The military utilize formation flight for very practical uses, but mostly tactical in nature for protection and strike capability. For us civilians, we also fly in formation, but we do it for convenience, safety, and fun.
However, flying in tight formation with another aircraft, involves much more than just joining up and flying around next to each other. Formation flying is an art. A real discipline that requires attitude, focus, and practice, practice, practice.
Most of us just don’t have the amount of time to put into formation practice, but when there is a group of us heading to the same place, traveling together is the best way to go. That is where caravans come into play. A caravan is a simi-disciplined flight of two or more aircraft flying together, but not in a tight formation. Although caravans may not be true formations, they serve the same purpose; convenience, safety, and they are a ton of fun.
For some, traveling together means a tight formation. For others, it's just tagging along. That's the beauty of the caravan. Pilots traveling in a caravan can fly as close, or as far away from the other aircraft as his or her experience and comfort level allow.
Caravans also provide some extra protection that travelling alone cannot. If this is your first really long cross country, there is that extra experience level in the other pilots that may have made the trip before. There is also mutual assistance in case of weather, or mechanical breakdown.
But when you get right down to it, caravan flying is just great fun. Many groups stop along the way to see the sights adding to the experience.
If you are starting a caravan,
drop us a line with the details and we'll list it here
As groups start planning we will list them here.
If you see a caravan forming that you would like to join,
click on the link, check out the projected track, and get in touch with the leader to join.