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Doug March 19th 04 02:10 AM

Flight of two, IFR
 
Is it possible for a "flight of two" to file and fly an IFR flight plan?

Steven P. McNicoll March 19th 04 02:23 AM


"Doug" wrote in message
om...

Is it possible for a "flight of two" to file and fly an IFR flight plan?


Yes.



Dave S March 19th 04 04:22 AM

Im sure the military does it all the time..

However.. practically.. WHO is going to be responsible for separation on
a formation flight if it goes IMC? The military has procedures that
address this.. i am curious to know if the US civil sector does, and
I've not seen anything pertaining to it..

Anyone care to expand on the DETAILS of actually doing a formation under
IFR in IMC or VMC?

Dave

Steven P. McNicoll wrote:

"Doug" wrote in message
om...

Is it possible for a "flight of two" to file and fly an IFR flight plan?



Yes.




John R Weiss March 19th 04 05:46 PM

"Dave S" wrote...
Im sure the military does it all the time..

However.. practically.. WHO is going to be responsible for separation on
a formation flight if it goes IMC? The military has procedures that
address this.. i am curious to know if the US civil sector does, and
I've not seen anything pertaining to it..

Anyone care to expand on the DETAILS of actually doing a formation under
IFR in IMC or VMC?


Indeed, the military has numerous procedures that address IFR flight in
formations. I'm sure the Army, Navy, and Air Force have their own specific
procedures, but in general:

It begins with dedicated VMC formation flying practice early in training,
then expands to IFR/IMC formation procedures. In an IFR formation, the flight
is treated by ATC as a single airplane. Responsibility for separation between
the separate elements in the flight is on the formation leader.

It is possible and permissible to fly an approach and landing in formation
with tactical (small) aircraft. Generally, IFR formation landings are limited to
2 airplanes, and approach minimums may be higher than those for single aircraft.

When weather is below formation approach & landing minimums, the flight will
separate into 2 single-aircraft flights prior to the approach. It is
essentially the same as one of the airplanes asking for a "popup" IFR clearance.
The flight remains together (either enroute or in holding) until the separate
clearances are obtained. Then the second aircraft starts squawking his own
discrete code and follows his own clearance with regard to altitude and route.

I don't know if there are separate civil procedures; the concept should be the
same. However, I don't know how the FAA looks on intentional civil IFR/IMC
formation flight in the first place, especially with regard to FAR 91.13...



Andrew Gideon March 19th 04 08:15 PM

John R Weiss wrote:

Responsibility for separation
between the separate elements in the flight is on the formation leader.


How does that work? Is visual contact required, or can this be done
electronically?

- Andrew


John R Weiss March 19th 04 10:02 PM

"Andrew Gideon" wrote...

Responsibility for separation
between the separate elements in the flight is on the formation leader.


How does that work? Is visual contact required, or can this be done
electronically?


In most cases, visual separation. However, when working in altitude blocks, as
with larger tanker/receiver formations, some of the separation may be done with
air-to-air radar. Even in that case, though, the visibility must be good enough
for visual rendezvous in close.


Steven P. McNicoll March 19th 04 10:35 PM


"Dave S" wrote in message
hlink.net...

However.. practically.. WHO is going to be responsible for
separation on a formation flight if it goes IMC?


Responsibility for separation within the flight rests with the flight,
whether that is practical or not. Responsibility for separation between the
flight and other IFR aircraft rests with ATC.



The military has procedures that
address this.. i am curious to know if the US civil sector does, and
I've not seen anything pertaining to it..


US ATC procedures do not distinguish between civil or military with regard
to formation flights. The FARs prohibit formation flights by aircraft
carrying passengers for hire. Formation flights by civil VFR aircraft are
not uncommon. I issued an IFR clearance to a civil formation just once,
that I can recall. It was during the EAA convention, a group of T-34s
wanted to get away from OSH to practice their routine, the weather was MVFR.



FAA Order 7110.65P Air Traffic Control

Chapter 2. General Control

Section 1. General

2-1-13. FORMATION FLIGHTS

Control formation flights as a single aircraft. When individual control is
requested, issue advisory information which will assist the pilots in
attaining separation. When pilot reports indicate separation has been
established, issue control instructions as required.

NOTE-
1. Separation responsibility between aircraft within the formation during
transition to individual control rests with the pilots concerned until
standard separation has been attained.

2. Formation join-up and breakaway will be conducted in VFR weather
conditions unless prior authorization has been obtained from ATC or
individual control has been approved.



Chapter 5. Radar

Section 5. Radar Separation

5-5-8. ADDITIONAL SEPARATION FOR FORMATION FLIGHTS

Because of the distance allowed between formation aircraft and lead
aircraft, additional separation is necessary to ensure the periphery of the
formation is adequately separated from other aircraft, adjacent airspace, or
obstructions. Provide supplemental separation for formation flights as
follows:

a. Separate a standard formation flight by adding 1 mile to the
appropriate radar separation minima.

REFERENCE-
FAAO 7110.65, Formation Flights, Para 2-1-13.
FAAO 7110.65, Application, Para 5-5-1.
FAAO 7110.65, Separation, Para 7-7-3.
P/CG Term- Formation Flight.

b. Separate two standard formation flights from each other by adding 2
miles to the appropriate separation minima.

c. Separate a nonstandard formation flight by applying the appropriate
separation minima to the perimeter of the airspace encompassing the
nonstandard formation or from the outermost aircraft of the nonstandard
formation whichever applies.

d. If necessary for separation between a nonstandard formation and other
aircraft, assign an appropriate beacon code to each aircraft in the
formation or to the first and last aircraft in-trail.

NOTE-
The additional separation provided in para 5-5-8, Additional Separation
for Formation Flights, is not normally added to wake turbulence separation
when a formation is following a heavier aircraft since none of the formation
aircraft are likely to be closer to the heavier aircraft than the lead
aircraft (to which the prescribed wake turbulence separation has been
applied).



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.



Steven P. McNicoll March 19th 04 10:38 PM


"John R Weiss" wrote in message
news:[email protected]_s03...

I don't know if there are separate civil procedures; the concept
should be the same. However, I don't know how the FAA looks
on intentional civil IFR/IMC formation flight in the first place,
especially with regard to FAR 91.13...


The only restriction on civil formation flights is carrying passengers for
hire.


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.



John R Weiss March 19th 04 11:03 PM

"Steven P. McNicoll" wrote...

I don't know how the FAA looks
on intentional civil IFR/IMC formation flight in the first place,
especially with regard to FAR 91.13...


The only restriction on civil formation flights is carrying passengers for
hire.

91.111 Operating near other aircraft.

(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.


Thanks.

91.111(b) applies to VFR or IFR, and as you pointed out in your other post,
civil formation flights under VFR is relatively common. However, with the
increased skill level required for safe IFR formation flight, I would expect
that in reality 91.13 would be also be cited if there were any incident or
mishap involving aircraft in IFR formation flight.


Steven P. McNicoll March 19th 04 11:10 PM


"John R Weiss" wrote in message
news:[email protected]_s02...

91.111(b) applies to VFR or IFR, and as you pointed out in your
other post, civil formation flights under VFR is relatively common.
However, with the increased skill level required for safe IFR
formation flight, I would expect that in reality 91.13 would be also
be cited if there were any incident or mishap involving aircraft in
IFR formation flight.


I would expect 91.13 to be cited if there were any incident or mishap
involving aircraft in VFR formation flight.




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