- Jared VanLue
Did you know that Loss of Control – Inflight (LOC-I) has now overtaken CFIT as the leading cause of aircraft accidents worldwide? The FAA, EASA, and ICAO have made LOC-I / Upset training one of their "hot button" issues in an effort to reduce the number of fatalities.
Inadvertent stalls are the number one cause of LOC events, and one glaring fact has emerged from reviewing the CVR/FDR data from those crashes. Pilots are very reluctant to reduce the AOA during a stall event and instead have been relying almost solely on the addition of power to recover the aircraft. There are a few reasons for that, one of them being the way we have been trained and checked in the past, but that is changing with new FAA and EASA training/checking requirements.
Loss of Control – Inflight can also be caused by other factors such as disorientation, system abnormals, wake turbulence, and microburst/windshear encounters. The data, however, is clear. Pilots are stalling perfectly flyable aircraft and failing to recover (often from higher altitudes). Just like in primary flight training, you have to reduce the AOA to "break" the stall and save your aircraft. Power alone won't do it.
As Fly By Wire, AutoThrust, and autopilots have become commonplace, we pilots have lost our stick and rudder skills. Continuing that thought, we have also lost the ability to understand what the airplane is "telling" us. Doesn't it make sense that the more you hand fly, the better "feeling" you will have for determining when your airplane is in danger?
Advanced Aircrew Academy has an eLearning module to meet regulatory requirements regarding training for LOC-I / Upset Recovery training.