As pilots we are always interested in flying in formation much like the Blue Angels or Thunderbirds.
However, we rarely get that opportunity unless we have a really good friend or two whom we trust implicitly. Who among us hasn’t marveled at the formation flying of a precision aerial flight demonstration team?
Interestingly enough for us birds have no such restrictions, and in fact fly in formation quite often creating incredible visual designs that rival those of clouds.
When a flight of thousands of starlings flying together en masse as a single unit is commonly known as a “murmuration”. While poorly understood, this phenomenon provides a wonderful opportunity to observe thousands of birds flying together, quickly changing direction but without any collisions.
Do these birds have a form of TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System) of some kind in their brains? How do they know where, when and in what direction to turn on a moments notice?
Videos Explain Some Of The Phenomena
Here is an explanation of what murmuration is:
If you are interested in this phenomena learn more at “The poetry of the morning…”
Formation Flying For Pilots
If you are a pilot and are interested in learning more about formation flying with your friends then you should get The Art of Formation Flying which has 2 DVDs for a two part, 4 hour DVD video by Darton International, the Formation Flying Manual produced by the T-34 association, and a formation briefing pad.
In the meantime keep your wings straight and level Hersch!
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