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.