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Hand signals between aircraft

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Hand signals between aircraft

Old 27th Jan 2020, 22:28
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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Hand signals between aircraft

Hi All, I know that the practice of using hand signals between the pilots of fighters in close formation lasted well into the jet age, but do the pilots of modern jets such as the F-22 or F-35 still use hand signals?
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Old 27th Jan 2020, 22:42
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Pretty sure HEFOM code isn't dead yet. How else do you communicate with radio failure?
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Old 27th Jan 2020, 22:52
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Good point Stuff, although I meant instead of using the radio. (As an aside, when I fly an A2A shoot for a magazine the photog primarily uses hand signals, but that's more because he's leaning out of the door or window!)
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Old 27th Jan 2020, 23:00
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When we used to formate on Bears in the VC10K, I used to take a copy of The Sun calendar of 1985, on the September page of which was a shot of the curvaceous Sam Fox against a dark background.....

The hand signals we exchanged with the appreciative Sovietski mates on such occasions were probably not listed in the relevant JSP!

Little did Sam Fox know what part her parts played in perestroika until I told a Sun reporter one day. He passed the information on to Miss Fox, who thought it was hilarious.
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Old 29th Jan 2020, 08:13
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Join Date: Jul 2000
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I am assuming that the OP is referring to normal signals maybe, rather than radio failure. In all my time in training we taught, and used, signals for services, eg gear and flap, and sometimes for changing position but the old signals for manoeuvring, such as levelling off, turning etc, were not ever used - although I believe they are still carved in stone in AP3456. HEFOM (previously HEFOE) was still much discussed in briefs and debriefs, and occasionally used in practice speechless recoveries, but I don't think I ever saw or heard of it being used for real, other than for the radio failure itself.

When I was doing my final test at Flying Selection at Swinderby, I had a problem with my helmet as we taxied out. Despite being somewhat tense due to the significance of the occasion, I told the instructor that I was going to have to deal with it and said to ATC - "I'm going to have to hold here for a moment because I have got a wasp in my helmet". Quick as a flash, the controller came back with "You should have saved that for the no RT recovery"!
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