International Enhanced Aviation Safety Working Group on Stalls and Upset Recovery Meets in The Netherlands

Breda, Netherlands, 13 June 2011 – The International Committee for Aviation Training in Extended Envelopes (ICATEE) announced today an industry-wide attendance at its fourth 2011 conference, being hosted by TNO, NLR and KLM. These organizations, who are members of ICATEE, are involved in developing and implementing strategies to improve aviation safety. The meetings will take place on June 14, 15 and 16.

Loss of Control In-flight (LOC-I) is defined as flight that occurs outside of the normal flight envelope with an inability of the pilot to control the aircraft. In a report issued by Boeing in July 2010, the Commercial Aviation Safety Team’s statistical research identifies LOC-I as the most severe hull loss causal factor in commercial aviation worldwide over the past 10 years, resulting in the most crash-related fatalities from 2000 through 2009. Recent examples of LOC-I related incidents include:

  • Q-400, Continental (Colgan Air) 3407, Buffalo NY, Feb 2009 (aircraft stalled during approach)
  • Boeing 737, Turkish Airlines 1951, Amsterdam, March 2009 (aircraft stalled short of the runway)

“ICATEE was established in 2009 to enhance the safety of commercial air travel to protect the travelling public” said Dr. Sunjoo Advani, president of the Breda, Netherlands-based company International Development of Technology b.v., and Chairman of ICATEE, “Technology and good training practices have made air travel the safest way of getting from A to B. The accidents that still occur are often attributed to the LOC-I problem, which has much to do with the pilot’s ability to recognize and prevent problems, before they become serious. ICATEE’s task is to recommend flight training solutions to standardize and quality-assure initiatives to significantly reduce airline crashes globally. With the involvement of all major stakeholder groups from the aviation industry, we have the unique ability to identify problems, suggest reasonable solutions, and validate these. It also is very assuring that one of the main participants in ICATEE, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has mandated upset recovery training for its new pilots in collaboration with Aviation Performance Solutions (APS) in Mesa, Arizona (also an ICATEE member).” This training will be conducted through the KLM Flight Academy. KLM and other airlines continue to introduce Upset Prevention and Recovery Training into the pilot training and qualification programs.

ICATEE is primarily interested in improving the use of current flight simulators for the purpose of training pilots to deal with unusual conditions, like stalls and upsets. These can be caused by atmospheric conditions, system malfunctions, or a reduced awareness by the pilot. “Our primary goal is to use today’s flight simulators in a better way, with some modifications to their performance”.

Additionally, ICATEE is following novel technology development programs, such SUPRA, which could offer unique capabilities to the training of pilots. SUPRA stands for “Simulation of Upset Recovery in Aviation” and is based on the one-of-a-kind Desdemona flight simulator, located at TNO research laboratory in Soesterberg, the Netherlands. SUPRA explores new ways of simulating upset events on the ground. “Current flight simulators are adequate for pilot training in normal flight regimes, however are limited in terms of the aircraft motions that can be reproduced by the simulator motion system”, says Dr. Eric Groen, Senior Scientist at TNO and Scientific Coordinator of the SUPRA project. The EC-funded research project is is exploring how accurately the g-forces and motions can be simulated, and how beneficial these are to pilot performance. Partners from the Netherlands, Germany, Russia, Spain, Austria and the United Kingdom work together on developing extended aerodynamic models using advanced engineering methods that previously had not been applied to this problem such as the cutting-edge computational fluid dynamics techniques of NLR, and a completely new type of simulator called Desdemona. This centrifuge-based research simulator is capable of reproducing sustained g-forces, a motion cue that may prove vital for the simulation of upset events. Another facility essential for the success of the SUPRA project is the GRACE simulator at NLR, Amsterdam; it will be used to demonstrate the improvements achievable in standard training simulators as they are commonplace today. If successful, the technologies developed by SUPRA may be found in all training simulators in the future.

“Next week will be exciting and challenging, as we bring together the world’s experts to discuss current safety issues and try to come rather quickly with resolutions that can be implemented into training devices and training procedures. We are very hopeful that these changes will result in improved aviation safety. We may never know whose lives we will have saved, but knowing that we can make a difference is very gratifying”, says ICATEE chairman Sunjoo Advani.

About ICATEE – the International Committee for Advanced Training in Extended Envelopes

ICATEE operates through the Flight Simulation Group of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a non-profit learned society, and is supported through participation of approximately experts from 40 organizations representing the aircraft industry, simulator manufacturers, training providers, regulators, researchers and airline customers. Participants include Boeing, Airbus, the FAA, NTSB, NASA and many others. ICATEE has introduced the concept of comprehensive Upset Prevention and Recovery Training at the international level.   ICATEE is chaired by Dr. Sunjoo Advani, Mr. Peter Tharp, and Capt. Gordon Woolley (Past Chairman of the RAeS Flight Simulation Group) where all three are members of the RAeS Flight Simulator Group.

The importance of Dutch research participation is significant: The National Aerospace Laboratory NLR, and TNO Soesterberg are developing some of the key technologies that will potentially go into all training simulators in the future.

More information is available online at

Contact Information:

Dr. Sunjoo K. Advani, Chairman
International Committee for Aviation Training in Extended Envelopes ICATEE
An initiative of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Flight Simulation Group
London, UK
tel. +31 655 737 345

s.advani (at) idt-engineering (dot) com

The Desdemona facility at TNO offers new motion capabilities. Picture copyright by TNO.


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