Cheaper aviation insurance through advanced flight training
By Juri Keyter
Yes, similar to options in the car insurance industry, you can now also get a reduction in your aircraft insurance premiums by successfully completing advanced emergency recovery training. Such an initiative is long overdue in aviation but as expected, PSG Insure is the first to offer this incentive program. Your profile as a pilot will of course always remain the main consideration element when it comes to insurance but you can improve your risk profile by simply having extreme fun, learning new flight recovery techniques and building confidence when attending this exhilarating course presented by Neville Ferreira, unlimited aerobatic and air show pilot. I was fortunate to be invited by Neville to attend this course and trust me, what I learnt and experienced was something out of this world. Having fun to reduce your insurance premiums? Can it get better than this?
Neville Ferreira - unlimited aerobatic and air show pilot
The insurance incentives that may be offered by PSG Insure after successful completion of the course are:
This is the essence of the story I want to share with you today. I must add that although I have completed some aerobatic training courses in the past and have limited aerobatic experience, rehearsing this recovery technique in my head versus doing it for real were two completely different things. Please don't read this and think that you will be able to complete it when the chips are down. You won't and I know this from first-hand experience. I rehearsed it in my head a thousand times and when I had to perform it in the air for the first time we were inverted, pushing negative "G" and as result I could not even look down (or was it up) to check the position of the controls in the cockpit - a crucial component of the technique. I never considered this while rehearsing the manoeuvre on the ground and this, one of many other extreme conditions / attitudes during the training rendered me useless. Until you have not done it in real life, you have no clue!!
Intense moments during the first recovery exercise
So, what is this advance emergency recovery formula? It is a procedure developed by Bill Finigan over decades of aerobatic flying, spinning and experimenting. Finigan (aged 78 when Neville attended his training in 2014) has over 13,000 Pitts Special flying hours of which more than 6,500 hours were spin training and experimenting. The recovery technique he developed was tested on 46 different aircraft types and all of them safely recovered with the exact same procedure. This is the beauty of the program: it is right for you regardless of what you fly. Of course we are not talking about custom type air show aircraft with radical aft CFG or aircraft with flight characteristics of a Grand Piano. We are talking about your certified aircraft and probably 99% of NTCA also. Neville offer the training in a Yak 52 simply because it is capable of high "G" and inverted flying but you are also welcome to use your own aircraft if it has the capability.
Yak 52 - Perfect training aircraft
The advance emergence recovery formula has four simple steps and by following them in sequence when your aircraft is out of control, it will recover to straight and level flying provided that you have enough altitude.
Step 1: Rip off the power With the engine producing power, it could have many aerodynamic and gyroscopic effects. Many of these effects may be unpredictable but you can be assured that they do exist. The emphasis of the action lies in the word "RIP" indicating an abrupt or urgent movement to quickly eliminate this adverse effect caused by engine / propeller torque.
Step 2: Force all controls neutral We all know that trying to use ailerons in spin recovery actually intensify the spin in most cases and this is just one simple example where the angle of your control surface may produce an unintended effect. Depending on the speed or even the direction of air flow over your aircraft, your controls may be stiff or perhaps feel neutralised and you therefore must check them and "FORCE" them to the neutral position.
Step 3: Wait for 100mph Finigan demonstrated on 46 different aircraft that by following steps 1 and 2, your aircraft will return to an upright attitude with the nose pitched down. The nose down attitude will now accelerate the aircraft but there is no point in changing the attitude prematurely. Step 3 is therefore intended to delay any further action until your aircraft reached flying speed.
Step 4: Pull out of the dive Once you reached flying speed, you can pull out of the dive and you'll live another day to tell the tale.
From the above technique, it is clear that you do not even need visual reference outside your aircraft. In fact, you should not even try to look out your aircraft during this recovery as it will have absolutely no value at all until your aircraft is back under your control and command. You are far better off focusing inside to ensure that your throttle is closed, your controls are completely neutralised and your air speed instrument indicate 100mph before your pull out of the dive.
Again, remember that by rehearsing these steps in your head is a good preparation before practically doing it with Neville during the course but do not think that it is that easy in real life. During the training flight you close your eyes, wait for Neville to disorientate you slightly with some erratic flying and by the time he hands control back to you for the recovery, you can't remember your name or the formula not to mention the physical restrictions of performing the required physical actions.
Snipped Video of an advance emergency recovery training flight
Trust me!! This training will probably be the most valuable and fun training you've had in a long time and I will certainly attend it again.