Hello IFC, and welcome to my first tutorial! In today’s tutorial, I will be showing you how to fly in formation!
What is Formation Flying, and why do we do it?
Formation Flying is flying in close proximity with other aircraft, usually during a Air Show or Aerial Refueling. Both of which are extremely dangerous, and requires years of practice before they are put into action. Formation Flights in Infinite Flight are mainly done for the fun of it. Virtual Organizations like the Council of Airshows Virtual | IFCAS bring these flights to life, giving us awesome demonstrations to view, with the up most professionalism and skill required for such stunts. Now, on to the tutorial.
Five things to Remember before and during your Flight:
1. Weight is important during formation flights. Make sure you aren’t to heavy, to where your aircraft is sluggish in it’s controls, or your aircraft is to light, to where it is to nimble/unstable while flying.
2. Weather is very important in this scenario. Winds and turbulence can cause a midair collision, or worse, an incomplete formation. Always check the winds and weather before a formation flight.
3. Altitude can effect any flight severely. Make sure you are low enough to where the air is dense enough for all aircraft in the formation (in case there are multiple aircraft types included) to be able to maneuver easily.
4. Traffic awareness is key in this situation. You don’t want to disturb an IFATC member’s morning while attempting a formation flight. If you do any formation flights on TS2 (Expert Server), make sure you direct your formation away from the airspace, or operate at an altitude where you would not disturb the traffic entering and exiting the airspace.
5. You aren’t the only person flying in the formation. Patience in this type of group flight is key, especially if the other pilot(s) aren’t as experienced in such situations.
Flying in Formation
Now, I will be informing you on how to fly in formation during group flights and performances. Aerial Refueling is a separate skill.
Step 1. Spawning in at the airport. Make sure your group has the “Flight of __” Callsign. If you spawn in at an ATC controlled field, or even at an uncontrolled field, be sure to use proper ATC communication skills. Always be mindful of other aircraft in the area. For more information in the “Flight of __” Callsign Suffix, see this topic:
Step 2. Taxing and Takeoff. Be weary of other aircraft. If you would like to do a formation takeoff, try to stick close together on the taxiway in case of a takeoff queue. There isn’t much to this step. If you don’t know how to taxi and take off, you shouldn’t be in a formation flight. For information on Formation Takeoffs, see this topic:
Step 3. Forming Up. Here is the “Formation” part of this tutorial. As there isn’t much to put in words, be patient when approaching other aircraft. Some helpful tips on forming up are:
Control Sensitivity: Set your sensitivity to “Medium”. This helps your aircraft to not be too nimble, or to sluggish.
Connection Speed: Everybody in your flight must have a stable and fast internet connection. Lag can be one of the worst things in formation flying.
Communications: It is wise to have a place to communicate with other pilots whilst flying 5-10ft. away from them. Since texting and flying is illegal, and punishable by ghosting, I recommend you use voice calls, or you can go with texting and flying. For formation flights in fighter aircraft, view this topic:
Step 4. Approaching an Active Airport. This step is to be executed just as any other approach is. Once you are finished the formation, you should break off one by one, and approach the airport outside of formation. Once again, if you do not know how to approach an airport and land an airplane, you should not be participating in Formation Flights
Thanks for stopping by and reading this Tutorial! If you have any questions, comments, criticisms, or other information you would like to be added, please let me know!