Aces High

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Kopfdorfer on February 13, 2019, 04:52:48 PM

Title: Operational Inflight Standards
Post by: Kopfdorfer on February 13, 2019, 04:52:48 PM
Hi Guys,

            Firstly , I want to say that I appreciate that AH has been very welcoming to me , and several other non-members who enjoy flying
            with the squad.
            I am very aware of not being a full member ( my choice - I have been  invited and made to feel I would be welcome) , and as such
            must make all comments as an outsider , and therefore delicately. I know most of you have been flying together for many years ,
            and I am a relative newcomer.

            I have made some observations of the squad over some time now ( two years or thereabouts - yikes).
           I understand that there is always a balance to be struck between fun and discipline , realism and enjoyment , challenge and playability.
           That balance will be different for every set of simflyers , and it is the challenge of each group to find and adjust this balance as the group
           needs over time , or to face the turnover in pilots that will result from unchanging group parameters as the needs/desires of individual
           members changes.

           I see the effort being made to make as many missions palatable to the most pilots whenever possible.
           This is not easy to do.

           Settings in terms of difficulty and realism put aside for the purpose of these comments , there are other ways to ensure a sense of
           inclusion and achievement for the widest group of individuals , and in my opinon these start from a set of known , understood AND
           PRACTICED operational flight procedures.
           Again , I realize that AH may indeed already have such ( a set of procedures) , and because you have all been together so long they are
          ( at least in your minds as a group ) innate , but they are not apparent to myself , and I suspect many of those who are not long time
          members either.

           Certainly my experiences with the group over the last several weeks suggest they are not (understood) for some members , or they are
          simply not being observed.  This makes it difficult to participate , and feel like one of the team for an outsider ( my opinion ).

           Last night's landing sequence during the Philippines Campaign is the most recent example. Something as simple as the normal flight
           protocol ( someone correct em if they disagree) to land in the same direction as take off (barring emergency) .

           I realize that for most of us , this sim-flying is a casual steam off-letting and diversion from real life , and not to be taken too seriously.
           Most pilots want to fly missions and not train. This is understandable.
           However - for the broadest group to be able to feel intrinsic to the team and the mission , some order must be understood
           , and ( again , my opinon ) practised.

           Almost every group take off I hear a comment about "the amoeba formation" , and there are a couple of chuckles , but in my experience
           outside this world , such comments are usually based on real feelings. In this case , the commenter is really (likely) asking "why can't we
           take off and group up in good combat order ? "

           Another issue is what to do if there is an odd-man in terms of no. of ships in a flight.
           As a guest , and this is again a result of my choice , I do not always get to fly/wing with the same guy/guys.
           Though we have not talked about it directly , I know _AH_Kawilder has heard me bemoaning not having a proper wing assignment , and is
           often doing his best to follow me around when he doesn't have another assignment - I see you back there, Jellyman.

           Something as simple as What is the standard/expected AH formation for a 4 ship fighter flight ?
           Finger four ( left or right  ?) , echeleon left ? echelon right ? Line abreast ?
           A 4 ship bomber flight ? A 3 ship bomber flight ?

          What is the expected distance between ships in formation ?

          What is the expected interval between ships landing ?

          The first stage to solving my dilemma is simple information.
          Is there somewhere here on the website that lays out at least the most common operational flight procedures ?

          If so , please direct me to it.

          If not , I have been directed to a procedural outline from a now defunct online squad , which I have attached to this post.
          Have a look and let me know what you think.

          I'd also be willing to make up some fundamental missions for practicing small unit procedures , or mundane operational procedures
          such as taxi and take-off  and formation , as well as 2 ship and 4 ships tactical situations , if anyone is interested in flying them.

          Sincerely ,


Title: Re: Operational Inflight Standards
Post by: _AH_Bear on February 14, 2019, 01:32:40 AM
I dont think were that disciplined to take on formation flying as you suggest..amoeba is as best as it gets has been my observation, as far as landing goes, it only seems to be a thing when someones coming in the other way but we seem to do ok with it..  not too many OCD folks here.. :lol
Title: Re: Operational Inflight Standards
Post by: _AH_Col._Hogan on February 15, 2019, 02:40:58 AM
No landing discipline irks me....

That will be addressed soon.


Title: Re: Operational Inflight Standards
Post by: _AH_DarkWolf on February 16, 2019, 05:22:38 AM
The amoeba formation is an old joke in AH, I don't think its ever being used as a critism. At least I've never taken it as such. Beyond the simplest things like line astern or maybe a vic for bombers I don't think formations are very practical for us. The amoeba is loose and fairly collision free, lets everyone devote more time to looking around scanning than focusing on the guy they are trying to form on.

When it comes to elements it pretty much comes down to the pilots preferences. Some guys will pay attention to that when they slot in and will stick with whoever they are grouped with, others will fly independently. Depends on the night too, tuesday night campaign missions tend to be a little more organized than other nights. When we slot in spares on tuesday night it tends to be with an eye to overall numerical parity rather than forming elements. We aim for squadron A to have 5 pilots and squadron B to have 5 pilots rather than a 4-6 split to ensure complete elements. In the case of odd numbers fellows who want to work together usually do just what you, BB and myself did on tuesday, stay together as a threesome until such time as one of the 3 go down or someone else needs a wingman and adjust on the fly.

There is information here and there on the forums about some of our methods, some might be in the sections that are viewable by AH only. Regardless its probobly not complete. Case in point, in terms of landing we used to say that the first person to land becomes ATC for that airfield or carrier. Probobly written down somewhere but has been out of use for some time.

Title: Re: Operational Inflight Standards
Post by: _AH_Bear on February 16, 2019, 06:12:49 PM
I think 1st person down as ATC is a good plan..
Title: Re: Operational Inflight Standards
Post by: _AH_Autorotate on February 18, 2019, 04:12:45 PM
           Almost every group take off I hear a comment about "the amoeba formation" , and there are a couple of chuckles , but in my experience
           outside this world , such comments are usually based on real feelings.

apparently you never saw the 2012 HQ flight..

Title: Re: Operational Inflight Standards
Post by: _AH_Col._Hogan on February 18, 2019, 07:17:31 PM

Title: Re: Operational Inflight Standards
Post by: _AH_Stiffy on March 01, 2019, 04:18:52 PM
I'd like to toss .02 cents in here. Back in the day, you could find a qual room open just about every day. Allowing people the chance to improve skills, refine weaknesses and overall warm up for the evenings activities. When everyone was here on a regular basis, we found that everyone could use improvement. It led to a lot of great memories learning about flying with others (wingman), flying in a flight, bombing, navigating, combat flying (Immelmann, Split S, etc), and the many quals of different types flown (land, carrier).
Now it seems that with the lower participation, those types of things are the first to go.
Title: Re: Operational Inflight Standards
Post by: _AH_Bear on March 01, 2019, 08:37:38 PM
At times we have them for newbies.. participation isnt very active though..  but if anyone wants to, im qualified to host and can anytime someone committes to a time.. thats been the issue in the past.. take the time to host for the benefit of others and no one shows up..

~S~ Bear
Title: Re: Operational Inflight Standards
Post by: _AH_DarkWolf on March 01, 2019, 08:46:08 PM
Yeah, interest in qualing seems to have waned in recent years.

Title: Re: Operational Inflight Standards
Post by: Kopfdorfer on March 01, 2019, 11:23:32 PM
I started this thread to raise the issue of a desire for a common base of tactical thinking and decision making that goes beyond the single pilot and the single aircraft , because I see little evidence of this when I am flying not just with you guys , but online in general. I know that when flying for fun sometimes folks just aren't willing (or able) to put in any practice time - its not for everyone for multifarous reasons.

I don't love practicing , BUT it does raise performance in actual missions even if just pairs and flights of 3 or 4 practice sound group tactics. What I do love is investing in practice time when I begin to see that it starts to effect performance in (virtual) combat.
In my opinion , the practice of flying to accumulate individual points is anathema to developing and executing sound and effective tactical combat , and as these are almost exclusively the type of missions that AH flies I see no solution unless some different missions designed to embrace broader tactical and operational demands are flown with the intent to improve the groups' ability to do so.

Effective combat flying results from a combination of a common and understood doctrine ( "this is what WE do in THIS situation" ) along with a common level of fundamental flying skills in an understood command hierarchy , and then refined through practice and finally execution under fire.

Regarding AH flight "quals" - what you choose to require is up to you - this is your squad after all.
Are any of your quals set up for pairs or flights of 4 or more ?
Are any of your quals designed to test combat skills beyond taking off , landing and aerobatics  ?
Things like gunnery accuracy , bombing accuracy (level , dive and skipping) , realistic navigation with and without beacon assistance, in good and poor weather conditions, group tactical response when in superior position , inferior position , superior numbers , inferior numbers , how does the group attack a target known to be protected with substantive AAA defenses.
Personally I believe that some time spent working in pairs and 4s on various tactical problems and situations would be much better spent than "quals per se". I suspect it would also be more interesting for seasoned pilots like the AH crew.
Any deficiencies that might require a bit of practice individually would soon be evident in group tactical problems.

Right now what I see commonly in AH missions are enemy almost always in an inferior position , arriving in convenient numbers , never a no win situation , and the first pilots off the ground tear off at speeds that preclude the later elements ever catching up during most of the mission.
I routinely see pilots divert from their orders in the mission brief to home in on the target(s) that are higher in point value than the ascribed mission per the brief.
The intel for the mission is always flawlessly accurate - the enemy is always exactly where he is supposed to be  - what an obliging foe !
Reconnaissance for the group is irrelevant to obtain - we always get it anyway ; why fly a reconnaissance mission ?
Transport and supply missions ? We see transports once in a while but there is never a penalty imposed when the escort wanders off to strafe point laden ground targets and transports are shot down.

You can tell I am a proponent of a dynamic campaign situation , where each type of mission has a purpose that has an impact on the campaign if it is not carried out successfully.

Look , this is difficult to achieve with full time professionals whose very lives depend upon it , so encouraging a group of recreational simmers to strive for it is a long reach indeed.
I make my  comments as an outside observer and a very average pilot who just wants to find ways to get better and to find other pilots who want to as well.

I also spend a lot of time with my nose in the FMB and I very much appreciate the time spent by ANY mission builder to provide entertaining missions for anyone to fly.

It is one thing to be critical of any situation , but quite another to take steps to improve a situation.
I have a few ideas to address what I am speaking of here , and am willing to be active in addressing (some of )
them ( if anyone wants to listen). I am hoping that others here might make suggestions as well.
Currently there are times on Wed , Thurs and Fri evenings without scheduled AH time that could be used for
Small Unit Tactical Situational Improvement.

Sorry for being long-winded , but I wanted to steer the thread back to its intended "Tactical" focus.
I feel that if someone wants to work on individual piloting/aerobatic type imrpovements and AH "Quals" they could continue that discussion in another thread.

I am looking forward to further comments.

Title: Re: Operational Inflight Standards
Post by: _AH_BBQhead on March 05, 2019, 01:24:30 AM

I always try to pair up and fly wing or lead wherever I slot in.  I prefer a  Loose Deuce style, lead changing whenever it's an advantage to do so.   These days, with the shorter ID ranges, once the enemy shows up I'm lucky to find my lead again after a few turns.  I know  a lot of that has to do with my inferior computer situation so I'm not faulting anyone, just tossing my two cents in.
 If practice were to be available, I'd participate if the settings were workable for me.         

Just a quick note about AH Quals.
 AH Quals historically have been used to practice the most basic plane handling skills  needed to get a mission into the air with fewer restarts since we never had a minimum skill requirement to join. Basic ground attack skills were added when we moved from CFS to IL2.  Over the years additional quals were added to create an environment where people could become  familiar with the basics of the many different aircraft and weapons available in IL2 and to practice slightly beyond the most basic skills. They were never intended to teach aerial combat/ dogfighting  tactics.