Upset Recovery Training

As part of our flight training we carry out Upset Prevention and Recovery training. This part of the course usually happens during the CPL phase of training and happens in Phoenix. As I did my training in the UK I was sent to The Netherlands to do my UPR training with a company called APS (the same company COAA use in the USA).

4 of us went in total and we left the UK on Saturday afternoon flying from London Heathrow to Amsterdam with KLM. The flight was only 40 mins so after a quick visit to the cockpit we headed to collect our bags and our hire car. The UPRT was being held at Breda airport which is around 100km from Amsterdam and our hotel was in a town called Roosendaal which is very close to the Belgium border. After driving for 90 mins we arrived at our hotel and decided to head straight out for dinner.

The next morning we had an early start ready for our first day. The day consisted of an introduction to the training which was followed by a brief for our first flight. The brief was about 2 hours long and consisted of a lot of ground school type theory. After this I was ready to get in the aircraft (Slingsby T67 Firefly) for my first flight. The flight consisted of several different types of stalls and a few aerobatic manoeuvres (inverted flight, aileron roll and loop). Following the flight I had a debrief and a lunch break. This was then followed by a brief for our second flight which would be flown the next day.

That evening we decided to visit Roosendaal, which had a fairground throughout the whole town on an evening. After dinner I decided to do a bit of reading to get my head around the next flight then had an early night ready for another early start.

Day two followed the same format as day one without the introduction at the beginning of the day. I headed straight out into the aircraft ready to fly. As we taxied out to the runway the instructor asked me if I wanted to take-off which I took him up on! The Slingsby is a great aircraft to fly, incredibly nibble and so easy to control. As we sped off down the runway I could feel the aircraft wanted to be I the air so it didn’t take much to get it off the ground and into the air. This lesson involved more advanced stall recoveries from much more extreme situations and again concluded with a few aerobatic manoeuvres (Split-S & Cuban 8). Ad we returned to the airfield my instructor asked me if I wanted to land the aircraft, which I again said yes to! As with the take-off the aircraft felt like a dream to land. Following the flight we again briefed ready for flight 3 on day 3.

Day 3 was a slight later start and again I headed straight off into the aircraft. Once again it was my take-off and we quickly claimed out above the clouds. This flight was a bit if a summary of the previous two flights with some unusual attitude training thrown in as well. We finished the flight with a Hammerhead which is the most extreme of the aerobatic manoeuvres that I had done of the three days. We returned to the airfield and I again landed the aircraft. Once all four of us had returned we were given a souvenir photo, our completion certificate and a USB with all of the flights on video! A great reference to reflect on the training throughout my career.

The next day we had a day off so decided to spend the day in Amsterdam, which I absolutely loved!
This was followed by a few drinks in the evening and then back to the hotel to pack up ready for our flight back to London the next day.


July/August; Single Engine Class Rating, Multi Engine & CPL

IMG_2326Another crazy two months of flight training have passed and with it another section of training is finished! On Friday I sat my CPL skills test and passed so I am now a qualified commercial pilot. This milestone see’s the end of my foundation flight training as I now move on to advanced flight training, more commonly known as the Instrument Rating.

EGBJJuly started with me sitting my single engine class rating, which is an ‘add on’ to my final license that will allow me to fly any single engine piston aircraft. The test was pretty straight forward and covered all of the basics of flying the C182. The test only lasted an hour and I was told I had passed before we had even landed! This concluded my single engine training and now it was time to move on to the much bigger Piper Seneca II.

With the new aircraft came a new instructor who i met straight away and we briefed on the first flight. The multi-engine phase of the foundation flight training is really short with only 10 missions (7 flights and 3 sims) to get used to the aircraft and ready for the test. The lessons cover everything from general handling, navigation, instrument flying and asymmetric flight (flying with one engine). Due to aircraft availability and weather these flights actually took longer to complete than I would have liked, however i still got through them and my instructor and I were happy with the progress I was making after each flight.

After a successful practice CPL flight I was put in for my test with the head of training (who is also a CAA examiner). Unfortunately the weather turned bad so I had to wait 5 days before I could actually sit the test.

On the morning of the exam I met with the examiner and was given my route of the navigation part of the flight. We also briefed on the weather for the day, our alternate airfields for the flight and all of the speeds I will be using throughout the exam. The route I was given was to a town called Cleobury Mortimer which is around 30 miles north of the Malvern Hiils.

For the test, after a swift departure, I headed towards Cleobury Mortimer. Unfortunately the town sits very close to several other towns all of a similar size so I actually identified the wrong town initially. After stopping and thinking things through I managed to navigate to the correct town. One the way to Cleobury Mortimer i was given my diversion, which would be to a round-a-bout roughly 15 miles south of Gloucestershire. With a little bit of recalculation enrolee I managed to find the diversion with little problems, which completed the first section of the test. Next we moved on to instrument flying which was all conducted under the hood. This section was mainly made up of basic flying including climbing, descending and rate 1 turns. I was also asked to track to the Daventry VOR. Next we moved onto general handling, emergancy procedures and upset recovery, all of which went without a problem. Finally we returned to Oxford for circuits which included normal and flapless landings as well as asymmetric circuits, go-around and landing.

Once we had taxied back to the ramp I was told that the whole flight was very good, however due to the mistakes in the initial navigation the test was a partial pass.

After a few days I was back in the aircraft to resit the navigation part of the CPL skills test. This time the flight was much better and I passed! Once I had landed I was able to go ad collect my wings and gold epaulettes as well as the SOP’s and checklist for the Seneca V which i will be flying for the instrument rating.