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More Attention Needed for Upset Recovery

October 27, 2014

“Paying attention is the most effective way to prevent becoming an accident statistic,” according to BJ Ransbury, “because it’s the most important element for preventing an aircraft upset in the first place.” In a presentation during the Bombardier Safety Standdown earlier this month, Ransbury, who is president of Aviation Performance Solutions, said loss of control in flight represents 40 percent of all aviation fatalities and remains the biggest threat faced by pilots. “Nearly half of those upsets are related to aerodynamic stall,” he added. Ransbury believes it’s also critical to recognize that “some of the skills [learned during normal flight training] don’t reliably transfer and don’t necessarily work to our aid in an upset [brought on by stall].” The key, in his opinion, is “to recognize these areas so we can still take action, before we exceed normal flight parameters, because an incorrect recovery from a stall could cause an upset.” Because of the way pilots are still trained, said Ransbury, “Once the stall gets a pilot’s attention it may also be too late to recover.” The attitude parameters of normal pilot licensing training–25 degrees of pitch up, 10 degrees down and 45 degrees of bank–barely touch the all-attitude environment a pilot might experience in an upset.

 

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