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Home >> Aviation guides >> Intercept


A short guide for the basics of intercepting flights, mostly for offensive operations such as visual identification, but also applicable for joins with friendly aircraft.

Basic principles:

Vertical separation 
You need a vertical separation for an intercept which depends on altitude, airspeed and bank angle. A rule of thumb is 40 000 feet (12 km / 6.5 NM) for a head on situation. The turn radius is half this distance.
Lag - pure - lead pursuit 
You start the intercept by lag pursuit and the target should pass your centerline for a lead pursuit just before half the turn for a head on intercept.

Animated intercepts

Top view

Join topviev.gif

Radar PPI view

Join PPI.gif