“We will advise people on which maneuvers they need to do in what aircraft,” he says. “If you combine that with the simulator experience and provide basic learning through academic materials, you can deal with most severe upset situations.”
That combination of training is already on the menu at CAE in partnership with Mesa, Ariz.-based Aviation Performance Solutions (APS). APS currently has a fleet of six two-seat Extra 300 aerobatic aircraft that it uses for UPRT training largely for corporate and private customers at its headquarters. With CAE, APS is providing UPRT to 200 flight instructor and pilot candidates at the CAE Oxford Aviation Academy. Student pilots will receive a two-day, three-flight course; flight instructors will undergo a 3-day, 3.5-flight regime. CAE had previously offered any of its customers the option of taking UPRT with APS.
“We see day in, day out with our clientele that a tremendous amount of training is in technology management and integration,” says APS President Paul “B.J.” Ransbury. “Issues that we've seen are pilots being able to deal with situations when technology does not work. Flying skills have been sacrificed for tech training.”
APS will soon open a second location in Dallas for UPRT using the Extra 300, as well as one in the Netherlands, using Slingsby T-67 aerobatic side-by-side two-seaters. APS also links inflight experience to simulators, demonstrating what does and does not transfer using CAE Embraer ERJ 145 full-flight simulators in Mesa.
Each Extra 300 flies 4-5 times per day and 80-90 flights per five-day week. The company plans to train more than 1,000 pilots in UPRT in 2013.
“Simulation has a tremendous amount of benefit, but we don't think you can get away from the aircraft,” says Ransbury. “We use a heavy emphasis on transferability of skills. We expose pilots to upsets in the aircraft, then put them in the simulator to see what is representative and what is not. It is easy to make correlations.”
With that methodology, he says pilots' simulation experience is enhanced because they “recently experienced real-life cuing of upsets.” He says APS recommends recurrency training at least every five years, but corporate flight departments are “self-selecting” 2-3 years for refresher courses.
Though the Airline Safety and FAA Extension Act of 2010 will require the FAA to institute UPR and stall training starting in August 2013, the agency has not yet stated whether simulator, inflight training, or a mix of the two, will be required along with academic training.
Icatee believes the current airline pilot population, at a minimum, should receive dedicated simulator sessions in UPR during training. “They would get a dedicated upset program or set of training objectives, and go into a fully developed stall to learn the cues,” says Advani. Included would be “specific elements that can create surprise in the simulator.” For recurrent training, he says Icatee recommends that pilots be exposed to upset events or upset-specific training once every 3-5 years.
“We're starting with Part 121 [airline transport pilots], but we don't see any limitations to taking it outside of there,” says Advani.