Preparation

Formation flying is a demanding, disciplined, and rewarding activity. It demands both knowledge of procedures and skill in piloting the aircraft. It should not be attempted without proper training. This clinic will teach you all the basics you need in order to be safe and continue the learning process. In order to be prepared for this clinic, you must verify you can address all requirements and review various written reference materials.

Pilot and Aircraft Requirements

  • Must have EXCELLENT stick and rudder skills, and mastery of your airplane
    •  Generally, we expect at least 100 hours logged in type. We are teaching formation, not basic flying skills!
  • Must be comfortable maneuvering your airplane throughout a range of 60 degrees of bank and 30 degrees of pitch
    • Formation is non-aerobatic flying, but aerobatic experience is a plus
  • Current medical certificate and flight review
  • Proof of liability insurance with $1M coverage minimum
  • Airworthy aircraft in perfect working order
    • Current annual/condition inspection
    • Documents onboard (airworthiness, registration, operating limitations, weight & balance, etc.)
    • Tires and brakes in excellent condition
  • No vernier throttles! Push-pull controls are fine, but verniers (button locking style) can be dangerous in formation
  • Kneeboard/pad & pens for taking notes, writing down frequencies, etc. during briefings
  • Good attitude! Ability to accept criticism in a positive manner. Check your ego at the door... pick it back up on the way to the bar!

Reference Materials - acquire and study the following BEFORE the clinic

  • FFI Formation Guide 2.6 - REQUIRED
    • This is the primary reference document for RV formation flight conducted to FFI standards
  • FFI Program Manual - REQUIRED
    • Even if not seeking FFI qualification, the manual is a good source of information regarding formation history, wingman and lead roles, and formation procedures
  • West Coast Formation Training Guide 1.1 - OPTIONAL
    • Methodology and flow for training a new formation pilot through to airshow checkride qualification
  • T-34 Formation Flight Manual - OPTIONAL
    • Basic information about formation flying as well as standardized hand signals. It is available for sale from the T-34 Assocation
  • Darton International's Video: "Formation Flying - The Art" - OPTIONAL
    • Not technically required, but you will be ahead of the game having watched it. Available for purchase from the T-34 Association. It's not cheap but is often bundled with a T-34 Formation Flight Manual

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