As a word, “BASS” can have multiple meanings: a fish in the perch family, or a voice, instrument, or sound of the lowest range. As an aviation acronym (and who loves acronyms more than aviation?), BASS stands for the Business Aviation Safety Summit, and if you are involved in business or corporate aviation, then BASS has probably made flight safety contributions from which you have benefited.
BASS is a forum for the business aviation industry to meet in a collaborative environment to identify safety concerns, devise approaches to reduce risk and implement initiatives to improve safety. This year marks the 61st annual summit, which is organized by the Flight Safety Foundation in partnership with the National Business Aviation Association. BASS covers safety, training, practical solutions, management, human factors and other issues for every segment of the business aviation industry.
The goals of BASS are perfectly aligned with the APS Mission to improve aviation safety, which is why APS President Paul “BJ” Ransbury will be presenting there on Friday, May 6th. Mr. Ransbury’s discussion of “Effective Improvement of Pilot-airplane State Awareness” will invite pilots to ask what their strategy is for increasing overall airplane state awareness. To answer that question, we have to understand just what “airplane state awareness” is!
Airplane state awareness is a pilot or flight crew’s knowledge and understanding of the attitude and energy state of the airplane that they are flying. If you think that is important information for pilots to have at all times, you are absolutely right. And that is the problem. The greatest cause of fatalities in every sector of aviation is what is known as loss of control in-flight (LOC-I), and loss of control is generally preceded by a loss of airplane state awareness. Airplane state awareness is closely related to such industry topics as flight path management, pilot monitoring, and other subjects being addressed at BASS.
APS specializes in Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPRT) which provides two major contributions to enhancing airplane state awareness. The first is the human factors benefits which accrue from training in the upset domain. Whether it is the physical orientation and management of elevated or reduced G forces which can be experienced in upset training, or the psychological components of surprise and startle encountered in flight, the experience of UPRT helps pilots to accurately interpret the attitude and energy of their aircraft in dynamic situations.
Secondly, the pattern recognition and mental modeling acquired in training to recover from aircraft upset events inform pilots about the trajectory and changes in energy state which can accompany unexpected airplane upset events.
In the end, the additional knowledge and skills received through UPRT provide resilience to pilots by providing a robust capability to recover from situations outside of standard licensing training. This redundant set of recovery skills becomes available through training if the improved prevention from heightened airplane state awareness doesn’t stop an airplane upset before it even starts.