FAA and EASA Will Upgrade Stall Training

 - October 14, 2013, 2:40 PM

The FAA this month will issue a rule requiring a new approach to stall training for airline pilots that runs counter to previous guidance. According to Dr Jeff Schroeder, the agency’s chief scientific and technical officer, the new approach will, “take a lot of work to undo previous training because some pilots are ‘spring-loaded’ to the previous technique.”

At the Royal Aeronautical Society’s annual International Flight Crew Training Conference in London last month, Schroeder explained that operators will have five years to comply with the new requirement. Flight simulator providers will need to make changes to stall, buffet and icing models used in their devices, and rules governing these changes should be issued in 2015 with a three-year implementation grace period.

European Aviation Safety Agency rulemaking officer Dean Dousi told the conference that his agency will publish similar rules in the third quarter of 2016, following the publication of a concept paper before year-end. This will be subject to public consultation next year, with resulting recommendations to be made to the European Commission in 2015.

The rulemaking process follows in the wake of highly publicized accidents involving stalls, including Colgan Air Flight 3407 near Buffalo, N.Y., and Air France Flight 447’s plunge into the Atlantic Ocean within four months in 2009. Since then, multiple industry groups have debated improved approaches for dealing with loss of control in flight, identified as the leading cause of aircraft fatalities.

Schroeder estimated the total cost to develop new aerodynamic models for 50 aircraft types at $20 million, plus another $30 million for these to be installed on approximately 300 full-flight simulators.


APS Texas's picture

AC 120-109, Stall and Stick Pusher Training, is the FAA Advisory Circular addressing this new approach to stall training. While operators have five years to comply, there is no reason they can’t address this critical threat to loss of control sooner.

            The training outlined by AC 120-109 and the FAA’s “Strongly Recommended” incorporation of applicable sections of the “Airplane Upset Recovery Training Aid” is currently and has been available for over 15 years at Aviation Performance Solutions (APS) based in Mesa, Arizona.  Both AC 120-109 and APS recognize the importance of Angle of Attack reduction training in the recovery of all stall events (approach to stall and aerodynamic stall). It is also vital that pilots understand the characteristics associated with approach to stall and aerodynamically stalled conditions. These include; aerodynamic buffeting, reduced roll stability, reduced elevator authority and an inability to maintain altitude or arrest the descent rate. These stall characteristics are normally accompanied by visual or aural cues or warnings and stick shakers (if installed).

            An optimized training program such as provided by Aviation Performance Solutions will include academic, simulator and on-aircraft training to maximize the ability to recognize, prevent and if necessary, safely recover from any upset or stall situation. In fact APS has provided this critical training for over 5,000 pilots from airlines, government and military, corporate flight departments and individual owner/operators.

Randall Brooks, VP Training

Aviation Performance Solutions