King Air 350 Pilot Evaluates APS Upset Recovery Training

The APS Upset Prevention & Recovery Course in Arlington, TX was an absolutely invaluable experience. This course will no doubt save lives to those who are able to receive the training. I have been flying for 20 years, mostly being from an airline background, and I felt very comfortable and confident in my skills and abilities. However, after reviewing accidents during these three days and then going out into an airplane and seeing first-hand what happened to the crew during their accident, I feel that I am a much safer pilot. I am confident that if the skilled pilots that ended up in these situations would have had this type of course, the accident would have been prevented. After being able to fly some of these maneuvers, I am also confident that I will not end up making the same mistakes to end up in that situation myself. I studied some of the accidents in years past and remember putting together the facts that could get the planes into these situations. However actually being in the airplane at altitude and being able to go through the maneuvers myself to see the proper and improper inputs, I was able to experiencing how the airplane would really react. Without a doubt, this would expand any pilot’s knowledge base.
I was most impressed with the high level of experience of the Aircraft Upset Recovery Instructors at APS. I read each biography prior to the flights and one could put their complete trust in any assigned instructor. My particular instructor did not only have many years of fighter experience as a Wing Commander, but was also on an air show team that travels throughout the country performing and is an announcer at air shows. Each session was taped so the maneuvers can be reviewed later for continued learning and a refresher. They create a solid, non-threatening environment and have developed a method of teaching as to recall the proper procedures despite any shock factor one might have when they realize that they are in an unusual attitude.
I am very grateful to L3 for sending me to this course and it has solidified to me the quality of this company. I believe that every pilot and specifically, each airline should send their pilots to this type of training. However because the expense I am sure that this would not be feasible, which makes me feel even more grateful that I have joined the L3 team that can identify the increased safety of flight that one has from this type of course. I would highly recommend this class to anyone who desires safer operations and wants to ensure confidence to identify and prevent factors in the accident chain.
Michele McVenes, 5500-hour Professional Pilot
King Air 350, CAS900, SF340, A320, B737 (Type Only)