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Consolidated Advice for Primary

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
I'd be interested to see what those gouge FTI numbers are relative to actual on-speed numbers. I'm willing to bet you have quite a bit of margin for error...
I'd be interested, too. In the T-34, 95 knots was always on-speed with the flaps up, but with the flaps down, it was a little more fluid.
 

Jim123

DD-214 in hand and I'm gonna party like it's 1998
pilot
They’re about 3-5 knots faster than on speed when you’re at a typical gross weight for early fam pattern work. If you barely do any high work or go straight to the pattern then they’re pretty much on speed because you’re showing up at the OLF with more gas than usual.

If you fly a very tight downwind, so that you use closer to 45° than 30 angle of bank in your approach turn, and you fly precisely the prescribed airspeed for your chosen flap setting, then you’re usually solidly in the green chevron with no amber donut. I’m pretty sure the FTI had a few disclaimers along the lines of “but no slower than on speed AoA” though.

A big reason why the gouge power settings often seem a couple percent too low is that new students make a lot of small airwork mistakes and corrections- and those little deviations tend to bleed energy from the abeam all the way through final. It’s all part of learning. The emergency landing pattern even moreso- even post solo students often unwittingly find a way to go from being a thousand feet above profile to having an energy deficit at high key. (Good students included.)
 

wlawr005

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
Would a student get shit on if they just flew the pattern at 130ish knots and just bled it all off in the flare?

99% of the time I fly the Hornet/Super Hornet fast and flare when at the field...mostly because a long time ago my owning told me "don't ever get slow"
 

Jim123

DD-214 in hand and I'm gonna party like it's 1998
pilot
Would a student get shit on if they just flew the pattern at 130ish knots and just bled it all off in the flare?
I told my students that the +10/-0 standard meant it was better to be 10 knots fast than 1 knot slow, albeit 1-2~ish knots slow "momentary with timely corrections not affecting the safety of flight" was also acceptable.

Pretty much everybody would take their onwings straight to the pattern via a surprise practice PEL a few minutes after takeoff- partly to mix up the profile but partly to expose them to the subtly different handling around the pattern.

10 knots fast in the downwind leg is unnecessary in the T-6 but 5-10 fast on final has very little consequence- long touchdown by 500-1000 feet of so, the prop has a lot of drag at idle in the flare... well, except when the wind is calm. Be fast on a calm wind day and you either float really far or you touchdown really fast (don't forget, it's non antiskid brakes only, no spoilers, reverse thrust, etc.) and that would be its own lesson...
 

SynixMan

Professional CCX Wrangler
pilot
Contributor
Would a student get shit on if they just flew the pattern at 130ish knots and just bled it all off in the flare?

99% of the time I fly the Hornet/Super Hornet fast and flare when at the field...mostly because a long time ago my owning told me "don't ever get slow"
Short answer, a little. Like @Jim123 said, the T-6 floats a lot in the flare with any extra speed, and we have 4k and 5k OLFs in the Whiting Area. SNAs really don't have the mechanics down to purposefully and reliably bleed a 10 knots to get on speed between groove the flare.

With regard to just flying on speed, I agree that's a great advanced technique, but a lot of times we're trying to get from "Never having flown anything besides a C172" to "Safely landing a 7k high performance trainer reliably". My goal for a FAM block student is to recognize high/low visually, fast/slow (KIAS), and lineup, consistently, then make changes in the right direction (right magnitude is step 2) WRT power, pitch, and AOB. This comes quickly to some and slower to others, but most folks eventually get it and move on.

AOA is a different scan pattern and leaves a bit less cushion on the low side of speed, and that's where a student can really get into trouble/break the little baby landing gear we have. Not just stalling out, but chopping power and getting a big sink rate. The FTI parameters keep them in a fairly safe box.
 

Hammer10k

Well-Known Member
Wanted to brain dump my Forms info before I lose it. For anyone about to start the forms block - it's essentially one flight that you got a half dozen cracks at before you solo. You've got to know the flow from startup to shutdown before you fly so you can focus on perfecting the actual formation positions instead of worrying about the big picture. Easier said than done.

The first thing you have to do is know the Formations NATOPS brief cold. It sucks learning it and it really sucks if start the forms block immediately after finishing contacts or instruments. Still, find a way to get it done because it's required and has a bunch of the big picture items, like emergencies. Start learning it early if it looks like you're going to get pushed through. Ask the ODO after your aero solo if it looks like you'll be classing up for forms or instruments next.

Next, get all your FTI knowledge internalized. There are maneuvers you've got to memorize - cross under, parade-turns, lead changes, etc. Write these on printer paper in different colors and just read them over and over. There aren't so many that it's a burden, so give them enough time to make them stick.

Finally, get with your forms partner and figure out the flight. The forms stuff begins before you start the plane, like checking in on the tac frequency, so you want to be ahead of the game. If you're doing forms last, find a guy who did forms first and trade knowledge. This was the case for me and it was super helpful. A buddy walked my forms partner and I through the entire flight as we wheeled around the sim bay in rolly chairs. He basically taught us the entire sequence and it was a game changer. Especially doing it in a space where you can walk or wheel around to get an idea of how the area management works. For trade, we did a bunch of instrument practice sims so he could have the first couple instrument sims aced. It's a trade you want to make.

There's only a handful of IPs that are form qualified so you want to make a good impression on your 4101, because you'll probably fly with the same IPs a couple of times. For the first forms flight, you and your partner will talk through the entire flight in the brief in front of the IPs, including reciting the NATOPS brief and talking through emergencies, and then they make the call of whether ya'll are ready or not. It seemed like this was by far the most downed brief in primary. If you show up with the NATOPS brief and maneuvers down cold, and a good understanding of the flow of the flight (sequence of maneuvers, hand signals, area management, comms, emergencies) you'll be fine.

Studying with your forms partner is essential. The way the IPs do the NATOPS brief varies - some want lead to do the first half and wing do the second, some want it alternating, some will ask you what your forms partners favorite EP is and then have you recite it.

Finally, trim cannot be overemphasized. Trim that bitch out immediately after takeoff - get the ball centered and then keep trimming once you get into position. Having a light grip on the stick is a must - an uncentered ball and and untrimmed ailerons/elevator will put you into unsafe positions. Get it trimmed, raise your seat and rest your forearm on your kneeboard and fly with your fingertips and wrist. Even put a pen inter-laced between your fingers if you are having trouble with a fingertip-grip. Relax your feet too - wiggle your toes to make sure your body isn't tensed. The T-6 will stay in position will good trim settings and a light touch.

Good luck, hope this helps.
 

Jim123

DD-214 in hand and I'm gonna party like it's 1998
pilot
^^^

If you do forms last (after instruments), then don't forget your landing pattern basics: don't get so wrapped up in the landing pattern that you make rookie mistakes like being too tight on downwind or getting slow between the 180 and final. If you think your final approach is bad then just wave it off with some semblance of confidence (don't ask the IP if you should wave it off, being indecisive like that is usually a sign of poor cockpit leadership in the future and it's kind of a dumb question).

Rusty pattern work is the downside of doing forms last but good SA and air sense is the upside though. And vice-versa if you do forms right out of contacts/aero (and if you do instruments after forms, then your BAW in instruments will be immensely better than the other way 'round). Either way, don't sweat what order you do the syllabus in and don't overthink the pluses and minuses of it.


Once in a blue moon in forms, you might even do an IFR letdown or even an approach (rare). For the times the flight can't come back the normal way on course rules, relax and try to be a contributing member of the flight- IFR RTB might not be a graded item on that syllabus even but IPs have been known to throw a bit of love in HW/SA or one of those general areas.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
The first thing you have to do is know the Formations NATOPS brief cold. It sucks learning it...
Is this a result of the South Field NATOPS Form brief gayness creeping across Langley Road? I don't remember the VT form brief being anywhere near as annoying as the HT "Macarena" brief.
 

scoolbubba

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
Is this a result of the South Field NATOPS Form brief gayness creeping across Langley Road? I don't remember the VT form brief being anywhere near as annoying as the HT "Macarena" brief.
It's more a result of the only form sim being essentially useless and the IPs not having the time to spoon feed studs the admin part of flying forms.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
It's more a result of the only form sim being essentially useless and the IPs not having the time to spoon feed studs the admin part of flying forms.
But there was no T-34 Form sim. Is it the speed of the aircraft that makes things happen "too fast" compared to the T-34? Does the shorter legs (significantly shorter when compared to a T-34 Form flight) provide less training time? Combo of each? Or can we blame putting a VP guy as a Form program manager (I keed!)?

Obviously they're different planes, with different training requirements, so just trying to understand the impetus.
 

Jim123

DD-214 in hand and I'm gonna party like it's 1998
pilot
I think Form 1 through 3 were programmed at 1.6 in the T-6 syllabus (original syllabus and/or the latest version). Transit time is a little quicker but there is still overall less time in the working area than the same hop in the T-34. Even stretching it into a 1.8 or 1.9 or making a couple of wide turns enroute to the practice area, it's not unusual on 1 or 2 to only have time for a couple of B&Rs on an early hop if some of the other high work wasn't clicking for the student. 3 B&Rs is typical (or a fourth expeditiously set up by the IP). I'm talking about Whiting, though I'd be surprised if Corpus is much different.

I think the T-34 had gas for quite a few more reps.
 

Gatordev

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pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
I think the T-34 had gas for quite a few more reps.
That's what I was thinking. I think a regular Form flight was regularly north of 2.0 and were usually only rivaled by the FITU DCON flights for hours/X.
 

scoolbubba

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
We don't have the gas, especially at the lower altitude forms are done at, to really screw around with an unprepared student. Most of the forms are scheduled as an out and in, which helps a bit, but also means the studs don't both get to lead and wing in on course rules/the break very often.
 
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