Wanted to share my experience with some training I recently completed with CSIP Dennis Mahan at Inverted Concepts (www.inverted-concepts.com). I signed up to do some Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPRT) in a Decathlon for primarily 2 reasons. I want to be a better pilot and I want to be a safer pilot. There is no doubt that this training far exceeded my expectations of completing both of those goals. My stick and rudder skills were dramatically improved and my experience recovering from the most extreme attitudes and flight conditions that I've ever experienced have definitely made me a safer pilot!
We can talk and read about spins, extreme unusual attitudes, and their recovery procedures but until you truly experience them you have no idea how your body/brain will react! Dennis has an excellent ability to teach you how to recover first and think later when your body/brain has been pushed to the limit. While recovering from these conditions is an important part of this training, the most important part is the prevention from ever entering the flight condition in the first place. This is the main focus of the training. Understanding the conditions that lead to inadvertent entry of a spin or unusual attitude and correcting them before you get there. Focusing on and calling out airspeeds and attitudes, getting a better feel for coordinated flight without looking at the ball, finding the horizon when you're inverted, and so much more. Words truly can't give this training justice so look him up if you have the same goals as i do...be a better, safer pilot.
The most important lesson for me during this training was actually not a planned part of the curriculum. I read about accidents all the time and I wonder how the pilot got himself into the situation. I sit and think sometimes that I'll never have that accident because i never do this or do that, yada yada. On one of our training flights, i really pushed my body to the limit doing some intense unusual attitude recoveries that required some solid G-force and then finishing with some spin recoveries. I started feeling a little sick but having never been motion sick in a plane before i pushed myself a little further. Finally, i hit my limit and decided it was time to put my feet back on the ground. I made a radio call stating my intentions to come back to the airport to land, but i called out the wrong tail number and gave an incorrect position call. I stated NE of field when i was actually NW. Then i tried to start descending to pattern altitude but noticed that as i started talking with Dennis that i began climbing instead of descending. A simple basic maneuver, i was struggling with. What was wrong with me? Why couldn't I fly the plane with ease like i always do? My brain had hit the limit. I don't know exactly why, but because of all the stress from the flight conditions i had put my body under, all of a sudden i couldn't think and perform the way i always do. Dennis realized that i was struggling and he took over the controls as we turned final and landed the airplane. Once on the ground we discussed and debriefed my condition. I was overwhelmed, physically and mentally. I had a mission to complete, get my feet on the ground asap, and i let that mission and the way i felt cause me to continue trying to get to the airport although i truly just needed a few minutes to recover and get stabilized. I learned in that moment that if i ever feel that way again, the most important thing for me to do is fly straight and level and regain my bearings. If talking to ATC, just tell them i need a minute and do whatever it takes to calm down and get comfortable again. In Dennis' words, "Walk it off in the air!" Take whatever time you need before proceeding on mission.
I hope that if you have taken the time to read this and have never done any UPRT training, that you highly consider doing it. I'm confident that i have learned life saving lessons that if I ever find myself in a similar situation that I will make decisions that get me home to my family and get to fly another day. And that's what it's all about! I know that money spent on this training is well worth it!!!!
Push, Roll, Climb,Justin Martin
That's sounded like an awesome experience! I would love to do this type of training. I just need to find a good place e near me in San Antonio Tx. So if anyone knows anyone let me know!
Thanks for the great review, I’m thrilled you enjoyed your training as much as I did.
i don’t remember if you downloaded the video from the flight, I think you did, but if not heres a short clip of some of the limited good footage I got. https://youtu.be/v2151YEe-BM it’s a 360 video, if It doesn’t work in your browser try chrome or Firefox.
Carlos, APS is one of the best UPRT providers around, and they have a location in Arlington. Go check them out! http://apstraining.com/location/texas/