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The leader is in charge of navigation, and everyone else just tries their airplane at the correct distance from one of the others in a sort of chain. For example:
In this formation, plane 1 just flies as normal and is in charge of navigation. When it’s time to change altitude or bearing, he announces what he’s going to do before he does it (e.g. telling everyone they’re going to turn to bearing 130 degrees at a 30 degree bank).
Planes 2 and 3 just have to focus on staying behind and just to the left or right of plane 1. Plane 4 focuses on staying behind and just to the right of plane 3. Plane 3 doesn’t have to look around at plane 2 or 4 because he trusts that they’re going to stay exactly in the right place.