APS Compliance: Upset Recovery Training Aid


FAA Stresses Upset Recovery Training

By: Chad Trautvetter
July 8, 2010
Safety, Training, Government

Citing an increase in aircraft accidents involving loss of control (LOC), the FAA yesterday issued Information for Operators 10010, which calls for operators to incorporate upset recovery training. “Although the overall accident rate has decreased, the category of LOC continues to outpace other factors as the leading cause of fatal accidents in the last 20 years,” the FAA said.

LOC is defined as “flight outside the normal flight envelope, with nonlinear influences, and with an inability of the pilot to control the aircraft. Twelve years ago, an FAA-industry working group co-chaired by Boeing, Airbus and the Flight Safety Foundation developed the Airplane Upset Recovery Training Aid as guidance for upset recovery training for flight crews.

While the working group was primarily focused on large aircraft, the guidance also applies to those flying smaller swept-wing turbine aircraft. As a result of the steady increase in LOC-related accidents, the FAA “strongly recommends” that operators include applicable sections of the Airplane Upset Recovery Training Aid in their training programs.

However, the FAA noted, “Any LOC recommended recovery techniques and procedures provided by a manufacturer for a particular aircraft take precedence over those in the training aid.”



John Cox and BJ Ransbury

APS President, Paul BJ Ransbury,
pictured with Mr. John Cox prior to flying

John Cox, President
Safety Operating Systems, Washington D.C.
2004 Executive Air Safety Chairman, Air Line Pilots Association
A Small Sampling of John’s Recognitions
* Appointed member of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators
* Master Air Pilot Certificate
* Air Line Pilots Association Air Safety Award (ALPA’s highest safety award)
* Air Line Pilots Association Leadership Award
* Air Line Pilots Association Steering and Oversight Award
* US Airways Safety Achievement (US Airways highest safety award)

APS Emergency Maneuver Training had the distinct pleasure of hosting Mr. John Cox, President of Safety Operating Systems based in Washington, D.C. on 21 February. John flew with APS President Paul BJ Ransbury while participating in a condensed upset recovery program to evaluate the course’s training effectiveness for various levels of aviators, specifically airline category pilots and to confirm APS’s alignment with the second edition of the FAA Airplane Upset Recovery Training Aid (see below).

Comments by John Cox on his experience at APS: “I fully agree that the way APS is teaching Upset Recovery Training is transferable to all aircraft and is aligned with the techniques and concepts taught to airline pilots as detailed in the FAA Airplane Upset Recovery Training Aid – Revision 1. As a compliment to APS’s well-balanced program, the company has a team of very talented instructors each having professional air carrier pilot experience as well as military and general aviation piloting backgrounds … APS’s thorough ground instruction is complementary to the in-flight training. The Extra 300 is an excellent aircraft for providing upset recovery training while maximizing student safety.”

Presentation at the World Airline Training Conference (WATS)

John presented a precis on “Upset Recovery and the Upset Recovery Training Aid” at the WATS conference in Dallas, Texas back in April 2005 and again in Orlando in April 2010. Over the past several years, he has traveled around the world diligently promoting the need for an increased level of pilot skills in the area of upset recovery. Suitably developed courses would resolve current training deficiencies that contribute to incidents directly related to Loss of Control In-Flight (LCIF). LCIF refers to accidents resulting from situations in which the pilot should have maintained or regained aircraft control but did not. This is the leading cause of U.S. airline fatal accidents as well as the leading cause of commercial aviation accidents worldwide. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires each U.S. airline to develop a training program for pilots based on its specific operations and aircraft.

Airplane Upset Recovery Training Aid

In 1998, the industry and FAA endorsed the Airplane Upset Recovery Training Aid. The goal of the training aid is to increase the pilot’s ability to recognize and avoid situations that can lead to airplane upset and improve the pilot’s ability to recover control of an airplane that has exceeded the normal flight regime. This goal may be accomplished by increasing awareness of potential upset situations and knowledge of flight dynamics, and by applying this knowledge to simulator training scenarios. The training aid consists of an overview for airline management, pilot guide to upset recovery, an example of an upset recovery training program, references for additional information, and a video.The training aid was revised during August 2004 to address characteristics, limitations, and procedures involving components of transport category airplanes such as rudder, vertical stabilizer and others. Subsequently, the AURTA was updated in late 2008 to address high altitude slow downs increasing the risk of high altitude loss of control in-flight.

Industry Development

There are several leaders in the field of Upset Recovery Training that are aligning efforts and resources to improve flight safety around the world and to save lives. The ultimate goal would be to create standardized recovery techniques that are taught to pilots during initial certification training and reinforced throughout their careers. The ideal program would include training in both simulators and real aircraft. This type of course will require specific regulatory guidelines to ensure current and future pilots develop skills that will vastly decrease the rate of LCIF incidents. Training providers and agencies coming together include, but are not limited to: Safety Operating Systems, Aviation Performance Solutions (APS), General Dynamics, Air Line Pilots Association, Boeing, Airbus and the FAA.

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