretty well and overall it was a pretty awesome time. We flew back to Vance and rolled up initial for normal landings. My IP went around for two landings and I full-stopped. We met up on the ground and taxied back.

Friday was also pretty sweet since there was an assignment night. The T-38 drop was pretty sweet, there were three F-16s, a T-38 Aggressor, and a B-52. Overall not too bad.

It was a good end to the week.

~ Dakota

No comments:

Post a Comment