Flying formations are very impressive. Usually they are flown with smaller airplanes during airshows and include aerobatics. The pilots fly their aircraft relatively close to each other. One takes the lead and gives the command to the flyers via radio communication to trigger movements in the formation. This can simply be a ‘tack’ spoken into the mikrophone.
But before getting into the air, a thorough briefing is done. The pilots plan in detail the formation and clarify who does what, when and how. This involves true team work – not only on the ground but also in the air. The lead pilot has the overall responsibility. Fly what was planned, maintain the overview of the other planes flying in the formation and be prepared for the unexpected. Enormous trust and clear communication is also key to successfull formation flying.
A flying formation with five Airbus A350 is one thing you may never have thought about. But see yourself and be impressed by what you can do with airliners.
What is your personal experience with formation flying? Have you ever flown one either as lead pilot or as participant? Which is your favourite formation? Please share your thoughts with us.