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International Loss of Control Developments and Regulatory Efforts

Paul "BJ" Ransbury, APS President
Paul BJ Ransbury, APS President

By Paul BJ Ransbury
President of APS Emergency Maneuver Training
March 2010

This is such an exciting time in history to be involved with aviation training. The interaction within and between regulatory agencies is more cooperative and safety focused than ever before. Previous threats to air safety such as loss of control in-flight (LOC-I) and controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) have been historically considered unavoidable and uncorrectable aspects of commercial flight operations as both the resources and expertise simply were not available to make a measurable difference on a worldwide scale. CFIT, one of the well-established leading causal factors over the past 50 years, has made a marked drop-off due to advanced situational awareness technologies such as ground proximitiy warning systems (GPWS), dramatically improved navigation equipment and even enhanced vision systems.

Similar to the exciting mitigation of CFIT by technological advancements, the industry has now identified LOC-I as the unchallenged primary safety threat to all aspects of aviation operations and is taking on this threat in an even more ingenious manner. Advanced technology is being leveraged by cutting-edge intellectual advancements in flight training processes that will optimally arm pilots with fundamental analysis, avoidance and recovery skills previously only available through long careers of military training and operational employment of airplanes in life-threatening environments. Core upset recovery skills are now available to every pilot flying any size, configuration and class of fixed wing aircraft through the combination of online learning advancements, intellectual advancements in flight training techniques, and integrated use of advanced full flight simulator devices. Viable mitigations to LOC-I are more than just on the horizon, they are in plain site. It is just a matter of time, regulatory management, and the coming together of steering committees around the world to properly frame the type, level, scale and methodology by which these skills can be delivered. The Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement Act of 2009 is a great example of one of the exciting developments presented by regulatory agencies which clearly demonstrates to the public that every-day-travelers’ concerns and fears are being addressed. In no small way, the aggressive actions of the families and friends of the 50 loved-ones lost in the February 2009 crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 in Buffalo, NY are making a difference and getting long overdue attention to numerous shortcomings in the aviation training and regulatory industry.

APS Emergency Maneuver Training has spent over a decade breaking trail on where many pilot skill development solutions can be thoroughly addressed. We are so very excited to be involved in safety of flight, especially in today’s progressive flight training marketplace. Our team’s motivation comes down to serving our fellow pilots, training organizations and, in turn, the general public to save thousands of lives that otherwise would have been needlessly lost. We hope you enjoy this week’s message emphasizing our firm commitment to making a difference in air safety.

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