Sunday, March 9, 2014

Week Forty-Eight: Tactical Formation

Well, we started up with Tac Form, which has been pretty awesome. This is the last big thing we'll learn in UPT, and probably the most important, since the fighter world uses tactical a lot. There are fourteen rides in the tac form block of training, which is the most so far out of any block. And they're all necessary, it is much more complex than baby form, transition, or instruments.

Tactical is basically a type of formation used for a bunch of different things; combat, transiting to and from airfields, keeping the formation far apart so it's harder to get eyes on each aircraft. It's very flexible since there's so much room between each aircraft that abrupt turns can be made without having to deconflict immediately, and you're always fighting to be in position, even though fixing one problem usually creates another. It is pretty sweet though, a lot of fun to think quickly and be ready to turn at the right time and be in the right place.

The distance in tactical is about a mile apart from one another, so the T-38 from that distance is pretty small. You have to pay close attention to what the other guy is doing, especially if he is leading, since he calls the shots and decides what maneuver is up next. You are line abreast as well, so you're looking right over your shoulder to see the other plane. You're deconflicted for altitude, which is number 2's responsibility, so whenever there is a maneuver with both aircraft turning toward one another, it's pretty sweet to see them pass pretty close to you screaming by as you're both going 350 knots. Really cool stuff.

I had my tac form dollar ride early in the week, and got to fly three days in a row, which was good exposure. One of the rides was pretty rough, but overall the week went well and I'm pretty stoked to fly some more. Hopefully the weather cooperates and we'll be able to get a lot of flights done.

Getting really close now. Only one month to assignment night, so the end game is here.

Hope your weeks were great.

~ Dakota

No comments:

Post a Comment