Upset prevention and recovery training for the Private Pilot

(not verified) • 2 July 2019
in community General Aviation

Although upset prevention and recovery training is only required for the CPL/ATPL, loss of control is not exclusive to commercial operations!  It makes sense to make similar training available as widely as possible to the private pilot.  However, by making upset prevention and recovery training the preserve of the aerobatic rated instructor, the regulator may have unintentionally restricted access for the private pilot to such vital training.

The issue would seem to lie with the training and privileges of the flight instructor.  While it may not be necessary or indeed practical for all instructors to hold the aerobatic rating, it might make sense to include positive g manoeuvres and upright spin teaching privileges to the basic FI rating.  This would allow UPRT, appropriate to the private pilot, to be offered by a much wider range of DTOs/ATOs.  This could be achieved using semi aerobatic aircraft which are somewhat more available and affordable than the fully aerobatic aircraft operated by ATOs offering UPRT at present.

Many loss of control incidents occur at low altitude, with the aircraft impacting the ground before a full spin can become established.  It's also rare for these situations to result in inverted flight.  There would seem to be a major benefit from improving recognition of the impending loss of control, through UPRT with little risk of such training manoeuvres requiring more advanced aerobatic skills from the instructor.

Look forward to other peoples views ... especially instructors.



Comments (17)

Jürgen Leukefeld

short version:

1. This is not an issue for only DTO but ATO as well
2. a. I fully agree to the idea, that FI shall have basic experience in aerobatics, where "upright" may be sufficient (Dominique knows better) and may be extended to solo spins only (but aerobatic rating is a good recommendation).
2. b. Pilots education may include spin experience and it is covered by FCL (aerobatics maneuvres = ... unless as part of educution), so it´s legal already.
2. b. Several Aeroplane types offer intended upright spin capabilities (allowance) and are in use for pilots basic education (C150/152 Aerobat, Bölkow 208 / 209 and others). To ease usage of such if not ATO included, rules shall allow to charter, aircraft from outside oraganisation for such lessons within PPL/LAPL education.
3. I agree, many loss of control incidences happen during last turn to final, espacially after engine malfanction. ...
BUT in that situation and not having "heard" what the aircraft has "talked", spin experience does not help the Pilot to escape; he then is beyond another required basic knowledge: "In level flight stall speed increases with bank angle (with g-load)!" Even in 300ft, if an unintended spin occurs and nose goes almost to or through vertical ... ... ... there is not that much helping (except an integral rescue system).
During education, pilots must learn and accept that life insurence in such situation is speed indicator! ... Look to where most important information is coming from! ;-) And: "Fly that numbers!" (quotation)

Well, not that really short ... sorry

Florian Rhyn

Just want to add that speed is not the most important factor. It's angle of attack! But, of course, speed does play a role in it. But I think the most important lesson for students is that a stall is always caused by the angle of attack being too high and the PIC has direct control over the AoA via the elevator. Whatever the speed, if you pull hard or trimmed all the way up, you can't expect much more lift from the wings.


Hi Peter, I don’t believe Advanced UPRT training for FCL 745 needs either an aerobatic aircraft or rating. Sure, it is recommended that instructors qualified to teach AUPRT iaw FCL 915 have an aerobatic rating, it’s not mandatory. Neither is it mandatory to do spinning as part of 745 training. The prime aim is to train pilots cope with physical and psychological effects of startle resulting from an unintentional event. Having not ‘frozen up’ the AUPRT-trained pilot will be better equipped to apply an appropriate corrective action, whatever the situation. Basic UPRT as defined in the new regs is, I believe, what we have always done as part of basic flying training - another term for stall-spin awareness training. The key is to make it real (scenario based) and as Florian says, to introduce AoA awareness from an early stage.

Alan Cassidy

An aerobatic rating is not strictly necessary for the FI for initial PPL UPRT, but I am sure that it is useful. When a student embarks on an Aerobatic Rating, he needs once again to visit various "unusual attitude" scenario and learn appropriate recovery technique, and now this can be made a lot more "all-attitude" than when just conducting UPRT for basic PPL flight.

Air Devil

It is an interesting topic and one I have been giving a lot of thought to recently. I provide advanced on-aircraft UPRT. I've been doing this for MPL students for almost 6 years where it was already compulsory. But what does a GA pilot need? I've given a few presentations at aeroclubs regarding this and most pilots are receptive to the idee of additional recovery training. Everything is dependent on the quality of the instructor as to how effective the training will be. I'd advocate the use of aerobatic or capable utility category aircraft. Instructors not only with an aerobatic rating but ones who fly aerobatics regularly or have give UPRT on a regular basis. Why? Well I'm sure all of us have experienced startle and of course surprise but the more you are exposed to the environment of upsets startle will effect you for shorter intervals. pilots will not always do what you want or expect them to do. As an instructor you need to be well practiced to be able to know when and how to intervene in order to achieve maximum training effectiveness without stepping over the threshold to negative training. Or, becoming the victim of the very same S+S effects. Maximum learning is achieved when pilots feel safe and confident enough, (in the aircraft and the instructor), to be able to recall and analyse the situation afterwards and evaluatie how they reacted i.e. self reflection. Why did they pull instead of unloading etc.
Anyway, this piece is getting too long, I'll leave it here for now.

Anonymous (not verified)

I think you make a valid point when you say that a pilot under training needs to feel safe and confident in both aircraft and instructor. Can't do much about the aircraft but instructors have a duty to be competent and confident with the onset and recovery from a stalled condition. Tone of voice and body language must give the right message.

Alan Cassidy

Indeed; it is incumbent upon the instructor to have experienced many different sorts of "upset" in the aircraft in which he is teaching. He should also have explored the reactions, of the aircraft he is using, to various "incorrect" student inputs that may result from handing over control to a startled and inexperienced fellow pilot.

Air Devil

Correct Alan. This is covered for Advanced UPRT Instructors in order for them to be approved to give the training. I'm in the process of designing a course for Advanced UPRT Instructors. It is actually quite a specialised area and translating the training on a small aircraft to the future position as an airline pilot one must understand both worlds.

However, I don't see a GA pilot needing the same depth of knowledge or procedural training as the CPL or ATP student, however, the (GA) instructor will definatly need a bigger "tool kit" .
The main areas of upsets in GA, however induced, happen in the pattern and during low level manoeuvring. Emerging threats include the new sleek composite MLAs, VLAs etc which are capable little machines, often 4 or 5 G limited, but give very little warning (if any) of an accelerated stall, have a small rudder etc etc. If the deliverables of the training are to remain meaningful for the student afterwards, the instructor will have to have the competence (and currency) to provide positive instruction of all the various facets of this subject. Not just a tick in the box. Been there done that.
When I get time I am going to start designing a UPRT, (in the USA, an Emergency Recovery course), tailored to the needs of the GA pilot.

Alan Cassidy

I am not sure exactly how there can be training to recover from an "Advanced Upset", nor how there might be a an "Advanced" category to upset prevention, which is a binary matter - you avoid it or you don't.
In my view, the best training to follow on from basic, mandatory UPRT, if the student is to become more safe in a greater variety of aircraft, is actual aerobatic manoeuvre training. On this side of the Atlantic, at least, we now have a syllabus and a primary qualification for aerobatics at the entry level.

Air Devil

Hi Alan. Basic and Advanced UPRT are the terms and associated course content mandated by EASA. These are geared towards the future commercial airline pilot. Academic subjects include a wide range of causal factors such as automation and system anomalies etc. Probably only relevant to a minority of GA pilots. Even though I agree with your comment regarding aerobatic training, aerobatics is not everyones cup of tea.
I think that a similar but simpler approach to the issues more relevant to the GA pilot is the way to go. If they want more, than can always follow an aerobatic rating course. My 2 cents worth.

Anonymous (not verified)

My original concern was that the 'non aerobatic' Club PPL SEP Instructor, was being overlooked as a safety asset. A little investment by flight schools and clubs in their instructors could help reduce loss of control accidents. Perhap the aviation authorities in conjunction with the insurance industry could provide a bursary for flying club FIs to improve their skills through a basic aerobatic course tailored towards UPRT rather than competition aerobatics. As it would not be a Part FCL requirement, it could be less formal than a rating. Could also extend skills via tailwheel difference training where required.

Jürgen Leukefeld

Let me please remind:
We have one set of rules for PPL(A)FI! There is nothing like "Club SEP Instructor".
Don´t suggest, FI working in clubs are of other quality or rule set than those in commercial flight schools.

Anonymous (not verified)

Thanks for that Stephen. Will check the website

Anonymous (not verified)

Didn't intend to imply any difference in the qualification or quality of FIs operating through the Clubs/DTO vs Commercial school/ATO. However the environment is different. I intended to suggest that FIs teaching at the lighter end of aviation, might be a somewhat 'overlooked' asset in the effort to reduce loss of control incidents.
I teach through a small club holding DTO status using an SF25C TMG.

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