Upset Recovery Training


UPRT is training designed to protect against the threat of Loss of Control In Flight (LOC-I), which is the single biggest killer in commercial aviation today. For decades, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been recommending pilot training in unusual attitudes and events caused by human error and aircraft malfunctions. While the name of such training has continually changed, the concept has been consistent: train pilots to handle uncommon events that result in LOC-I accidents.

Calspan’s Upset Recovery Training has evolved since its start in 2001 with a NASA-sponsored study of training efficacy in prevention of loss of control accidents. That study demonstrated a statistically significant effect of in-flight simulation based upset training on recovery from simulations of historical loss of control accidents. With a constant review of lessons learned from recent accidents, including Colgan Air Flight 3407 and Air France Flight 447, Calspan continuously updates our program to maintain relevance in this dynamic subject matter to offer the most effective training possible. The program is designed to provide pilots with the tools reduce the steady numbers of loss of control accidents.

Calspan Aerospace is the only in-flight provider of UPRT or Upset Recovery Training that can simulate these and other flight control malfunctions through the use of in-flight-simulation technology. Our unique variable stability Learjets, which simulate the handling qualities of larger jets, are programmed to demonstrate an aircraft upset or malfunction. Safety is maintained by our highly qualified safety pilots, all of whom are former military test pilots, and an Automatic Safety Trip system that prevents excursions outside the FAA-certified flight envelope of the aircraft.


Calspan’s UPRT includes:

  • Introductory Briefing
  • Classroom Instruction
  • Learjet Rehearsal (Ground-Based Simulation)
  • Learjet Flight (In-Flight Simulation)
  • Debrief of Upset Recovery Training Course Critique

Classroom instruction includes the following topics:

  • Basic Aerodynamics
  • Pitch Control: Primary and Alternate
  • Thrust Vector and Its Effect on Pitch Control
  • Center of Gravity & Speed Stability
  • Changes in Flying Qualities Due to CG Position
  • Inertia and Damping
  • Roll Stability
  • Roll-Yaw Coupling
  • Lateral-Directional Stability
  • Yaw-Roll Coupling (dihedral effect)
  • Dutch Roll
  • Structural Limitations
  • Learjet Familiarization

The ground simulation and in-flight simulation profile includes:

  • Aircraft Familiarization, Free Maneuvering and Warm-up
  • Pitch Stability
  • Changes in CG Position from Nominal
  • Dutch Roll
  • Dynamics with Yaw Damper On/Off
  • Proper Use of Roll (adverse yaw) to Damp Oscillation
  • Unusual Attitude Recoveries
  • Appropriate use of G-Force and Thrust for Recovery
  • Asymmetric Lift (simulated icing)
  • Approach Stall with Pusher
  • Wake Turbulence
  • Pitch, Roll and Yaw Upsets
  • Primary & Alternate Control Strategies
  • High-Altitude Pitch Upset with Airspeed Indication Losses, Pusher and Puller
  • Marginally Controllable Aircraft (loss of hydraulic flight controls)


Calspan Aerospace customers who engage our expertise in UPRT receive innumerable benefits, including:

  • Our upset recovery training team’s ability to be flexible by modifying scheduled, structured courses to meet specific customer needs and timelines
  • Access to the only UPRT training that simulates various flight control malfunctions via in-flight-simulation technology
  • Our emphasis on upset prevention through the use of case studies


NTSB recommendation A-96-120 (from the investigation of B737 yaw upset accident) recommended operators provide training to flight crews in the recognition of and recovery from unusual attitudes and upset maneuvers, including upsets that occur while the aircraft is being controlled by automatic flight control systems, and unusual attitudes that result from flight control malfunctions and uncommanded flight control surface movements.