On Thursday, May 17th, Randall Brooks, APS Vice President of Training and Business Development presented to more than 30 airlines in attendance at a special workshop on Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPRT) at the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City. Organized by the FAA, the purpose of the workshop was to share information regarding regulations that require all US airlines to have an approved UPRT program in place by March 2019.
Dozens of US major, regional, and cargo airlines shared their plans for compliance with coming regulations in an open forum environment created by the FAA to allow for cross-pollination of ideas. Multiple speakers commented on the useful nature of the dialogue in gathering the best concepts and approaches from the various operators presenting their plans.
In his presentation, Mr. Brooks shared lessons learned from the work that APS has conducted in standing up UPRT programs for all pilots at Delta and United Airlines, in addition to over a dozen other airlines and training centers around the world.
Addressing the need to implement proven, effective training that goes beyond academics and conceptual understanding to ensure the highest level of safety possible, Mr. Brooks spoke to the essential need for on-aircraft training for UPRT instructors as the only component of training that can accurately portray aerodynamic characteristics which are insufficiently modeled in even the most advanced extended envelope flight simulators. In-flight delivery of UPRT also provides a more realistic portrayal of the actual human factors involved in unexpected airplane upsets which involve degrees of surprise, startle, and cognitive overload not experienced in a virtual environment. Without this experience, instructors have an incomplete experience and foundation for the threat they are trying to mitigate through training.
With experience in 5 separate aircraft simulator types equipped with enhanced aeromodeling required for Extended Envelope Training, Randy is in a unique position to speak about the improved training capabilities these extended envelope simulators provide for stall training, as well as their limitations and the threat posed by inadequate instructor training and qualification in utilizing these powerful new training tools.
In addition to these remarks directly related to training in the airline environment, Randy spoke with attendees about recommendations made by the only US Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) to extensively study training to avoid Loss of Control In-flight (LOC-I); The Loss of Control Avoidance and Recovery Training (LOCART) ARC. According to Mr. Brooks, “the FAA’s Loss of Control Avoidance and Recovery Training Aviation Rulemaking Committee recommended that UPRT should be delivered “in actual flight” prior to Commercial Licensing. Although this recommendation was adopted by ICAO, and fast-tracked by EASA, there has been no acknowledgement of the change to international licensing standards by the US.”
The opportunity to have airlines, training providers, regulators, aircraft manufacturers, simulator manufacturers, and researchers together on-site to compare training experiences and best practices provided the opportunity for a significant exchange of ideas regarding LOC-I, aviations leading cause of fatalities. The success and practical value of the event was noted by several participants who supported the continuation of the effort at a similar event to be held in the future for comparing experiences gained in the implementation of the new regulation.