Rulings on expert server escort

I just received a level 2 user report violation only moments after commencing an escort with an F-14 for an aircraft in expert server… reason: for apparently failing to maintain aircraft seperation.

I was clearly well away from the aircraft. What are the rules for providing an escort to an aircraft? What did I really breach?



If you are escorting someone without the appropriate “flight of two” callsign suffix, you are subject to being reported, if you’re in ATC-controlled airspace. “Flight of two” means you + the other aircraft are flying in formation (hence, a flight of two aircraft). You cannot randomly escort someone in controlled airspace - that’s a rather severe invasion of someone else’s flying experience. It’s an issue that’s been hotly discussed here on the IFC, with some people even arguing for it to be raised to a Level 3 violation.

However, if this was done with the approval of the other pilot and you both simply forgot to fly with the “flight of two” suffix, or if you feel that you were more than 3 NM away from the other pilot, you could try submitting an appeal to @appeals and see if they might reverse it.

Normal separation rules mandate 3 nautical miles separation between aircraft at all times.

Hope this helps!


I never knew this! Thanks

I never knew this! Thanks

Me too, thanks! Learn something new everyday :)

But then, does the escorted aircraft must change their suffix to “Flight of one”, too?


Flight of two* yes.
And all ATC communication will only be with the lead aircraft. It’s like treating both (or more) aircraft as one unit.

See here for more details:

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There’s also a video tutorial by @Mark_Denton on how to perform formation flights properly - and can also apply to escorts. It’s a little old (2016), but still relevant, and is great to learn about how to use the “Flight of XX” command:


Mark says in the video that if we were more than a mile or two to each other, do not use the “flight of x” suffix, that’s great now I understand, thank you!

So I’m guessing when using this suffix we’re not gonna get ghosted when we land a wingtip to wingtip formation of (for example) three F/A-18s at the same time for an airshow on expert, right?

The other thing to keep in mind is that only one of the aircraft in a flight of X should be communicating with ATC. While the others can be on frequency, only a single clearance is issued for all aircraft.

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I hope more of these violations are given and infinite flight can put an end to this escort crap.
So sick of getting harassed every other day by these guys in fighter jets.

what if you add flight of two and escort someone when they are not a flight of two

As previously stated, both pilots need to agree to be a part of a formation flight. You can be reported if you break separation rules by escorting an aircraft that has not agreed to be in a formation flight.

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