“Using technology and the aircraft provides the most thorough training possible against loss of in-flight control, the single greatest cause of fatal aviation accidents for more than a decade,” the companies announced jointly.
The training protocols build upon FlightSafety International’s simulation programs, which replicate scenarios such as low-level stall events that can’t be comfortably accomplished in an aircraft. The course uses the safe and controlled environment of a simulator to instruct pilots how to recognize, experience, and recover from in-flight loss of control. The simulator time is also designed to help pilots increase their knowledge of aerodynamics, and to develop “new skills that are critical to safe operations.”
Nearly 10 years ago, Flight Research developed an unusual-attitude course for corporate pilots that uses jets with handling qualities similar to the aircraft they routinely fly. The upset recovery specialists bring to the table instructors and aircraft that allow pilots to experience in-flight upsets with “real gravitational forces, vestibular excitation and mental stress that can only be delivered” in an airplane, the companies said in a news release.
The cost ranges from $5,000 for training in an aerobatic Slingsby T–67 single-engine, two-seat piston aircraft to $30,000 for instruction in a high-altitude supersonic Canadair CF–5 fighter that was also manufactured as a Northrop F–5 Freedom Fighter.
Fixed-wing upset training options between the two extremes include a Beechcraft King Air twin-engine turboprop, an Aermacchi MB–326 Impala single-engine jet trainer, and a North American Sabreliner business jet. Helicopter pilots can sharpen their skills in a single-turbine Bell 206/OH–58 Kiowa, or by performing rolls and other maneuvers in an aerobatic Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm Bo 105 twin-turbine model.
Pilots may travel to the Mojave Air and Space Port Airport, go to a FlightSafety International location, or—in some instances—arrange to have the aircraft training at a customer’s location.
Flight Research Business Development and Marketing Vice President Toni Mensching said the flying portion of the coupled program “is the perfect thing to complement sim training.” She explained that pilots can expect to log between two and four hours of intense flight training until they are competent. “We don’t cut if off, but most of the flights are self-limiting because of the intensity. Our goal is for pilots to learn and to progress.” She stressed that the training can also be slowed down to make sure candidates absorb the skills. “The best part of the program is that we use a very specific regimen so that we can increase that person’s tolerance each day. Our whole goal is for them to use all of their time for learning.”