Rotary: Intra-aircraft coordination - Aircrew - United Task Force (UNITAF) Arma 3

P7-70 Rotary: Intra-aircraft coordination

UNITAF / Arma 3 / Aircrew Procedures

Version 1 / 5min read / Updated Tue 25 Feb 2020 / 158 views

Intra-aircraft Coordination

Things that need to be communicated are broken down by whether they're communicated by either crewman, by the pilot, or the gunner.


By both:

  • Threats.
    It is important that either crewman communicates anything he discovers about the locations of enemy threats as expeditiously as possible. The more of a threat the particular enemy is to an aircraft is, the more important it is that it is communicated promptly. This also includes any spottings of tracers, missile launches, or suspected missile launches.
  • Friendly positions.
    Whoever sees friendly positions, either on the map or via visual confirmation, should relay it to the other crewman so that situational awareness is enhanced. This is particularly true for the pilot communicating with the gunner.
  • Ammo status.
    Either crewman will have weapon systems available to them in some aircraft. Whatever the distribution, each crewman needs to communicate how much ammunition they have for their weapons, so that they can plan accordingly to fly back for resupply (if available) and also let the supported infantry know how much more support they can provide before they need to return to base.

By the pilot:

  • Maneuvers.
    Particularly when the gunner is employing a turreted cannon, the pilot should talk to him to let him know what significant maneuvers are being employed or are coming up. This helps the gunner to know how much traverse he has left on the turret before running into the limits.
  • Fuel status.
    Knowing how much fuel is available is important, as it allows the gunner to prioritize targets based on how much flight time remains until a trip to a resupply area is necessary.
  • Flight worthiness.
    If the aircraft is damaged by enemy fire, it is the pilot's responsibility to communicate this to the gunner. This includes tail rotor loss, loss of engine power, etc.


By the gunner:

  • Gunner activity. 
    The gunner ensures that the pilot knows what he is doing - be it acquiring a target, locking one up, firing, or preparing to fire. This helps the pilot make decisions about how he flys the aircraft.
  • Gunner needs.
    If the gunner requires a certain attack heading, or a specific amount of stability during the employment of a weapon, he must communicate this to the pilot so that the pilot can accommodate his needs.


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Gunner/Pilot Brevity Words


  • Weapon Employment & Maneuvers

    • Steady. Request from the gunner for the pilot to hold a steady bearing. Typically used when firing at hard or distant targets to provide the most stable gun platform.
    • Rotate (left, right). Gunner notification to the pilot that the aircraft needs to turn a specific direction to allow him to employ his weapons.
    • Popping up/pop up. Command from the pilot or gunner to indicate that the aircraft is going to, or needs to, rise up to clear an obstruction so that a shot can be taken.
    • Dropping down/drop down. Command from the pilot or gunner to indicate that the aircraft is going to, or needs to, drop down behind an obstruction. This is typically done after a successful shot has been made.
    • Firing/engaging. Gunner is engaging with his weaponry. Typically used when guns are being employed.
    • Launched, missile away. Gunner confirmation that he has fired his missile. Lets the pilot know that he is free to maneuver.
    • Running in. Pilot notification to the gunner that the aircraft is heading in for an attack run on a known enemy position.
    • Breaking left/right/etc. Pilot notification to the gunner that a significant bank/turn is being employed in the specified direction.


  • Threats

    • Missile, missile. Warning call given when a suspected missile has been launched. This allows the pilot to immediately conduct a 'react to missile launch' drill, as well as notifying the gunner that he should be scanning for the launch origin.
    • Taking SAF, taking SAF. Used to indicate that the aircraft is being engaged by small-arms fire, typically used to indicate that maneuvers are needed to evade it. Can be shortened to "SAF, SAF".
    • Taking heavy, taking heavy. Used to indicate that the aircraft is being engaged by a heavy weapon such as a crew-served machinegun or vehicle cannon, typically used to indicate that maneuvers are needed to evade it. Can be shortened to "Heavy, heavy".


  • Contacts

    • Visual. Crewman has spotted friendly positions.
    • Blind. Crewman cannot spot friendly positions.
    • Tally. Crewman has spotted hostile targets.
    • No joy. Crewman cannot spot hostile targets.
    • Tracers, (direction). Used to indicate the direction that enemy tracer fire has been spotted.
    • Flashes, (direction). Used to indicate the direction that muzzle flashes are being seen at.


  • Status

    • Winchester. Gunner is out of ammo.
    • Bingo. Pilot statement to indicate that the aircraft must immediately return to base in order to make it back before fuel runs out.

UNITAF Standard Operating Proceedure (SOP) is adapted from two primary source materials - in addition to our own experience and past learnings:
US Army Techniques Publication, Infantry Platoon and Squad (ATP 3-21.8) ->view online
Dyslexi's Tactics, Techniques, & Procedures for Arma 3 (TTP3) -> view online

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