In air combat maneuvering, also called dogfighting, an overshoot can refer to three different situations. The first is referred to as a wingline overshoot. Also called a 3 - 9 line overshoot, or a dangerous overshoot, this occurs when an attacking aircraft approaches too fast and accidentally crosses the defender's wingline, (an imaginary line passing through the center of the aircraft at the 3 o-clock and 9 o-clock positions). This is usually referred to as "flying out in front," and causes "role reversal," wherein the attacker suddenly becomes the defender.
A flightpath overshoot happens when an attacker fails to control closure and crosses the defender's flightpath from behind. While not necessarily dangerous, a flightpath overshoot can cause the attacker to fly out in front of the defender. More often, it greatly reduces the attacker's angular advantage over the defender. Flightpath overshoots are divided into two categories, called "control zone overshoots" and "in-close overshoots."
A control zone overshoot occurs when the attacker crosses the defender's flightpath from behind the front edge of the "control zone," (an imaginary cone-shaped area, often starting from 1500 to 2500 feet behind the defender). After a control zone overshoot the defender will continue turning in the same direction to retain the acquired angular advantage, trying to prevent the attacker from getting a good aim.
An in-close overshoot happens when the attacker overshoots the defender's flightpath ahead of the control zone. This gives the defender the opportunity to reverse the turn and possibly to cause a wingline overshoot, allowing the defender to move in behind the attacker, reversing their roles.
- Basic Principles of BFM
- Fighter combat: tactics and maneuvering By Robert L. Shaw - United States Naval Institute 1985 Page 67
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