Created By: Koveras on July 25, 2012 Last Edited By: Koveras on August 14, 2012

Missing Man Formation

A ceremonial incomplete formation to honor a fallen teammate.

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The missing man formation is a form of Due to the Dead performed by fighter jet pilots. It consists of a flight performing a flyby over a fellow pilot's funeral, either with one position conspicuously empty, or with one pilot sharply pulling away (straight up or sideways) just over the site while the others maintain course.

Although primarily used in the military air force context, its variants can be used in other situations, as well. Compare Empty Chair Memorial and Riderless Horse.

Since this is often a Death Trope, beware of spoilers.

Examples (salvaged from Due to the Dead):

  • The Sybillae in Simoun have the special ceremonial Ri Maajon of the Fields to honor their dead, which requires five Simouns--exactly one short of a full choir. Chor Tempest performs it after Mamiina's death, effectively mutinying during a state of emergency to do so.
  • In Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, an allied flight performs a missing man flyby over the November City after Chopper is shot down.
  • In Beast Wars, Optimus, Cheetor, and Silverbolt fly overhead in the missing man formation during Dinobot's funeral.

Will go under Funeral Tropes.
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