Issued by Astonfly.
June 19, 2019
During the Paris Air Show on 18 June 2019, Apache Aviation Training & Services announced the signing of an Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPRT) contract with the Astonfly ATO school. One of the six Epsilon TB-30s belonging to Apache Aviation will be based at the Astonfly campus at Toussus-le-Noble in France from Autumn 2019 onwards, to be used for the UPRT modules for students from Astonfly.
The training will be delivered by Apache Aviation, which also operates the Breitling Jet Team, the only civil aerobatics team in the world that flies jets. Led by Jacques Bothelin, one of the most experienced aerobatics pilots in the world, with 12,000 flying hours and 3,000 air shows under his belt, all of the pilots are former fighter pilots and have wide aerobatics experience.
"With Apache Aviation we found common values with our own group including a permanent concern with flight safety. The Astonfly course lasts 18 months, of which nine are practical courses on aircraft and simulators. To complete the training of our crews by confronting them in flight with the psychological and physiological effects of unusual attitudes, we have opted for the Apache Aviation TB-30, an airplane well-known by fighter pilot students from French Air Force," explains Charles Clair, president of Astonfly.
Apache Aviation, an operator of aerobatics teams, announced in 2018 the creation of a sister company, Apache Aviation Training & Services, and the launch of a UPRT training module following its acquisition and reconfiguring of six Epsilon TB-30s. The programme offered by Apache Aviation Training & Services is aimed at public transport operators, business aviation operators, private pilots and future pilots of complex airplanes. In accordance with EASA recommendations, the initial instruction includes a theory course, done via an e-learning website, and three flying hours, done in four 45-minute flights.
This programme comes as regulations aim at reducing Loss of Control in Flight (LOCI) accidents, which, though infrequent, are the most serious. The aim is to improve professional pilots' training in preventing and handling unusual attitudes.
The first stage, making it mandatory for air carriers to include UPRT modules in type rating simulator training, with airlines, has been started. The second stage makes mandatory an initial UPRT training course for pilots for complex aircraft type rating. The entry into legislation of this pre-requisite is scheduled for the end of 2019.
The Epsilon TB-30, the leading trainer for French Air Force military pilots, is an aerobatics category airplane, while retaining the flight characteristics close to those of high performance airplane thanks to its high wing loading and efficient but smooth flight controls. The latest-generation onboard avionics is consistent with EFIS technology of current onboard displays, and the IFR classification guarantees conformity with professional pilots' training objectives.
The aft seat occupied by the student offers the unique possibility to explore unusual attitudes under the textile hood in instrument flight with no external visual references, under the control of the pilot instructor. The conditions for the exercise are thus as close as possible to reality.
The Epsilon TB-30's flight envelope (+5.5 G, VNE 280 kt) makes it possible to experience the challenging psychological factors, spatial disorientation and load factors.
The TB-30 has moderate operating costs which allow optimal balance with the training objective. The fleet dedicated to Apache Aviation Training & Services' training programmes bears the characteristic red and black livery with a Native American head.