Airline Makes Upset Training Mandatory

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KLM, Holland's flag carrier, has signed a deal with Arizona-based APS Emergency Maneuver Training to provide upset recovery training to ab initio pilots training at the airline's flight school in Mesa. KLM has done its pilot training in sunny Mesa for 65 years at Falcon Field and APS is at neighboring Phoenix-Mesa Gateway. As technology mitigates many of the risk factors associated with airline flying, in-flight loss of control has emerged as the leading cause of airline crashes, according to a study released by Boeing last year. APS teaches pilots of all experience levels what to do when their world is turned upside down.

Although recognition and prevention of unstable flight conditions is (or should be) a fundamental part of flight training, there are times when even the most careful and well-prepared pilot can find himself hanging from the harness thanks to weather, wake turbulence or other factors. APS teaches pilots how to put earth and sky back in their appropriate places without breaking the airplane, and the only way to do that is to intentionally upset aircraft. APS uses Extra 300s. KLM spokesman Robert van den Heuvel said KLM has made upset recovery a mandatory part of ab initio training for all its academy cadets and the deal with APS is a multi-year one.