Flying in close proximity to another aircraft has additional risk, especially if untrained. It can also be reasonably safe when conducted in a proper manner. Seek professional training from qualified instructors before attempting formation flight on your own. Formation flying is a challenging and extremely rewarding activity. In other words, it’s a TON OF FUN!!
There are many aircraft groups that do formation flying. An internet search will turn up many examples such as Vans RV groups, Bonanza groups, warbird groups, etc. Many have resources for learning formation flying.
If you wish to learn to fly formation in Central Oregon the pilots at Advanced Flight Dynamics and Elite Pilot Services are all qualified and experienced formation pilots and instructors in multiple models of airplanes. These pilots are often willing to travel so training does not necessarily have to be in Central Oregon.
There are 2 groups that have FAA recognized qualification programs. Getting “carded” by one of these groups allows the holder to fly formation in waivered airspace (e.g. airshows). They are:
- Formation Flying, Inc.‘s (FFI) mission is to promote and support safe, standards-based formation flying at airshows or Aviation Events that operate under a Certificate of Waiver. FFI is a Recognized Industry Organization accredited by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to evaluate pilots seeking Industry credentials to fly in formation in such airspace.
- Formation and Safety Team (FAST) is a worldwide, educational organization dedicated to teaching safe formation flying in restored, vintage military aircraft and civilian aircraft. FAST is comprised of eighteen signatory organizations whose mission is to support education in the restoration, maintenance and flight of their members’ aircraft.
Here are some groups who do formation flying/training
- The Red Star Pilot’s Association has a list of formation instructor pilots for members who fly in a wide variety of aircraft, especially those originating in the current and former communist block nations.
- Classic Jet Aircraft Association FAST associated formation training in jet aircraft
- Cirrus Formation flying
- RV Formation.com
- T-34 Association
- North American Trainer Association Formation flying for owners/pilots of airplanes manufactured by North American Aviation (NAA).