AIN Special Reports

Stomaching Jet Upsets

 - February 7, 2017, 5:56 AM

We’re at almost 40,000 feet, and I’m pulling back on the beefy stick of a two-seat Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk single-engine jet trainer, about to make the airplane stall. “Keep pulling,” says Phillip “OP” Oppenheimer, APS instructor and Top Aces chief pilot, over the intercom as the airspeed bleeds off and the outside world tilts up further–“pull, pull, pull,” just like a pilot might mistakenly try to stay level as airspeed decays during a high-altitude upset. Finally, as the angle-of-attack needle crawls to the maximum AOA (at that altitude) of about 12 to 14 units and the jet’s nose points well above the horizon, the airframe shudders and it’s time for the recovery procedure: push to reduce AOA, roll wings level, add thrust and…wait, wait, wait.

The flight in the TA-4J was the second sortie during a busy day of jet upset prevention and recovery training (UPRT) at Aviation Performance Solutions (APS) headquarters at Arizona’s Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in mid-December.     

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AIN 2017 Upset Training (444K)

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apstrainingusa's picture

Here are a couple of video clips of the S211 training portions of the flight conduced in this article:

Circle-to-Land Upset Scenario:

Take-off Roll: