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How to be a good flight leader...

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DrZebra

Posts : 280
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Join date : 2014-05-16

How to be a good flight leader...

Post by DrZebra on Sat Jan 17, 2015 6:01 am

this is not a rulebook, but a discussion thread to help anyone wanting to lead a duckish flight.



My take on it is:

first:
What to bring

a) Patience.
calling all players together.. waiting and clarifying who is with whom and so on. It does take time and a friendly attitude. Trying to start  relaxed, prepared and jointly is helpful path to a good squadron flight. I know, that, i´ve been guilty of rushing thins. ;=)

b) REASONS
just goooing to get going can be nice, but things can easily get a lot more joyful with a constructive plan. Asking yourself "why?" is a good way to become a good flight leader. Not "why?" you want to be a flightleader, but WHY you are making the choices you do. Not making choices is a choice. Why are you going where and what altitude? why is one waypoint better then another? these are questions that seem pretty irrlevant if you do not care, but they can actually make a fundamental knowledge, if you actually have some idea of what is going on on what map. Which sides has more players, where do they start from, where is the main action, do you want in that or go around that... what altitudes do other players fly, what type of planes are around? Start asking yourself those questions and you´ll find that some choices are better then others, and thats a first step to make choices other then choosing not to.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



how and where to start leading a flight?

assuming the whole "who flies" and likes to do and fly what thing is sorted and everybody is on the server, leading a flight starts pre-spawn. LOOK AT THE MAP. really. do it. With the balloons you see enemy planes, you can see objectives, centers of action, routes of ai planes and intentions of players. with a bit of practice you have an idea what goes on even if you haven´t flown the mission before. If you just jump into a plane and head over the lines, like many do, you might see a less action then when you PLAN for action. And you are likelier to get jumped instead of jumping someone.



takeoff:
take of first, if possiple and do a circle at low power so that people have a chance of forming up. If you head out at full throttle, the formation is allready lost. I prefer a standard left hand circle. Circle directions and places can be used to identify different flights of one squadron, but that is advanced stuff.



climb:
don´t skip climbing. If you want to have tactical options or to survive, you need to have altitude. 2000m is a standard to be safe from enemy AAA and to have a drop on the usual mudcrawlers. I´m known to even go higher if my objective is not to fight but to do a job and live through it. 4000m may be lonely but very very safe ;=) And a spad having a DFW diving on its tail is also a nice fun anecdote to tell the kids.



traveling (ie: no combat present or on the horizon):
fly at 80-95% power, NEVER full throttle. Make sure you have an as much fixed throttle setting as possible or the will be collisions in tight flying. The leader sets the pace, but one everyone can catch up to with a reserve of overspeed to get back in again once loosing place.
Don´t type and then start to make wild moves. use the trim and fly mellow. make low degree bank turns and dont do wild swerving around because you decide on the fly to look here and there.. keep the flight together.

there a 2 modes: wide formations and tight ones.

wide: you get lost easier, but everone has more ability to observe, but communication is bad. A TYPICAL mistake here is that a distant wingman sees some enemy and goes after him.. without the flight ever noticing.  USE FLARES!

tight: is more communicative (agree on signals) fire your guns to indicate identified enemies! waggle for attention (contacts) but be aware that the element leaders need good eyes, they are the ones responsible for spotting the enemy and developing a situation. Requires more experienced leaders but is more fun and can be very efficient.



Routing:
there are many experienced players, taking the obvious route will let you meet them. Choose if you want to or not.
use clouds.  flying just under the base can be good for ground oriented missions with a bit of cover near, flying above can make you spot planes against the clouds. Generally: Cumulous clouds (the fluffy whites) are low. always. If you intend to be high, you see them below you.


attack:
ideally, YOU attack. instead of beeing attacked. that also means you should not attack stupidly. Know what your plane can do what the enemies planes can do. If you are in a runner.. keep it running. Those are also the most efficent planes for a coordinated fight with no coms. Learn what "dragging" is and drag the target for your wingman. Or make sure your wingman knows that and drags the target favourable relative to your position. What vids on "drag and bag" etc.. to understand that.
Learn to see a targets intention.. if it is a "value" plane, ie, a workhorse like a twoseater or bomber actually doing something that needs stopping, plan the attack. chances are you have speed and time to position yourself (well, that is a lot more likely on the ententes side...)



regroup
if it is all splattered around, collect your sheep... either by flying circles or having pre-agreed meeting points or waypoints to proceed to. try to keep it together. make sure you are identifiable as leader.. wingwaggle or have a bright paint job.
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Nefaro
Flight Leader

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Re: How to be a good flight leader...

Post by Nefaro on Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:23 am

Something to consider as far as ROF goes:

Use the 'Level Autopilot' when in the lead, after getting to the altitude you want.  Or use it when flying on someone's wing, when you feel you can.  

Makes things a bit easier by going straight & level and, notably, can keep painful carpal tunnel at bay - now or in the future. Also - turn it on if you get disoriented in a large cloud bank.


I keep it mapped to one of my joystick buttons. Useful in many ways.
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Dukely
Admin

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Location : United States

Re: How to be a good flight leader...

Post by Dukely on Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:40 am

I also use it to save me from getting lost in fog!

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DrZebra

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Re: How to be a good flight leader...

Post by DrZebra on Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:58 pm

good points.. I´d also like to point out that using it before trying to type can lead to a healthy reduction of accident rates ;=)

you can also use the sun (which shines through) to navigate clouds, especially when you use it as a combat tactic to hide in them and level autopilot would not be much of a surprise to the enemy.... (something you shouldn´t try in real life at all, though....)


a bit of formation flying...

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SeaLord
Operations Officer

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Location : Fairfax, VA

Re: How to be a good flight leader...

Post by SeaLord on Sun Jan 18, 2015 4:49 am

DrZebra wrote:good points.. I´d also like to point out that using it before trying to type can lead to a healthy reduction of accident rates ;=)

you can also use the sun (which shines through) to navigate clouds, especially when you use it as a combat tactic to hide in them and level autopilot would not be much of a surprise to the enemy.... (something you shouldn´t try in real life at all, though....)


a bit of formation flying...


That looks cool.
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DrZebra

Posts : 280
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Join date : 2014-05-16

Re: How to be a good flight leader...

Post by DrZebra on Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:13 am

here is a short clip from the training...


general notice: Situational Awareness and tactical response needs to be worked on. Guys, don´t ever get into turnfights with Dr.1s in Se5s. AND: don´t let them get directly above you.

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DrZebra

Posts : 280
Points : 383
Reputation : 5
Join date : 2014-05-16

Re: How to be a good flight leader...

Post by DrZebra on Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:05 am

New Wings has re-hosted the old rise of flight plane compare editor. I don´t know if the latest data is in there, but it used to be very usefull:

http://newwingstraining.com/FD-Rof-Viewer/viewer.htm

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Re: How to be a good flight leader...

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