From the APS President
Industry Leadership & Insights

The Global Standard for Professional Jet Pilot UPRT


By Paul BJ Ransbury, President
Aviation Performance Solutions LLC

Dear valued customers, prospects and all pilots,

There is a great deal of misinformation being distributed in the marketplace concerning loss of control in-flight (LOC-I) training solutions. In this discussion, I address the topic of The Global Standard in Professional Jet Pilot Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPRT).

All APS Upset Prevention & Recovery Training (UPRT) programs are delivered in accordance with the Global Standard for UPRT as outlined below. APS professional jet pilot UPRT services include the integrated combination of academics, on-airplane and advanced simulator training.

Airlines, Flight Departments, Government Agencies and Owner/Operators

Airlines, flight departments, government agencies and owner/operators of jet airplanes seeking comprehensive Upset Prevention & Recovery Training (UPRT) solutions should diligently follow the ICAO guidance herein. ICAO issued ICAO Doc 10011 in May 2014 titled The Manual on Aeroplane Upset Prevention & Recovery Training (ICAO UPRT Manual). All 190+ member countries around the world (the member states of ICAO) must be in compliance by 2019. The ICAO UPRT Manual was developed over an intensive 5-year period by more than 40 aviation organizations and 80 global aviation experts and was culminated through 7 rulemaking sessions by the FAA at ICAO headquarters in Montreal.



In our experience over the past two decades, most progressive flight departments and professional pilots participate in UPRT every 3 to 5 years. Similarly, the ICAO recommended review period for dedicated UPRT is every 5 years. The training that pilots do now will directly impact their ability and preparedness to meet industry standards in UPRT in the future. It is essential for airlines and flight departments to learn UPRT properly from the beginning, as is intended by ICAO and ultimately by the regulatory agencies that will be assuring compliance. The Law of Primacy is powerful – the incorrect training of your pilots in the discipline of UPRT can not only affect your pilot team’s ability to be in compliance with industry standards, but also increase the risk of your flight operations thereafter.

ICAO Manual on Aeroplane Upset Prevention and Recovery Training

ICAO highlights the important role of specially trained and highly qualified instructors (see inset video above titled ‘APS Airline Instructor Program’). These comprehensively trained UPRT instructors are the most important component of delivering effective UPRT solutions. Training solutions must avert negative training and instill transferable skill sets for professional jet pilots to effectively and dramatically reduce the risk of Loss of Control In-flight, aviation’s leading causal factor in fatal accidents.

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 1.18.27 AMICAO communicates that effective UPRT programs also require an integrated, comprehensive approach to standardize knowledge and skills within the pilot community. There are two essential items to ICAO-compliant UPRT. They are listed below with a few important points: (abridged from Section 2.1.2 of the ICAO UPRT Manual)

  1. Academic Training: provides knowledge and awareness needed to understand the threats and employ mitigating strategies.
  2. Practical Training: teaches the skills necessary to avoid upsets and, when necessary, recover to a stabilized flight path. Two types of practical training are essential:
    • On-aeroplane training: Performed in a suitably capable light aeroplane by qualified UPRT instructors, this training accomplishes:
      1. Develop knowledge, awareness and experience of aeroplane upsets and unusual attitudes, and
      2. Analyze the event and apply correct recovery techniques.
    • FSTD (Simulator) Training: Performed on specific or generic aeroplane types with application of UPRT knowledge and experience in multi-crew CRM environments by qualified UPRT instructors:
      1. At all stages of flight in representative conditions and
      2. With appropriate aeroplane system performance, functionality and response.

Recommendations by APS: Delivering the Global UPRT Standard

ICAO

APS Presents ICAO UPRT Gold Standard

APS has trained thousands of professional jet pilots over many years following the model presented by ICAO in May 2014. With expertly qualified instructors following a proven building block UPRT program, the ICAO model is unparalleled, setting a powerful, effective, and economical global standard in UPRT. Review Testimonials.

Without being overly verbose, we feel it is our responsibility as an air safety organization to provide a few notes on each of the above categories to help orient your training decision. The comments by APS that follow are based on years of experience training thousands of professional jet pilots following the ICAO philosophy:

How to Compare Training Providers

  • Simple: You absolutely must go through their recommended training program based on an understanding of your operational needs. Look into at least two well known and reputable providers – don’t stop at one. They will all impress, but the deeper question is: Do they deliver a solution for you? Here are some essential questions you should ask:
    • Do they meet the global standard as a minimum?
    • Do they meet your budget?
    • Do they fit with your company’s training needs?
    • Are they actually providing training or just exposure?

ipads_appAcademic Training

  • The entire content of the Airplane Upset Recovery Training Aid (AURTA) must be covered in some manner and in its entirety – preferably before dedicated on-airplane UPRT begins. The AURTA represents required industry knowledge but certainly does not contain all the essential information pilots need to be prepared for the Loss of Control In-flight (LOC-I) threat.
  • Live instructor-led training is not only extremely important but required by ICAO. In our experience, a comprehensive on-airplane UPRT program requires approximately 8 hours live instructor-led academics. These academics are highly focused and very specific to the UPRT task. The academic training must be need-to-know, clear and directly transferable to you in the cockpit of your specific airplane.

Extra-SAM-Cockpit-Overbank-640x480-web

On-aeroplane Training

  • Training Density: Based on training many thousands of professional jet pilots in comprehensive Upset Prevention & Recovery Training (UPRT), more than 98% of today’s professional jet pilots require four flights of approximately 40-minutes of dedicated UPRT training over three days to establish a reliable UPRT foundation during Initial UPRT. The number of flights matter as do the number of days – we’ve tried many variations of the program to reduce the flight/day footprint. Effective UPRT requires intensity, immersion and reflection. This necessary level of training is demonstrated repeatedly – no organization in the world has trained more professional jet pilots in fully comprehensive industry-standardized UPRT than APS. Generally speaking, 40-minutes is as long as pilots can productively focus on UPRT at the intensity level required to embed learning.
  • Exposure vs. Training: Of course ‘exposure’ to UPRT can be accomplished in a couple of flights in a jet or piston airplane, but ‘exposure’ is not at all what professional jet pilots need to save lives. They need actual ‘training’ and engrained skills that will last.
  • Decision Factors: In our experience, there are two driving forces that bring focus to the ‘training’ medium by which the above skills can be best accomplished:
    • Safety: margins of safety are essential and commercially certified aerobatic airplanes offer the largest safety margins. They are purpose built for all-attitude maneuvering, significant +/- G excursions to protect safety margins against pilot-in-training overreactions and intentional spins all of which are essential safety criteria for any on-airplane UPRT platform.

    • Economy: the foundational elements of initial on-airplane UPRT training include addressing the psycho-physiology of fear, overcoming startle, repetition to proficiency and ingraining disciplined prevention and recovery strategies that comply with industry guidance. With a minimum of four 50-minute flights (that each include 40-minutes of dedicated UPRT), it can get unnecessarily expensive using jet airplanes during core skill development. When it comes to these core UPRT skills, training in a jet offers no tangible advantage if the training provider is focusing on the most important formative skills. During initial skill development, a jet platform is at best of equivalent value to the piston training platform but at three to four times the cost. If there is a strong desire to integrate real jet experience in your training program (which we agree can have value as integrated jet training as well), the time to do it is AFTER the core skills are engrained. This process will maximize the value of your jet training experience.

    Considering all factors, the aerobatic piston airplane, in the hands of an expert UPRT instructor following a client-customized program of training, yields the most comprehensive results for foundational training. Those results not only include the above safety margins and economy of operations, but most importantly, the embedding of core UPRT knowledge and transferable skills. If this seems counter intuitive – APS routinely demonstrates these points day-in day-out and would be happy to entertain your organization’s evaluation team.

CAE B737-800 SimulatorFSTD Simulator Training

  • It is in the high fidelity Level C/D simulator where the pilot in training can best develop a realistic feel for the performance, control response and feedback of their type or class of airplane. When enhanced by the recent experience of an on-airplane program like APS (piston and jet) dedicated to embedding transferable concepts, motion cuing, overcoming psycho-physiological factors, industry-standard UPRT technique and flight discipline, the UPRT value of the advanced flight simulator is dramatically enhanced. The FAA, NASA and other organizations are investigating and implementing the expansion of the valid training envelope of simulators. Even without flight envelope enhancements, and assuming the pilots have recently participated in a comprehensive on-airplane UPRT program, today’s advanced simulators are safer, more relevant and more maneuverably robust in their ability to deliver effective jet-specific UPRT than an airborne surrogate Part 25 airplane. The assertion that UPRT can’t be accomplished in simulators is a myth.

APS-A4-Skyhawk-UPRT-Add-on-Program-Brochure-1Other Platforms (not considered essential in ICAO guidance)

  • Experimental and Former Military Airplanes: We agree there are other training platforms out there that offer a measure of value that will further enhance the global training standard for UPRT as presented by ICAO. In fact, APS uses an A-4 Skyhawk in this capacity and will soon be adding another jet training aircraft platform in addition to our eight (8) Extra 300Ls, two (2) Slingsbys and seven (7) advanced simulator platforms. Other providers out in the industry use other models such as the Impala, Sabreliner, Learjet, L-29 and so on. However, these platforms (including the A-4) are not currently comprehended by ICAO guidance and don’t replace any portion of the core Global Standard for Professional Jet Pilot UPRT footprint. This ICAO-compliant footprint specifies the appropriate training platforms and represents the core skill set that must be firmly implanted to assure ICAO’s high level goal of ‘standardized knowledge and skills within the pilot community.’
    • Be extra cautious with operators that convert a certified airplane to ‘experimental’ and then use it as a license to lay safety margins aside in ‘for hire’ operations. Having a Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA) is one thing – having a definitive and demonstrable operational margin of safety for each maneuver in the training program can be quite another. See ‘Part 25 and Non-acrobatic Part 23 Airplanes’ below for additional considerations.
  • Part 25 and Non-acrobatic Part 23 Airplanes: The inappropriate airborne use of Part 25 airplanes or non-aerobatic Part 23 airplanes as training platforms for UPRT can have very serious safety implications. Their certified operational limits can be quickly exceeded and safety margins eliminated – especially in full stall training and/or essential all-attitude maneuvering beyond 90 degrees of bank or 45 degrees of pitch. Most operators of in-flight Part 25 training platforms in upset training, for example, operate them in tightly controlled operating envelopes that are far more restrictive than a modern simulator (which is all-attitude capable) – and if they don’t, then they certainly should in the name of safety or be able to officially demonstrate how all the accomplished training being conducted has a definitive margin of safety. In addition to being pitch and bank limited, Part 25 airplanes are generally flight tested and certified to the aerodynamic stall break and no further. Therefore, to assure a margin of safety during training as directed by ICAO Document 10011, such a Part 25 airplane should be limited to approach to stall training only. This allows a margin of safety and has the same valid training envelope as modern simulators do without flight envelope enhancements.
  • More on Part 23 Normal Category Airplanes: A non-aerobatic Part 23 normal category single engine airplane, although not a valid all-attitude UPRT platform, has a significant advantage over the typical Part 25 airplane when it comes to stall training with respect to safety margins. This normal category airplane has 1-turn spin margin of safety by certification. However, following the same safety margin logic above for Part 25 approach to stall training, the normal category Part 23 airplane is NOT approved for intentional 1-turn spins in training nor in normal operations. The 1-turn margin of safety is to accommodate delayed response in stall recovery to assure a margin of safety in training. Therefore, full stall training can be safely accomplished in a normal category Part 23 airplane whereas it can’t generally be done in a Part 25 airplane while assuring a margin of safety.

More Information on APS UPRT Services

APS has four locations globally with a central information center in the United States. Please contact our main office in Arizona USA at 1-480-279-1881 and ask for Faye Hamilton or fill out our contact form.

Safe journeys to all,

Paul BJ Ransbury, President
Aviation Performance Solutions LLC


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