Acknowledging that loss of control in flight (LOC-I) has been “the single greatest cause of fatal aviation accidents for more than a decade” FlightSafety International (FSI) has launched a joint Upset Recovery Training Program with Mojave, California-based Flight Research. With its fleet of more than 40 aircraft, including supersonic jet fighters, business jets, pistons, turboprops and helicopters, Flight Research provides training to individuals, flight departments, governments, aircraft manufacturers and Advanced Aircraft Mobility (AAM/UAM) pioneers.
According to the Flight Safety Foundation, “LOC-I usually occurs because the aircraft enters a flight regime that is outside its normal envelope, usually, but not always, at a high rate, thereby introducing an element of surprise for the flight crew involved. Issues related to loss of situational awareness and control of the aircraft during conditions of low speed, high pitch and high bank angle are included, as are weight and balance issues.”
Citing the most recent statistics, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) reports LOC-I accidents represented only 3 percent of all accidents in 2015, but 33 percent of fatal accidents. Data from the International Air Transport Association for the 2012-2016 time frame include 30 LOC-I accidents resulting in 949 fatalities. So even though the probability of a LOC-I accident is relatively low, 93 percent result in hull losses and 90 percent are fatal.
The joint program will blend FlightSafety’s type-specific simulator training with Flight Research’s in-aircraft instruction. The program “will give pilots the opportunity to experience inflight upset with real gravitational forces, vestibular excitation, and mental stress that can only be delivered in a plane,” according to FSI.