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Role of CRM in Upset Recovery Training

The Crew Resource Management (CRM) aspect of Upset Prevention & Recovery Training (UPRT) is particularly challenging due to the wide spread inconsistency of UPRT in the commercial aviation industry. Although there is value in one crew member being comprehensively trained in the airplane upset/stall discipline, the addition of another crew member in the decision making process can have dire consequences. Although the fundamental principles of enhancing situation awareness and promoting mutual decision making in the CRM environment is supportable with proper on-aircraft and full flight simulator upset recovery integration, the effective time-line in airplane upset CRM is necessarily compressed.

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CRITICAL WINDOW IN AIRPLANE UPSET EVENTS: Boeing and NASA research1 revealed the critical window of time necessary to initiate corrective action to resolve an airplane upset is less than 10 seconds. Given the compressed survival time available, the threat posed by the interference of the untrained crew member is severe. In general terms, the crew must communicate & confirm the situation, transfer control to the most situationally aware pilot and work together through standardized call-outs to mutually enhance awareness of the flight condition to manage stress between crew members and mitigate fear in a life-threatening situation. Due to the counter-intuitive nature of the UPRT environment, the untrained crew member can be the most unpredictable element of the CRM-dependent airplane upset prevention and/or recovery scenario. CRM integration in the upset recovery training is crucial in commercial air carrier flight training.

1 Defining Commercial Transport Loss-of-Control: A Quantitative Approach – Aug 2004

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