A little formation flying

Simon Jennings got to do a little formation flying with a couple of our RV guys:

Effective sharp Formation flying is tough. It takes focus, a steady hand, many hours of stick time and confidence in ones ability to multitask in all 6 dimensions whilst maintaining a 10 foot space to another aircraft at nigh on 130mph…. All things I don’t yet have and making me the go lucky passenger from the back seat of instructor Mark Cigal’s fine RV8 on Darwin Jones’s first formation flying training session.

 

Some memorable moments included; watching Darwin’s aircraft rapidly grow larger and larger in the canopy on a direct collision course (high pucker factor), Mark’s unexpected formation break away turn (almost a head to canopy moment) and a flock of 4 or 5 birds momentarily joining our finger formation at a 3 foot blurred spacing as they flashed by, both on our right and in between the two aircraft (even Mark ducked!).

 

Most memorable however was just being able to share in on the training experience on such a clear, windless smooth day and witness Mark’s impressive instructor style tuning Darwin in to, what we all agreed would be, a great formation pilot.  Even though I myself am not able to directly take part in formation flying just yet, I certainly hope to be able to ride along again and I would recommend anyone looking for a new challenge or just wanting to test their nerves to get in touch with Mark to give it a go.  2 RV’s was fun but a 3 or 4 ship flight out of HVL will look mighty fine in the Asheville skies!
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