Upset Recovery Demands More Than Aerobatic Training

AINsafety » October 15, 2012
APS is offering a new approach to upset training as part of efforts to reduce the number of loss-of-control in-flight accidents.
October 15, 2012, 3:32 PM

The emergency maneuver training provided by Aviation Performance Solutions (APS) aims to put a dent in accident statistics that confirm loss of control in-flight as the number-one cause of commercial jet fatalities. According to Dr. Sunjoo Advani, chairman of the International Committee for Aviation Training in Extended Envelopes, “[the problem] cannot be simply solved through technology, or through current pilot training paradigms.”

APS believes pilot training must change to focus on teaching pilots to recognize and cope with potentially upset-inducing attitudes, which involves much more than simply teaching them aerobatic maneuvers. The Mesa, Ariz.-based company’s training includes important classroom education on angle-of-attack and swept-wing aerodynamics, as well as high-speed compressibility effects, blended with full-motion simulator and full flight experience to reinforce the ground school. The flight portion is conducted in an Extra 300 at Mesa.

“The real emphasis of our training is recognizing an impending loss of control as the primary means of reducing the accident rate,” APS president Paul “BJ” Ransbury told AIN. “But should a pilot still fall prey to an airplane about to fall from the sky, the APS all-attitude recovery method teaches escape maneuvers that should save lives. The airplane and simulator, then, are simply tools to demonstrate and practice what pilots learn in the classroom.”


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Art Jones
on October 18, 2012 - 4:14pm

Trends do confirm LOC is an area needing attention. I am sure the ground school will hit icing, wind shear, radar units mounted on the wing leading edge, rate of pitch change, down bursts, extreme turbulence, differences in airfoils, emphasis on using maximum planning and minimum required aob in normal turns, maybe even auto throttle. It would make sense if insurance companies offer a break for pilots completing your course, initial and recurrent. When I get the hang of keeping right side up I might show up! Possible name for the endeavor "Handle with care"
OH yeah, and distractions. And , well, pilots will do some better with more than 3 hours sleep a night.

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Paula Williams
on October 18, 2012 - 4:46pm

Hi Rob-

Great article! People should also be aware that Unusual Attitude Recovery also provides upset recovery training in a variety of aircraft, including jets and transport category.

They use a Sabreliner 60 for the transport category and Aramacchi MB 326M “Impala” aircraft for jet training. As you know, jets behave differently than aerobatic aircraft. :-)

We're going to see them in early November and John is looking forward to getting into the air with one of their instructors - many are test pilot instructors or former astronauts.

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Kim Palmer
on October 18, 2012 - 5:52pm

There is another company out there called Calspan Corporation that has also been doing upset training. They use 20 series Learjets that have specialized co-pilot controls that can simulate a number of different aircraft and different failures. The people that have received training in these planes say that there is nothing like it, like being in the real thing. A very useful and true to life training program.

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Misani giorgio
on October 23, 2012 - 6:20pm

I been instructor in Airlines and in executive for several years, and i always thought that the training,that we teach for many years,was obsolete.
There are also many others aspect to cover, but at least one of these items is going to be solved. Finally we enphatise the skill aspect of flying, for too many years we believe that the most important tool of Safety was to increase the automation of the airplane.. and when something was going wrong,too many pilots were not able to recover the situation.

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