How do you setup an upset for Upset Recovery?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by apr911, Apr 10, 2019.

  1. apr911

    apr911 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hi all,

    Looking for recommendations on how to setup an upset for students to recover from. I realize that no two upsets are the same but how do you put the student "off-balance."

    I would be particularly interested in anyone who has experience having a student fly themselves into an upset as I feel like that's a more realistic encounter. I know the first (and only) time an instructor had me fly myself into an upset it was like a bell going off in my head... It all finally made sense. I never struggled with recovery but the upset attitudes my instructors would put me in always seemed so wrong that recovery while important always seemed exaggerated; then I had an instructor give me instructions to turn, climb/descend and level out while looking down with my eyes closed and then told me to recover and it was like "wow, those attitudes weren't so far off after all"

    I've tried to replicate this with pilot friends both as safety pilots and as pilots under the hood but havent been able to achieve similar attitudes.
     
  2. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Tell them to put their head down and close their eyes. Then, begin making some turns left and right in an attempt to make them feel disoriented. Put the airplane in an unusual attitude and then tell them ‘Ok...recover!’
     
  3. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    I know that my instructor made a series of moves, to remove any "seat of the pants" expectations of what I'd see (either outside, or on the panel, depending on training.) Actually more "unusual attitude" than "upset", unless you stall a wing and then call out "your airplane!"
     
  4. apr911

    apr911 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    True. Guess I'm referring more to "unusual attitudes" than "upsets"

    The seat of the pants part is one part I seem to struggle with as my psuedo-students and even myself, seem to almost be correcting already as soon as our hands are back on the controls before even looking at the instruments... dont know if I'm just not shaking them out of the seat of their pants or if its because I haven't done it with anyone who doesn't already have at least some recovery training.

    Weird part is, I dont mind unusual attitudes/upsets and will fly some light aerobatics when I have the opportunity (given an aircraft capable and equipped appropriately) but it just feels so weird to "leave it in" and not see a maneuver through to completion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
  5. gdwindowpane

    gdwindowpane Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    My first exposure to "unusual attitudes" was a funny one. I put my head down, eyes closed, felt the plane going all sorts of ways and then my CFI told me to look up. Looking outside and scanning the instruments I quickly determined that we were flying straight and level. At which point my CFI informed me that the way I fly, straight and level was an unusual attitude. LOL.
     
  6. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Typical head down eyes shut works. Unless they can see out the corners of the “hood”, eyes shut isn’t all that important. Try some different head positions such as looking up and left with the aircraft descending down to the right. That situation was the only time I’ve really experienced spatial d (Coriolis illusion).
     
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  7. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    I did that once or twice to my instructor ...lol
     
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  8. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Cleared for Takeoff

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    One technique I use is to have them keep flying the airplane with their head down and eyes closed. Let them create the unusual attitude themselves. Kind of fun to as the instructor to see them end up in a graveyard spiral.

    Works a lot better on cloudy days or in the dark. Sun shine can give them a reference point.
     
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  9. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    I just simply induce a slight upward pitch change and let things progress to a left spiral.
     
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  10. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    I find that the very intentional sudden jerky movements are easy to follow even with your eyes closed and head down.. it is also very easy to hear the difference in speed which is a dead giveaway if you are climbing or losing altitude

    That method is also not very realistic. A real upset will occur in IMC or night (typically) and appear benign, so the more care can be taken to make the plane feel as though it was in neutral 1 g flight the better, I like clip4 suggestion above.. just put the plane out of trim and let it get out of hand on its own.. that's what will happen in real life
     
  11. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Make them wear a hood if you want them to do it by instruments and tell them no cheating by peaking, it's not a pass/fail type exercise, rather a become good at doing it exercise. My instructor is particularly good at this. Not sure what profile he flies, but it involves a few abrupt turns to get thing mixed up, some are turns, some are quick turn to wings level, then smooth moves. Typically takes about 20 to 30 seconds, by the time he is done I have no idea what I will be looking at. The best one was a spiral entry with the autopilot on banked and nose down. Took me a few seconds to realize what was going on after the controls wouldn't move easily before I hit the ap disconnect. He said most take a lot longer to figure it out.
     
  12. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Cleared for Takeoff

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    How about straight up to the vertical then before you lose flying speed full right then left rudder then hold full rudder & also hold full cross control with the stick? You will tumble like a maple leaf in a hurricane. After a few revolutions, recover.

    That was the gist of the ‘rudder triplet’ in the T-2 Buckeye.
     
  13. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

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  14. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    and be ready to deal with the smell of poop rest of the way down
     
  15. apr911

    apr911 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That describes how I’d like to do them but I find the attitudes end up being relatively benign... which is both good and bad...

    Bad: false sense of confidence in ability to maintain proper attitude; might be a bit nose high/low and in a slight turn but nothing (in the student’s mind anyway) that needs immediate and “abrubt” control forces to correct.

    Good: can show how insidious an unusual attitude can be... you may have plenty of time to correct your unusual attitude but left uncorrected too long and it could be deadly.

    I agree the jerky movements used by most instructors are largely unrealistic and dont really demonstrate the risk of sparial disorientation and unusual attitudes...

    I mean the jerky movements could be considered realistic if you flew into a convective/turbulent cloud but if you’re getting tossed around in turbulence, you already know the plane is being upset. Its important to know how to recover such a situation but its a very limited demonstration.

    I like the idea of playing with trim but playing with the trim for a ppl student might go unnoticed but I feel like an IRA student might be better able to detect the change in the control pressures and have an idea of what the upset looks like as a result. Maybe play with the trim while the student is climbing/descending/turning and/or having the student adjusting power while doing it would work?

    How much trim would you add/subtract though?
     
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  16. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Cleared for Takeoff

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    In my case the other day...you have the test pilot say watch this...then the ground disappears in your G5 as you feel a small G load and then you reach up for the level button.
    Doesn't really help the OP with training at all but I saw the upset title as I was working on this and thought I'd add a visual. :) The STEC 3100 does a nice job of upset recovery after you've learned to do it the old fashion way.
    Screen Shot 2019-04-10 at 9.33.01 AM.png
     
  17. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Just give 'em an entry speed 10 kts too slow for a loop.
     
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  18. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    This is true. I guess my big issue with a lot of PPL training is that the maneuvers tend to be too contrived. In the beginning you need to slowly walk through them. But in reality no one is going to spend 5 minutes setting up for a stall hyper focused on the plane.. they'll be tuning a radio, turning to a vectored heading, and leveling off from a decent and forget to put the power back in when a wing will drop. I think the best instructors should find ways to, and allow the student to, mess up on their own. Out of the 6 or so instructors I've flown with for various reasons there was only two that really let me "get in trouble" (so to speak).. both were older (50s or higher, I have no idea) and were not there to "build hours" or transition out. It was just their side income since they liked flying and teaching

    This can be tough, but in my case whenever an instructor did this maneuver I would always have my hands and feet off the controls, and frankly I wouldn't expect them to fiddle with the trim, so the control feel would be way off

    Everyone's different, personally though my best learning point lesson was when I was a little over confident and begged my instructor half way through the mock XC that I was ready for my XC solo sign off.. he said "okay!" and took his headset off, pushed the seat back and just chilled out. I got us home, made a total idiot of myself on the radio, and learned a valuable lesson about where you *think* you are on proficiency vs where you actually are

    My first experience with ice, in a very capable FIKI aircraft, was similarly unnerving
     
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  19. IK04

    IK04 Line Up and Wait

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    I prefer the minimalist way to get it done...

    simply use a little rudder to fly out of trim and keep it there. Make a few smooth changes in pitch and roll while rolling in some pitch trim, up or down.

    With those combinations, even a fairly level attitude will be disorienting when the student looks up and recovers.
     
  20. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    The FAA's Instrument Flying Handbook 3-7. There is a part labeled "Demonstration of Spatial Disorientation" that has detailed instructions of what the instructor should do to induce it.
     
  21. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Cleared for Takeoff

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    Have them demonstrate a stall, distract them close to stall and ease in the rudder.........
     
  22. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    I had an instructor who told me he did that to another student. He said the guy was way to cocky, so he had him do a stall and kicked the rudder right at the break. Put the plane into a spin that the instructor needed to recover because the student froze. Point of the lesson? The guy was no where near close to being ready. I told him he better not do that to me, he didn't.
     
  23. upstateny

    upstateny Line Up and Wait

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    +1 on letting them fly themselves into the problem.

    "Close your eyes, fly straight and level."

    If they're too good at that, add little rudder or change the trim and wait.
     
  24. danhagan

    danhagan Pattern Altitude

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    Got to do a flight review and "upset recovery" in a Pitts. Wish the CFI still had the Pitts. Spent half a day going over a ton of things and it felt like 20 minutes. Recoveries were from 1) upside down and 2) already in the spin when I was instructed to open my eyes. I have a photo of one of them, but it won't allow a direct upload here ...
     
  25. Sundancer

    Sundancer En-Route

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    I close my eyes, pull the power, then put in full aileron and opposite rudder . . .count to 10 real slow, then see what it looks like. Never seen the same view twice.
     
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  26. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    You are nice.... last time, my II actually made me sick and I threw up. 2gs pos, 1.5 neg and 1k of alt lost with 500 recovered..... Ok,, recover.... I did, and promptly threw up all over myself.
     
  27. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    If this wasnt a aerobatic lesson, that is total Blshete. I would have fired the guy and called the FSDO on him. Cocky or not, that is not anywhere close to something in the PTS. Was the plane spin certified? Was the CFI aerobatic qualled?
     
  28. apr911

    apr911 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If I had a cocky student like that and I thought he'd get himself killed, I'd absolutely do the same thing. If the student wants to fire me afterwards, so be it. I'd rather not work with a student who doesn't know their own limitations anyway, especially since its my ticket they are jeopardizing if they do something wrong. I also note that there are plenty of people in my life who I have absolutely despised/hated in the moment and refused to work with again but whom I later came to thank for teaching me a valuable life lesson that eventually had a positive return through an otherwise negative experience.
     
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  29. TCABM

    TCABM Cleared for Takeoff

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    Fire the student. No use getting into a ****ing contest at altitude. Put the plane into an unusual attitude and somebody still has to recover it.
     
  30. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    Shows a lack of professionalism to me.... the "I'll show him" trick, ehh? Lemme scare the sheeeetouta him technique, huh? You learn that in the CFI program? Please point me to this approach that a school, PTS or other foundation of learning directs for cocky attitudes. If you think the guy is a danger, tell him so, then tell him to find another CFI. But don't go trying circus tricks in a come to Jesus maneuver. That is stupid on the CFIs part and dangerous for both.
     
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  31. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Yeah, don't want to say much more about it, talking wasn't working, the instructor was a good guy, it was a long time ago and we weren't so sensitive then. The lesson the student got was he wasn't the ace he thought he was, yet, and other than needing the instructor to recover he was pretty much unphased other than realizing he had a lot more to learn. The student's a good guy too, not sure if he is still flying, but if he is I'm hoping to run into him someday. And spins were approved in the aircraft.
     
  32. apr911

    apr911 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This:

    I never said my response would be "I'll show him," which is a cocky attitude and dangerous in its own right, let alone that it would be my first response. But when talking isn't getting through to the guy and he still think he's all that and a bag of chips, well I've dealt with that type before instructing/training in my day job. There has to be a "come to Jesus moment" to get through to them that they arent where they think and they either shape up or ship out of aviation before they get themselves or someone else killed.

    I also dont agree that passing him on to another instructor is "good practice" or even a solution to the problem. Maybe a new instructor gets through to him and I'm certainly willing to try that first or second, especially if I'm the guys only instructor but I'm more used to getting the guys who already have been through an instructor or two (or three or more) and still aren't getting it. Passing him to another instructor at that point is doing a disservice across the board and can itself be less professional and more stupid/dangerous in a number of ways.

    I find it particularly funny how we all (or most of us any way, particularly those who have experience teaching in other fields before/besides aviation in accordance with the FOI) make fun of the FOI but then preach about professionalism and what the "book" says about how to handle a cocky student. Which one is it? Is the FOI a bunch of garbage or the gospel truth, end-all-be-all of instructing? I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019 at 6:43 AM