Upset Prevention and Recovery Training Expands in Europe

UTSI uses a fully aerobatic Slingsby Firefly, which allows the instructor to take the student beyond the regular flight envelope of most airplanes. Courtesy UTSI

A new upset prevention and recovery training (UPRT) facility has emerged in Europe to help prevent a common and preventable cause of aviation accidents—loss of control in-flight (LOC-I). Located one hour south of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Upset Training Solutions International (UTSI) provides UPRT that meets the EASA criteria specified by FCL.745.A, which was recently implemented for European pilots seeking a commercial pilot and airline transport pilot certification.

UTSI’s course will provide its students with EASA Advanced UPRT FCL.745.A certification upon successful completion. The course includes five hours of ground school and three hours of flight training in a Slingsby Firefly—a fully aerobatic, single-engine airplane with a G-load limit of plus-6 and minus-3 Gs, allowing for flight beyond the normal envelope of most airplanes. The airplane’s side-by-side configuration is ideal for flight instruction. UPRT subject matter expert Randy Brooks explained in a press conference at EBACE Connect the importance of using an aerobatic airplane for this type of training.

“Some of the things that would be intuitive or instinctive to pilots in an upset become the wrong thing to do in certain situations. So, you’ve got to have an aircraft that can take you into the domain of an upset to be able to teach you how to correctly counter that,” Brooks said. “Secondly, if you don’t have an aircraft that has all-attitude capabilities, then you’re taking it right up to the edges of what it can do without an associated margin of safety.”

While the airplane is vital, the most important component in a successful UPRT training program is the instructor. In addition to having extensive real-world flight experience, the flight instructors at UTSI have completed a five-week UPRT qualification program at Aviation Performance Solutions (APS), a company based in Mesa, Arizona, that has provided upset recovery training since 1996.

Brooks said all UTSI instructors have a minimum of 500 hours of “operational all-attitude experience” as well as transport category experience, providing the ability to help students transfer the skills obtained in the course to the airplane they operate. The introductory price (until October 1, 2021) for UTSI’s Advanced UPRT program is €1,799.

According to ICAO, loss of control represents 25 percent of all fatalities in commercial aviation, and according to the latest Joseph T. Nall Report, published by the AOPA Air Safety Institute, loss of control is by far the most common cause of general aviation accidents. UPRT can help reduce these types of accidents.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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