Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPRT) is the change from controlled flight into upset scenarios like spins or dives and learning the methods to properly and safely recover from these conditions.

There are varying opinions on the effectiveness of upset prevention and recovery training. Regardless of your view, the facts cannot be ignored: loss of control inflight (LOC-I) remains the most significant contributor to fatal aircraft accidents. This is why the European Union Aviation Safety Agency has required UPRT be integrated into all initial type training as of December 2019, and the FAA requires it of Part 121 pilots. Can the extension of that requirement to 135 and 91 operators be far off? In an in-depth loss of control accident analysis report prepared by the International Air Transport Association, they concluded that “…human performance deficiencies, including improper, inadequate or absent training, automation and flight mode confusion, distraction the ‘startle’ factor and loss of situational awareness frequently compounded the initial upset and precluded an effective recovery until it was too late.”

If you’re operating out of Europe, it’s a requirement, but since EASA made upset recovery a mandatory pilot requirement the training has gained more attention worldwide. Most people would agree that advanced training is a good thing, with the obvious benefits of having crew better prepared to prevent and handle any potential incidents. Training doesn’t come without a price, though, which places an increased cost burden on owners and operators. However, there could be cost benefits to integrating UPRT into your training practices. Ahead of any progressive enforcement from the FAA on the subject, insurance companies are looking at advancing their interests in the industry by imposing training conditions in their pilot warranties to reduce an unacceptably high number of fatalities tied to loss of control accidents. At AVIAA we’re already seeing a benefit for member operators who perform UPRT via their hull and liability premiums.

In the absence of upset recovery training, could a pilot benefit from more training in their aircraft or in a simulator? Certainly, as would following safe operational protocols and procedures limit your exposure to unwanted circumstances. But regardless of how much training you have, an unexpected event can turn an expert pilot into a novice one without the right type of training.

Is upset recovery training better in aircraft or in a simulator? Arguments can be made for both sides. Simulators have their limitations just like training in an aerobatic propeller aircraft in lieu of a business jet. Each method also has its own unique benefits and most industry experts will agree either training is better than none, so long as it doesn’t create a negative experience.

AVIAA partners with industry leading UPRT, with exclusive benefits available to AVIAA members. To learn more about UPRT and other training opportunities, please reach out to