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Old January 13th 20, 01:12 PM posted to rec.aviation.ifr
Paul Tomblin
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Default Flight of two, IFR

In a previous article, Sam Spade said:
On 12/18/2019 18:00, wrote:
I fly F-16s with the Air Force. There are essentially three methods of formation flying through IFR. The first is by maintaining fingertip formation (roughly 3 foot wingtip separation). Flight

lead flies off his instruments while wingmen fly visually off him since you can usually see far enough to maintain visual inside of a cloud. This is normally done as a 2-ship. There are also
specific procedures for deconflicting if you lose the visual. The second is instrument trail where you take off with some briefed time delay and every flight member calls their altitude over the
intraflight frequency every 5000 feet during the climb and calls every turn. This is only done on departures and flight members are not allowed to be at the same altitude until in VMC and visual
with each other. The final one is most common in fighters which is called a radar trail. This is where every flight member locks the one in front of them with their radar and deconflicts based on

Wasn't there a case about 10 years ago when the Blue Angels were doing the
first method and they got separated and some of the followers ended up 10
miles off course?

Paul Tomblin
"Dad, I left my heart up there."
-- Francis Gary Powers after his first flight (age 14)