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South African Airways APS Airbus 340 Airline Upset Training

Airline Simulator Instructor Upset Delivery Training

In July 2012, four pilots from South African Airways (SAA), including myself – Brad Bennetts – as the SAA Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPRT) Project Manager, visited the Aviation Performance Solutions (APS) training center and APS headquarters, in Arizona in the United States to complete the Airline Simulator Instructor Upset Delivery Training program with a view to implementing the program within our organization. The course is specifically designed to comprehensively prepare advanced simulator instructors to develop their own type-specific UPRT program in accordance with up-to-date industry guidance and safety expectations. We were very impressed with the entire organization and the instructors that carried out the training. So much so, that I insisted that every UPRT instructor within SAA (of which ten were chosen from voluntary applications within the instructor pool) visit the APS Europe training center in the Netherlands to carry out the same UPRT ‘Train-the-Trainer’ Program over the following two years.

SAA UPRT Instructor Selection

South African Airway Airbus 340 UpsetI needed our instructors to experience the very high level of training and enthusiasm as demonstrated by the APS team and to carry that culture and standard over into our organization. The real world on-aircraft UPRT experience provided by APS, yet integrated seamlessly into simulator instructor training program, is essential and irreplaceable in the production of effective airline simulator UPRT instructors. The instructors that I chose to join me in the task of training our 800 pilots were chosen based largely on their professionalism, instructional expertise and level of enthusiasm for the project. These candidate SAA UPRT instructors had to show that they were committed to many hours of extra hard work in getting themselves to a level where they could deliver expert UPRT.

Airbus 340 Airline Upset Training

The SAA in-house program took some time to develop after our initial visit to APS and was formally rolled out to our SAA line pilots at the start of 2015. During the developmental phase, APS provided comprehensive and insightful backup service and were true to their word of being available time and again to provide the crucial and valuable input that our Airbus A330/340 type-specific program development needed.

APS UPRT Quality Assurance Visit to SAA

South African Airways Upset TrainingAt the end of September 2015, we were fortunate to have APS visit our training center in Johannesburg, South Africa to witness firsthand the UPRT training that our pilots are currently undergoing. APS President, Paul ‘BJ’ Ransbury, and APS VP Flight Training and Standards, Clarke ‘Otter’ McNeace, spent two complete days with us during two full classes of A340 UPRT line pilot delivery in our Level D simulator. It is very important for SAA to ensure that every aspect of our UPRT is trained properly, comprehensively and accurately with an underlying critical need to avoid any inadvertent negative training or negative transfer of skills to our pilots. BJ and Otter were enthusiastic, methodical, appropriately critical and supportive of our type-specific UPRT program. Once again, APS lived up to its reputation as being a highly professional “one stop shop” for excellence in UPRT. They took the time to cover every aspect of our training, providing a methodical process for improvement. This valuable feedback is in the process of being implemented to ensure that our SAA pilots receive the exceptional training they deserve.

SAA Line Pilot UPRT Take-aways

Our line pilots have benefited greatly from the training program with the vast majority stating that it is the most rewarding and insightful training that they have received in their careers. The overwhelmingly positive and genuinely grateful response of our pilots assure the ongoing success and support of our program and could not have been accomplished through a superficial, box-ticking UPRT train-the-trainer course. It required the UPRT expertise and attention to detail that APS provided to support our internal efforts.
In closing, APS put us on the right track comprehensively, quickly and economically. I recommend that every airline looking for an effective, industry compliant and safety enhancing UPRT training program make APS their UPRT service provider of choice, and an ongoing development partner.
Brad Bennetts
SAA Instructor Pilot and UPRT Project Manager
South African Airways

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