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Will I Fail in an Airplane Upset?


Are Your Regulatory-Compliant Pilot Skills Setting You Up for Failure in a Developed Airplane Upset?

Watch the video below to find out…

 

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If you speak to any upset recovery instructor you can find who teaches a true fully comprehensive all-attitude all-envelope upset recovery program, they will tell you flight hours, ratings, certificate level and aerodynamic book study usually make very little difference in how practically prepared civilian pilots are to deal with a significant airplane upset scenario. Exceptions do exist but they are extremely rare. Non-aerobatic, non-military pilots believing they have relevant experience in dealing with an out-of-the-everyday-envelope situation are often very surprised when they have an opportunity to witness their performance during upset training. For those who slipped past that generalization due to current or past experience as an aerobatic or military pilot, our investigations at APS indicate the level of competence of these pilots to deal with the same scenarios is marginally better, especially the further removed they are from their aerobatic/military skills. In fact, just because a pilot knows how to recover an aerobatic airplane or fighter jet, that experience does not fully prepare them to recover a normal category light general aviation airplane, multi-engine airplane, business jet or transport category aircraft. We know this first hand at APS as we all started out as military fighter pilots, transitioned into being airline pilots, gained extensive general aviation experience and then melded the skill sets to generate universally effective tools for pilots to use in any fixed wing aircraft over the course of a decade.

Often, the conceptual chart in the above video is an illuminating diagram for pilots. What’s even more informative and often rejected by pilots on first review, is how very limited their skill sets are as certified pilots in comparison to the all-attitude environment. Now, compound that reality with the minimal stall/spin training received by pilots and the fact that traditional instinctual avoidance and recovery skills rapidly drop off the effectiveness chart as the scenario approaches the maximum certified training limits represented by the 30 degrees pitch and 60 degrees bank window discussed in the video. Simply put, the majority of pilots are only comfortable and reliably capable of operating within the Airplane Upset Recovery Training Aid definition of an airplane upset: 45 degrees of bank, 25 degrees of nose-up pitch to a maximum of 10 degrees of nose-down pitch. This narrow definition is less than 5% of the full flight envelope accessible to the pilot in an airplane upset as shown in the video above …
 

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