Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The risks and rewards of flying wing
The Real Risks
If you lack significant training in formation flight operations, then stay on the ground. The right way to get formation training is to go through the FAST organization (www.flyfast.org). They use military techniques, and their communications standards come from the T-34 formation manual. FAST has many signatory organizations, including Sport Class Air Racing, Swift, Red Star Pilots and various warbird clubs. There are also flight schools such as the Tutima Academy of Aviation Safety (www.tutimaacademy.com), where I teach, that provide formation training.
Due to their limited visibility, it’s very risky to fly formation in high-wing aircraft.
In an upcoming issue, look for “Formation Flying, Part II,” where we’ll focus on the complexities and mental challenges of flying the lead position.
Bill Stein has logged thousands of hours of aerobatics and formation flight. He has flown a Pitts Special, Globe Swift, Red Baron Stearman and Zivko Edge 540. He performs solo in his Edge (www.billsteinairshows.com) and as part of a four-ship formation team, the Collaborators.
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