All-Attitude Upset Recovery
Original APS Press Release | Aerospace & Defense News Release | AVweb News | Military & Aerospace Release
EXCERPT FROM ARTICLE IN FLYING MAGAZINE – NOVEMBER 2007
Author: Paul “BJ” Ransbury, President
Aviation Performance Solutions
Part 141 Chief Flight Instructor
5 X Master CFI-Aerobatic / CFI / CFII / MEI / AGI
Airbus A320 Pilot, F/A-18 Hornet Fighter Pilot
Cirrus Standardized Instructor
Fighter Weapons Instructor
ICAS Certified Air Show Performer
The intent of this article is to provide pilots of all skill and experience levels an introduction to the general concepts of the All-Attitude Upset RecoveryTM technique. The recovery is designed as a single procedure checklist to address both stalls and unusual attitudes in a wide variety of fixed wing aircraft to include general aviation, business jet and airline transport airplanes. As a checklist, its successful application is significantly improved if the pilot has completed a comprehensive upset recovery training course. As with all in-flight procedures, the pilot implementing the recovery is expected to have aircraft-specific knowledge related to their aircraft’s performance and flight characteristics.
Our mission at APS is to provide pilots with a turnkey resource in the provision of expert knowledge and practical hands-on training so they can be prepared for upset recovery scenarios in the real world. We hope this article gives pilots valuable insight into the combined importance of knowledge and practical skill when faced with a high-pressure time-critical, and possibly life-threatening, flight condition.
The training provided by APS is unique in that we present our training services as being directly complimentary to recovery procedures implemented in all categories of fixed-wing aircraft. An Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPRT) course is of marginal value if the techniques learned and knowledge gained during training is not directly transferable back to the participating pilot’s own aircraft.
For more than a decade APS has been developing and teaching upset recovery, emergency maneuver, instrument recovery and spin recovery programs to thousands of pilots flying just about every certified fixed-wing aircraft type in existence. Keeping in touch with the growing market demand for an effective, practical, comprehensive upset recovery program has been our primary focus each and every day for over 12,000 hours of in-flight instruction. At APS we are blessed with a staff of expert aviators whose experience spans the spectrum of aviation to include the US Navy, US Air Force and Canadian Armed Forces, and all having extensive professional experience flying commercial aircraft and most are experienced airline pilots. Additionally, each APS instructor has thousands of hours of aerobatic experience in both general aviation and turbojet aircraft.
The primary reason I’m starting my discussion with a background summary is to testify to the fact that the field of upset recovery training has been thoroughly investigated. There simply aren’t any secrets in what action needs to be taken to recognize, avoid and recover from unusual attitude scenarios and stalled flight conditions in every category of certified fixed-wing aircraft. Focusing this valuable information into a cockpit-friendly format is the essence of this article. Knowing “what to do” is a critical first step but is rendered useless without hands-on practical experience actually flying recoveries. Additionally, “knowing” and “doing” must be combined with an engrained pilot skill-set that can be drawn upon immediately and accurately by the pilot in an emergency situation. At APS, our team of instructors has had the unique opportunity of studying, practicing and operationally implementing upset recovery and stall procedures that are based on exhaustively researched expert guidance produced by the world’s foremost authorities, to include;
- US / Canadian Military
- Federal Aviation Administration / Transport Canada
- Commercial Aircraft Manufacturers
- General Aviation Community: based on reference to published works, and personal dialogues, by highly acclaimed reputable experts such as Rich Stowell, Sammy Mason, Patty Wagstaff, Bill Kerschner and many more.
During our research we found each of the industry publications issued by the military, aircraft manufacturers and government regulating agencies to be thorough, accurate and tremendously valuable resources to pilots seeking further information on upset recovery. A short list of “must read” publications for anyone seeking expert insight into upset recovery technologies are as follows:
Professional Pilots / Commercial Pilots / Airline Pilots:
· Airplane Upset Recovery Training Aid
Private / GA Pilots:
· The Light Airplane Pilots Guide to Stall/Spin Awareness
· FAA Airplane Flying Handbook
The key to being properly prepared to deal with an aircraft upset is no different than any other specialized flying skill; study, instruction, understanding, integration, application, error analysis and practice, practice, practice. In our experience, pilots with average piloting ability typically require two days to develop a safe level of fundamental All-Attitude Recovery skill and an additional day or two of dedicated upset recovery training to attain a safe level of proficiency in upset recovery techniques to deal with any recoverable upset situation in both VMC and IMC conditions. For a full course, pilots should plan on three to four days of full-time training during their initial upset recovery program.
In addition to being some of the very best safety training available to pilots, upset recovery training should be fun and educational. Having fun while learning significantly increases the potential for rapid learning and the integration of knowledge and skills that may be needed someday in a time-critical emergency situation requiring immediate action to save lives.
At APS we customize each training flight to be practically applicable to the participating pilot’s particular category of aircraft and experience level. Completing any of our multi-day courses of training will provide each pilot with the confidence, knowledge and practical skill to recognize, avoid and, when necessary, maximize their ability to recover from airplane upsets.
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