Delivering Exceptional Training Results

Delivering Exceptional Training Results

Meet the crack pilots and UPRT specialists behind Prevailance Aerospace.

Fleet operators, regulatory authorities and safety experts agree that upset prevention and recovery training (UPRT) is critical to reducing loss of control — in flight (LOC-I) accidents, the leading cause of aviation fatalities today. Moreover, the benefits of airborne UPRT over simulator-based training are also widely accepted. But not all airborne platforms are equally qualified for this training mission, nor do they all have UPRT teachers. As the FAA states in its Advisory Circular on Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (AC120-111) released last year, "The key to effective UPRT is the instructor."

Vanessa Christie, a former U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcat instructor and air combat veteran, says, “A UPRT teacher needs to be totally conversant and experienced with the aerodynamics of unusual attitudes and upsets, needs to be a really good communicator, and, of course, has to be an excellent stick.” As for the training platform, Christie, currently Vice President for Strategic Development at Prevailance Aerospace Safety Academy in Chesapeake, Virginia, adds, “You need a robust and responsive aircraft, of course, but also one that provides a wide safety margin while training to address unusual attitudes.”

By the standards of instructors and aircraft, Prevailance Aerospace, which trains pilots from governmental agencies, aeronautical universities and the private sector, ranks among the world’s top UPRT providers. With broad experiences in civilian training, the principals and instructors at Prevailance Aerospace are all former military aviators and combat veterans with thousands of flight hours in fighter jets, including the F-14 Tomcat and F-18 Super Hornet, and graduates of the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun). That shared background sets the Prevailance team apart. “Our culture of discipline leads to exceptional results,” Christie says.

Prevailance Aerospace uses the Extra 330LX, a certificated aerobatic monoplane and the world's highest-performance two-place aircraft, for its UPRT program. "Its power and aerodynamics make it ideal for this training," Christie says. "Its broad operating envelope allows for the safe instruction of pilots across a wide range of dynamic maneuvers." Underscoring the capabilities of this new Extra design, airshow superstars Patty Wagstaff and Matt Chapman both switched to the 330XL in 2015 for their aerobatic performances.

Befitting Prevailance Aerospace’s military roots, its UPRT is intensive, structured and results-oriented. Each three-day program includes three one-hour flights complemented by classroom instruction, mission briefing and post-flight debriefing, including review of inflight videos taken from wing, tail and cockpit cameras. The program provides a complete review of dangerous flight regimes and out-of-control flight, the causes of aircraft upset, recovery procedures and techniques, and instruction in the transfer of skills from the Extra 330LX to the aircraft the pilot typically flies. By the conclusion of training, pilots are comfortable in attitudes they would never intentionally approach in their everyday flying. Prevailance Aerospace’s Virginia location makes it convenient for many clients based in the Eastern U.S., and the company offers another training option in this part of the country: “We can bring our airplanes and instructors to the client’s home base,” Christie says. “They receive UPRT with no downtime, and save on the costs of travel and accommodations.”


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