New requirements for Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPRT) was introduced by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in 2018 with a transition period of one year. Hence effectively the Advanced UPRT course FCL.745.A became mandatory for all pilots studying for new ATPLs and CPL qualifications at the end of last year.
What does it mean for you as a pilot with a CPL licence, or as a pilot still in the earlier phases of study? You must undergo this training in order to be able to effectively manage aircraft in high-risk situations when the flight altitude or airspeed of an aircraft is outside the normal bounds of operation for which it is designed.
What is UPRT?
UPRT is more than just a new buzz phrase in the flight-training industry. It is critically important training which prevents upsets and enables recovery from unexpected situations.
The training is a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical flying training with the aim of providing the flight crew with the required competencies to both prevent and to recover from situations in which an aircraft unintentionally exceeds normal flight parameters.
A multitude of factors might cause an aircraft upset condition and UPRT helps pilots to actually handle abnormal situations in the aircraft and to be more prepared for unexpected upset situations, as well as be better equipped to deal with them, both technically and emotionally.
EASA aims at integrating UPRT at various stages of a professional pilot’s career in order to address the fact that loss of control in-flight is still a major issue in the aviation industry.
Different levels of UPRT – which is one is right for me?
EASA distinguishes 3 different levels of UPRT: Basic UPRT, Advanced UPRT course and class or type-related UPRT. All three of these variations are integrated into existing pilot training.
Basic UPRT exercises are integrated into all Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) and Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) training courses for aeroplanes, as well as the newer Multi-crew Pilot License (MPL) training course which newer pilots will encounter nowadays when starting out in their careers.
An Advanced UPRT course is the most significant change in the new regulations, which became mandatory after the 20th of December 2019. Since that date all pilots starting their first type-rating training must complete this course. An Advanced UPRT course now forms part of the integrated ATPL and MPL training courses, and is also a prerequisite to courses for single-pilot class or type ratings operated in multi-pilot operations, courses for single-pilot high performance complex aircraft as well as courses for multi-pilot aircraft.
An Advanced UPTR course includes at least 5 hours of theoretical instruction as well as at least 3 hours of dual flight instruction in an aeroplane, with the aim of enhancing the student’s preparedness for the psychological and physiological aspects associated with upset conditions.
Class or type-related UPRT during class or type-rating training is included on type-rating courses and addresses the specific requirements of the relevant class or type of aeroplane.
This specialized type of training is integrated into training courses for single-pilot, high performance complex aeroplanes, training courses for multi-pilot aeroplanes as well as bridging courses for extending privileges on a single-pilot aeroplane to multi-pilot operations.
The key areas of focus of this specific type of training are: an enhanced knowledge of the factors leading to an upset condition, spatial orientation, unusual attitude recovery and spin recognition and recovery.
Which pilots need to undergo UPRT?
“Do I need UPRT if I have already completed my flight training?” This is one of the most frequent questions that training schools hear nowadays. The answer is “YES”. If you have completed your CPL but haven’t started your first type rating, you have to complete a standalone Advanced UPRT course under FCL.745.A. Any airline or ATO, prior to starting type rating training, will ask you to provide a certificate showing completion of an Advanced UPRT course.
If you already have an existing type rating on a CPL or MPL license, the Advanced UPRT course is not required. If you are operating for an airline, type specific UPRT is already a requirement for recurrent training. Type Specific UPRT is also included on type rating courses, however, it is advisable to complete this stand-alone training as it might well be beneficial to your future career.
Where to get the training?
As the training has become mandatory after the 20th of December 2019 it should be provided by any ATO or other pilot training academies. However, as the experts admit the transition phase has not been such smooth as predicted. Some of the training providers face challenges as in order to provide the UPRT training you must have instructors with the UPRT qualification. With the massive demand on the market, a certain backlog has appeared.
“Indeed, the number of the inquiries that our training centre receives regarding the UPRT training allows me to assume that not all training providers in the market has successfully finalised the UPRT training integration into their training programs. Therefore, pilots approaching the training providers which did manage to add the UPRT training in time gains a valuable advantage in the market” comments Michael Ryan, the Head of Training at BAA Training.
What is the aim of this new training and its regulations?
New UPRT programs have been launched by various aviation institutions and training schools and all of them have the same aim – to enhance the pilot‘s competencies and to raise the level of flight safety, with the goal of ensuring that aviation is one of the safest transportation industries.
The form and content of UPRT training is established by the regulatory agencies for each region, with EASA being the authority for the European region.
It is important to emphasize that the new UPRT regulations aren’t only about developing pilot competencies during a loss of control during in-flight situations. They have also brought new certification specifications for flight simulation training devices (CS-FSTD) recently updated to include guidance on stall model evaluation. This has introduced the possibility of being confident that Full Flight Simulators (FFS) adequately represent the characteristics of an aircraft during an aerodynamic stall.