Formation Practice Flight

A group of pilots at Boulder City, NV is preparing for a missing-man fly-by next week at the veterans home in town. I joined them today for a formation training flight. Here’s the video.

Because I haven’t flown formation in a while, I first flew in a two-ship with our lead to knock off some rust (and keen observers will note that I could benefit from further practice). We then joined a three-ship and flew as a five-ship for a couple of practice fly-bys of the veterans home, where they’ll do a missing-man formation fly-by next week.

The other airplanes in the group are all variants of the RV series of homebuilts.

You will notice a few jiggles of the ContourHD camera, which is mounted on my headset. That’s when I’m nodding to acknowledge hand signals from lead. At other times, lead gives signals with his airplane (e.g., rocking his wings to tell us to close up from route formation). We use a standard set of hand and airplane signals for most formation changes; only a few instructions (e.g., changing from close trail to extended trail) typically require verbal orders and acknowledgements.

The wide-angle lens distorts distances a bit, and the camera is a few inches above my eye level, but it still gives a realistic view from the cockpit.



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