Technical challenges of upset recovery training : simulating the element of surprise
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Technical challenges of upset recovery training : simulating the element of surprise

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      This invited paper is written in the context of a concerted effort by the aviation industry and regulators to reduce the occurrence of Loss of Control (LOC) accidents. LOC accidents have taken the lead among fatal airplane accidents, recently outpacing Controlled Flight into Terrain. The community is pursuing different avenues that all have potential for leading towards that goal. These include technical solutions such as preventing or automatically correcting uncontrollable airplane states or providing pilots with flight deck warnings and advisories; managerial solutions such as optimizing procedures and checklists to prevent narrowing of attention and reversal to primal responses; or instructional solutions enhancing pilots’ knowledge, skills, and aptitudes via academics, ground-based procedure and flight training, and in-flight demonstrations and practice. This paper addresses ground-based training in a Flight Simulation Training Device (FSTD). In particular, it examines whether an FSTD is an adequate tool to first simulate a situation where flight crews may be too distracted to become aware of the danger of losing control of the airplane and to subsequently stimulate the confusion and panic that would be triggered during an actual LOC, where the crew’s and passengers’ lives are at stake. It first discusses the psychological obstacles interfering with anticipation, recognition, and appropriate responses to LOC. It then lays out the training goals that need to be reached in successful upset recovery training, and briefly discusses the training strategies that might be applicable to different types of training goals. Finally, it examines the different methods that may be applied to overcome a potential drawback, but also a major advantage of training appropriate responses to LOC in an FSTD: that it is safe.
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