LARA Magazine, August-September 2023 

LARA spoke to simulator and training providers to find out more about their Upset Prevention and Recovery Training for cadets flying regional aircraft, its demands, and the current benefits and challenges facing training.

According to Boeing’s last published STATSUM (Statistical Summary of Commercial Jet Airplane Accidents) report in 2022, almost 46% of crash fatalities in the last decade have been due to Loss of Control In-flight (LOC-I). Set against this backdrop, Upset Recovery and Prevention Training (UPRT) has become increasingly important, as the aviation industry embraces its recovery and recognises the need to build more resilient pilots.

From 2018, regulators like the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO), the FA, and EASA, have published that UPRT become a mandatory part of CPL, ATPL, and MPL training. This typically combines academic, theoretical knowledge, simulator training, and on-aeroplane training, providing pilots with the competencies to prevent and recover from aeroplane upsets. But bearing in mind regional pilots who fly turboprop aircraft to smaller and more remote locations, often in some of the harshest environments on the globe, how are simulator manufacturers and training schools carrying out UPRT for cadets, five years on?

French simulator and training company Simaero primarily provides them training, giving pilots access to over 30 full flight simulators in France, South Africa, and China. It recently expanded its base in Paris Charles de Gaulle, with eight new simulator bays. With regional aircraft simulators at its bases in Paris and Johannesburg, there is a lot of variation across Simaero’s simulator fleet. Its inventory of aircraft includes the
ATR 42-500, 72-500 and 72-600, Beech 1900, De Havilland Dash 8-100 and Dash 8-300. Cited by its CEO, Nicolas Mouté, as a “vital aspect of [the company’s] training approach”, it has been working on implementing Upset Prevention and Recovery Training across its range of simulators in its Paris and Johannesburg
Training Centre since EASA’s 2018 regulation was implemented.
At present, the three ATR simulators (ATR 72-500 and ATR 72-600) at these centres have been approved for UPRT by EASA – the latest being the ATR 42-500 and 72-500 in Johannesburg in January 2023. The latter
simulator in Johannesburg has also been certified by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA).
As the majority of our ATR aircraft clientele comply with CAAs that required UPRT, we decided to upgrade our ATR fullflight simulators,” said Captain Patrice Galinier, Simaero’s Group Training Director.
“This advancement aligns with global best practices and significantly enhances the safety preparedness of pilots.”

However, Simaero’s Beech 1900 FFS – an aircraft popular in the African continent – does not have the UPRT upgrade, due to little demand from the company’s clientele,as the upgrade for this aircraft type is not yet specified in the SACAA’s regulations.
Nevertheless, whilst ICAO’s sets the comprehensive standards for UPRT, as a company with a large amount of regional aircraft simulators, Simaero still takes this into account and adjusts accordingly.

Smaller regional aircraft may behave differently in upset scenarios than larger aircraft, and our simulators are configured to reflect these differences accurately,” Galinier added.
The specifications on the ATR simulator include high altitude cruise approach-tostall events and icing, all in accordance with EASA’s CS-FSTD(A) Issue 2 requirements.
In accordance with the ICAO guidelines, as well as understanding the aircraft specificities, Simaero also looks at instructor expertise and psychological aspects of the pilots when training.
By emphasising the psychological aspects, managing and identifying this stress, Galinier homes in on the prevention part of UPRT.
For regional airline pilots, many are in the early stages of their careers,” says Galinier, so UPRT “is just as much about handling the aircraft physically as well as gauging their stress management and resilience.”
Its instructors also regularly undergo additional training to stay updated on best practices and the latest techniques.

For simulator and training provider L3Harris, UPRT is integrated into all of its courses where required.
A fundamental element to any commercial pilot training for an EASA- and
UKCAA-issued licence, UPRT training starts in the initial phases of flight training and then continues into type ratings.
Over the last few years, L3Harris has seen that there is growing demand for a standalone course on UPRT outside of UKCAA and EASA regulatory regions.
Such a stand-alone course is not yet approved, but Pete Hogston, Head of Training at L3Harris, says: “As an Approved Training Organisation, we advocated UPRT development be a key element of any approved training regime.”
So what factors does L3Harris have to consider to develop UPRT courseware? “The key aspect to developing UPRT courseware, as with any training, is to develop the competence of the pilot to recognise and manage threats that could cause a UAS (undesirable aircraft state) at any time of the flight,” says Hogston.
In L3Harris simulators, software is installed to enable UPRT training to be delivered in two phases.

Phase one: a slow entry into UAS and a freeze of the FFS, enabling the pilot to develop an understanding of what UAS might look like and how to prepare for recovery. Once the instructor is satisfied by confirmed recovery actions, the system freeze is removed and recovery actions are
Phase two: once competence has been established, UAS scenarios are introduced with increasing intensity and speed at any point in the flight, managing delivery of the previously learned techniques and to manage startle effects.
However, whilst Flight Simulator Training Devices (FSTDs) are essential to UPRT, they are also limited.
In ICAO’s 10011 manual, published in 2014, it states: “FSTDs have limitations that render them incapable of providing the complete exposure to conditions synonymous with preventing or recovering.” Nearly a decade on, little has changed.
Indeed, whilst both company’s UPRT simulation training adequately covers recovery and trains the pilot to deal with UAS and LOC (loss of control), guiding the pilot through the steps needed to take to recover, the question still remains about where the focus on prevention comes as
part of UPRT.
This is where on-aeroplane training comes into focus.

The Advanced UPRT Course offered by training company Skyborne goes some way  to address this, whilst homing in on consolidating a student’s already acquired knowledge of how to recognise and recover from upsets during flight.
Launched in 2019 in response to EASA’s mandatory FCL.745. A regulation Skyborne have refined and tailored this mandatory five-hour course for its integrated and modular ATPL students.
As well as covering UPRT in a simulator, in this course the cadets train in Slingsby T67M Firefly aircraft at Skyborne’s facilities. A 200 horsepower aerobatic aircraft rated to 6G, the aircraft is ideal for upset training purposes, and with lots of room to effectively carry out the manoeuvres
cadets train for.
When it comes to considering the most important factors throughout Advanced UPRT training in a physical aircraft compared with a simulator, Andy Vidamour, Head of Training at Skyborne, says: “[The] UPRT training scenario is disciplined. It is not an aerobatic session. The focus is on how to recover an aircraft from an undesired state.”
The Advanced UPRT syllabus offered by Skyborne is an outcome of accident investigations and gives students a deeper dive into the causes of airline upsets, with the recovery techniques focused on particular events.
The course covers turboprop and regional jet recovery, as well as larger jet recovery, in both the theoretical and practical elements of the course.
But for Vidamour, no matter the aircraft, it is the student’s exposure to upset situations themselves that is crucial to any cadet’s training.
We open students’ eyes to the boundaries of their aircraft, so they don’t make the assumption that all aircraft are unbreakable,” he says. “The most important thing is that students are not afraid of the unknown. They expand their boundaries and exposure to more unusual manoeuvres and unusual attitudes, so [if they ever were to experience this] they’d know exactly how to recover.”
Vidamour is confident that what they offer cadets in its Advanced UPRT course sits at the correct stage of training, implemented after the basic URPT.
By the time we move on to the Advanced UPRT course, they know what is and isn’t normal for an aircraft’s behaviour,” he says. “We build upon their experience with nonaerobatic aircraft in an aerobatic aircraft, so they can appreciate why the manoeuvres we teach are advanced.”
Improvements upon foundational knowledge and experience are not just limited to the company’s cadets, however, as Skyborne is also well aware of the need to continually update the theory element of its advanced UPRT course and keep track of any developments that would improve its offering. Vidamour says: “We watch closely for research and aviation papers on the startle effect, as our industry seeks to build more resilient pilots.”

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