mike_elliott

Formation Flying Demo at the Mooney Summit

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mike_elliott    1,790

We have been asked by the Mayor of Panama City Beach if we would do a fly over the beach on Sunday as we depart. Lee Fox, Bob Belville, the Nesbochicks, Paul Steen, Kevin Paul, Bucko and others that are  Caravan qualified will have a very cool departure formation flight demo for not only everyone on the beach, but our attendee's as well! This is our first step to unification of the disparate Mooney benevolent groups.

Thanks Lee for getting this all together! We look forward to a fantastic show! Perhaps MARS, PIG and a few of our Tyndall friends will join us with their F22's....

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Skates97    897

Hoping someone will be providing video for those of us that can't be there to watch later.

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kpaul    369
2 hours ago, Skates97 said:

Hoping someone will be providing video for those of us that can't be there to watch later.

Come on out for the weekend, you can ride along and take the video ;) 

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Skates97    897
5 hours ago, kpaul said:

Come on out for the weekend, you can ride along and take the video ;) 

I'd love to, you're just on the other side of the country....

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mike_elliott    1,790
7 hours ago, Skates97 said:

I'd love to, you're just on the other side of the country....

No longer a reason now that you own a Mooney. I was at KMYF eating breakfast on Sunday.

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N9201A    179
"This is our first step to unification of the disparate Mooney benevolent groups."



Mike, thanks for the opportunity for formators among us to demo their hard-earned skills. I don't know what's meant by "unification" but the Caravan has been "unifying" anyone who's focus is the flying...Caravaners include Ambassadors, VMGers, MAPA members and anyone else who (1) wants to be a better stick and (2) plays well with others. (It is a team sport).

So come on out and try it...but be warned, it's addictive! Rest assured our OSH flight is a LOT different than any you did in the pre-formation days. (Was that Golf element in '09)?


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kpaul    369
6 hours ago, Raptor05121 said:

Where can we get Caravan qualified?

http://www.mooneycaravan.com/training

As the clinics for OSH 2018 are determined, they will be listed at the above link.  Also keep an eye on the Mooney Caravan thread here on MS.

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mike_elliott    1,790

Believe me, I am well aware of the bennies of tight ship formation vs. the older, slinky method. After watching the mess from the tail (well JP was right behind me), I asked Karl Ludolph (the real Jester) to speak with David Phieler about doing tight ship formations at the MAPA tent the next day. The rest is history.

As far as unification goes, the Mooney Summit has always been open to any group that promotes Mooneys or its pilots, have had Jolie, the Ambassadors, Ladies love tail draggers, MAPA, Mooney Girls, Right seat ready etc at prior Summits. Bucko and I have worked on getting the Caravan formation guys to do something in conjunction with the Mooney Summit for 3 years now, and Lee Fox, Bob Bellville et al were finally able to put it together from the Caravan's side. We have plowed the political ground with the Mayor for the fly over the beach, and are in step with Tyndall where this activity is the norm, not the exception. Hopefully, next year, the Mooney Caravan group can set up a full fledged Caravan training either a couple days before or a couple after the Summit scheduled activities to allow for the time and attention it deserves and requires. Cowboy was against it when I spoke to him in Longview last year because of the commitment it takes, but perhaps that might now change

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CCowboy    34

For the record, Cowboy does not recommend a full formation training clinic that competes or coincides with any other ongoing event.  The typical formation clinic is 3 full days of high intensity focus and skill building.  Competing with other activities is not advisable as building formation skills and knowledge requires 100% dedication and focus during at least 3 days.

The Mooney Caravan is well aware that a regional formation clinic is needed in the Southeast US.  Steps are currently underway to plan and develop a Regional Formation clinic in the Southeast.  Once the components are are assembled, we will post this on our website and Mooneyspace for all to see.  Just as it is with the Mooney  Summit, there are a lot of resource and personnel planning and dedication that goes into a successful formation clinic behind the scenes.   We will announce this once the required planning and resources are in place.  This will likely take place in early 2018 in order to train and qualify new formation pilots for next years Mooney Caravan XXI.

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mike_elliott    1,790

So Chuck, for the record,  would it be possible to schedule a formation clinic 3 full days right prior to the Mooney Summit or right after the Mooney Summit, where the focus wouldn't be compromised at KECP? I have been asked a number of time of this possibility, since we will have approx. 160 people coming "that way" for the Mooney Summit anyway. Its your guys show, just trying to make it easier for the Mooney pilots by aligning their wants.

 

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KSMooniac    1,275

As a caravan novice with one clinic and one caravan arrival behind me now, I think it is a great opportunity to piggy-back on the Summit, although it might be difficult for some folks to spend more potential work days there (that is my issue, usually).

If the possible clinic could go after the summit, it would be a great opportunity for interested pilots to sit in/observe the demo flight briefing and ride along if there are open seats with the formation demo pilots. That would be a great intro to "set the hook" and motivate them to attend the ground school and clinic that follows in case they were on the fence. It would certainly give a better basis prior to the ground portion since the prospective caravaners would have already seen the stack position, maneuvers, comms, etc. I see no down side IF the logistics and volunteers can be successfully solved.

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CCowboy    34
1 hour ago, mike_elliott said:

So Chuck, for the record,  would it be possible to schedule a formation clinic 3 full days right prior to the Mooney Summit or right after the Mooney Summit, where the focus wouldn't be compromised at KECP? I have been asked a number of time of this possibility, since we will have approx. 160 people coming "that way" for the Mooney Summit anyway. Its your guys show, just trying to make it easier for the Mooney pilots by aligning their wants.

 

I understand you desire to make a mega-Mooney event.  Several issues to consider;  1. Time and employment considerations for the safety pilots and key personnel that set up the clinic-most have full time jobs and must travel to the clinic.  Thus, best done over a long weekend and not during the work week.  2. Airspace around Panama City is quite limited for a clinic operations.  We need blocks or airspace that are easy ingress/egress.  Panama City is blocked in by active restricted and Special Use Airspace.  3. Most importantly, all Caravan pilots must demo proficiency in the calendar year that they fly the Caravan.  So for 2018, the training and proficiency must be demonstrated in 2018.  

I am sure that Caravan pilots in attendance can be approached for some demo rides if time and availability allow such.  If the attendees become interested in learning formation, then they can proceed to sign up for one of the regional clinics in 2018.  This way they meet the recency of experience and proficiency that is outlined in our op specs.    

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mike_elliott    1,790
58 minutes ago, CCowboy said:

I understand you desire to make a mega-Mooney event.  Several issues to consider;  1. Time and employment considerations for the safety pilots and key personnel that set up the clinic-most have full time jobs and must travel to the clinic.  Thus, best done over a long weekend and not during the work week.  2. Airspace around Panama City is quite limited for a clinic operations.  We need blocks or airspace that are easy ingress/egress.  Panama City is blocked in by active restricted and Special Use Airspace.  3. Most importantly, all Caravan pilots must demo proficiency in the calendar year that they fly the Caravan.  So for 2018, the training and proficiency must be demonstrated in 2018.  

I am sure that Caravan pilots in attendance can be approached for some demo rides if time and availability allow such.  If the attendees become interested in learning formation, then they can proceed to sign up for one of the regional clinics in 2018.  This way they meet the recency of experience and proficiency that is outlined in our op specs.    

Chuck, I personally don't have a desire to make a mega Mooney event, as it already is. This is a just question I have fielded many times from our attendees, "why not". I am just one to try to facilitate for them. Do I need the headache? Not at all. This is just an opportunity for the Mooney Caravan to attract some new pilots that wish to be trained if the Mooney Caravan wishes to engage.

Time and employment considerations are always present for any Formation Clinic, Mooney Summit etc. The issue is whether people can or will commit to doing this event for you a year or more out, just as they have to commit to any event like OSH.

Airspace will probably be the easiest of your objections as Tyndall is willing to co-operate with us and I am sure would you also. They deal with formation flying pros DAILY not just on a long weekend.  They are set up for just this, unlike a lot of the venue's. RONCAGLIONE, JAMES L GS-12 USAF ACC 325 OSS/DOAS will be speaking at airport day, Friday Sept 29th about sharing our airspace and he is the man in charge of the airspace to talk to. I will be happy to provide you his contact info if you wish.

I cant solve the policy of calendar year restrictions of the Mooney Caravan, that is an internal issue. What this tells me is your formation training is only valid to have Jan1 to Osh day before caravan. Nothing else would work for you. I am a big believer of proficiency over currency, but again, this would not be anything the Mooney Summit would control or want to control.

Its your call, the invitation is open, Chuck.

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Bob_Belville    2,786

@CCowboy, @mike_elliott get a room! Invite or delegate Sox, Goat, Sandman, Sled, Meatloaf... ISTM MAG is big enough (members and geography) to need a couple of clinics. Way above my paygrade. I don't even drink Scotch.

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Raptor05121    957

I would love to see a formation clinic at the Mooney Summit. I tried to make training last year but the nearest event was a long ways away.

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mike_elliott    1,790

One lucky Mooney Summit attendee will get to ride with the Aeroshell Acro team at SNF or OSH next year. Thanks to L3, a ride during their routine practice for their show will be in our silent auction. Talk about formation flying!!!

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Hyett6420    1,354
On 09/08/2017 at 9:38 PM, Skates97 said:

Hoping someone will be providing video for those of us that can't be there to watch later.

I have to stay there till the monday so can vido (albeit iphone). 

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Hyett6420    1,354
On 10/08/2017 at 5:18 AM, Skates97 said:

I'd love to, you're just on the other side of the country....

Cough cough.  Im on the other side of the atlantic, but ill be there!  No 'cuses boyo. :)  

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N9201A    179
On 8/11/2017 at 5:10 AM, mike_elliott said:

Believe me, I am well aware of the bennies of tight ship formation vs. the older, slinky method. After watching the mess from the tail (well JP was right behind me), I asked Karl Ludolph (the real Jester) to speak with David Phieler about doing tight ship formations at the MAPA tent the next day. The rest is history.

 

"The rest is history"...?  Really?  Do tell!  Was your last Caravan 2008 or 2009?  Was that Fox or Golf element?  I believe we flew in the same element one year in the "gaggle."

I would not call a "gaggle" a formation, even thought technically it may meet 91.111.  I guess it is a "method" of moving aircraft.

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N9201A    179
On 8/11/2017 at 5:10 AM, mike_elliott said:

As far as unification goes, the Mooney Summit has always been open to any group that promotes Mooneys or its pilots, have had Jolie, the Ambassadors, Ladies love tail draggers, MAPA, Mooney Girls, Right seat ready etc at prior Summits. Bucko and I have worked on getting the Caravan formation guys to do something in conjunction with the Mooney Summit for 3 years now, and Lee Fox, Bob Bellville et al were finally able to put it together from the Caravan's side. We have plowed the political ground with the Mayor for the fly over the beach, and are in step with Tyndall where this activity is the norm, not the exception. Hopefully, next year, the Mooney Caravan group can set up a full fledged Caravan training either a couple days before or a couple after the Summit scheduled activities to allow for the time and attention it deserves and requires. Cowboy was against it when I spoke to him in Longview last year because of the commitment it takes, but perhaps that might now change

I still don't understand "unification" comment, but maybe I am dense.  We both seem to be saying that we are inclusive, which is great.

No one has said anything to this "Caravan guy" about flying at the Summit, but any form-qualified pilot can fly form any time with any other.  The Caravan no more has an exclusive on form flying than does the USAF, FAST, FFI or other form organizations.  

As far as a "Caravan clinic," our organization has practical, operational, administrative and underwriting requirements that govern each "Caravan Clinic."  Not a clinic is a "practice session," which to me is any two form-qualified pilots meeting to fly is a "practice session."  Right now, each region supports its regional clinic, so you would have to sell the Caravan regional leadership in your region -- none of whom you have mentioned - on locating their clinic in FL.  I am glad as a CFI you recognize that trying to do a clinic in the background of another event is a bad idea, even though it might not appear to be to an unlearned observer.  I imagine that was Chuck's objection, as any sensible, experienced clinic host or safety would have the same concern.

As far as form familiarization (where a non-form pilot gets to try it and practice), the limitation is always qualified safeties.  There just are not enough of them to support demand.  But if a geographical area has a core group of safeties who are willing to donate their time, then it is possible to "grow" safeties organically.  Bucko provided the best example of that, when we brought 3 safeties from the West Coast to a Texas clinic he organized, cross-trained some local military pilots, and only a couple years later Texas has a solid group of active formators, plus "carded" pilots.

The formation organizations (FAST and FFI) have very clear requirements that are public for getting form cards.  So do signatory organizations like Redstar Pilots Association, and type groups - like the Caravan and B2Osh - who follow FAST/FFI protocols.   

There are a lot of Mooney pilots in Florida.  The Caravan is not a service provider; everyone involves donates their time and fuel.  If you are serious about having a clinic in Florida next year, do what Bucko did in Texas.  Step up and offer to host one, and handle all the admin.  Determine how many pilots will actually show up (as opposed to "may" come if it is easy for them), and of those, who will actually have read and watched the material before arriving (because they won't be flying except as an observer if they have not).  Ask your regional leadership (Caravan board members from the East Coast) to support it, and see what kind of safety pilot turnout you can get.  Then do it!

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N9201A    179
On 8/11/2017 at 11:50 PM, Hyett6420 said:

Cough cough.  Im on the other side of the atlantic, but ill be there!  No 'cuses boyo. :)  

I hear this excuse about not coming to Yuma for the Gunfighter clinic, last year we had TWO pilots from the East Coast.  As the pilot who flew the second furthest for the Caravan flight to OSH this year (except maybe you Puddles -- if it's a tie, I give it to you in a C!), I agree.  With our traveling machines, it's about prioritization, not distance. 

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N9201A    179
On 8/11/2017 at 6:22 PM, mike_elliott said:

One lucky Mooney Summit attendee will get to ride with the Aeroshell Acro team at SNF or OSH next year. Thanks to L3, a ride during their routine practice for their show will be in our silent auction. Talk about formation flying!!!

This is an AWESOME ride, if you can get one, TAKE IT!!  These pics are from my 2014 ride (I scored as "4"). 

Like magic, there is no "trick" ... just LOTS of practice and concentration.  Like I wrote elsewhere, the more I learn about flying, the more I realize how much I don't know.  It was great to observe the same station-keeping principles in action at a super-high level, it just deepened my appreciation for their skill and commitment.  These guys are AMAZING!! 

2014-08-01 08.40.33.jpg

2014-08-01 08.51.05.jpg

2014-08-01 08.51.57.jpg

2014-08-01 08.52.00-1.jpg

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N9201A    179
On 8/11/2017 at 11:36 AM, mike_elliott said:

I cant solve the policy of calendar year restrictions of the Mooney Caravan, that is an internal issue. What this tells me is your formation training is only valid to have Jan1 to Osh day before caravan. Nothing else would work for you. I am a big believer of proficiency over currency, but again, this would not be anything the Mooney Summit would control or want to control.

Its your call, the invitation is open, Chuck.

I don't understand this. Why choose between proficiency and currency?  Form proficiency, like instrument skills, is perishable.  This why we require every Caravan participant to demonstrate proficiency in the current calendar year.  

Why are you asking a guy who already hosts a 35+ aircraft (warbirds, at a military field, FAST checkrides, it's awesome) formation clinic event in February every year to put on a clinic in your hometown?  

If you are serious, like I wrote, do what Bucko did.  Put in the time and do it...or find some qualified MAG safeties (a small but growing number) who are willing to do the safety pilot part - which is the governing limitation on any clinic.  PM/email/call me and I will put you in touch with the leadership in your region.  There are certainly enough pilots in the SE -- like I wrote elsewhere, we had TWO from South Carolina at Yuma last February.  

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