Basin Electric pilots practice barrel rolls, loops and inverted flight (Video)

Pilots in flight

(From left) Ryan Anderson, director of aviation, and Steven Schaffner, student intern pilot, ensure their passengers have another safe journey to their destination.

Some job training is more intense than others. Job training that requires a barf bag is on the more intense end of the spectrum.

Ryan Anderson, Basin Electric director of aviation, and another Basin Electric pilot completed upset prevention and recovery training Jan. 5-7 in Phoenix, AZ. The central theme of the training is recovering an aircraft from various attitudes, or the orientation of an aircraft with respect to the horizon.

“The whole point of the training was when you are in some unusual attitude and stalled situation, you recover in the proper manner and don’t let the shock of the situation take over,” Anderson says.

Anderson and Borneo

Ryan Anderson, right, stands with Aviation Performance Solutions instructor pilot Bill Gregory, who went by the call sign “Borneo.” Gregory was a commanding pilot on the Endeavor space shuttle and spent some time in space in 1995.

The training was conducted in an acrobatic aircraft that allowed the pilots to experience aircraft attitudes and phases of flight they don’t normally see, such as inverted flight, 90-degree flight with nose down, barrel rolls and complete loops.

“Hanging in your seat straps, that sort of thing,” Anderson says.

Stomach churning yet?

“I won’t lie, I filled a few barf bags,” Anderson says with a chuckle. “You’re going from positive to negative G’s quite a bit – it’s a whole other level. By day four I made it through without using a bag.”

Basin Electric’s aviation crew undergoes flight simulator training every six months, but Anderson finds real flight training to be very valuable. For example, during the recent training he was able to practice recovering an aircraft from a stalled nose-down position. To recover from that stall, the pilot must lower the plane’s nose even more to increase airflow over the wings.

“When you’re already 60 degrees nose-down looking at the ground, and you need to push forward even more, it’s completely unnatural,” Anderson says. “I’ve always been trained to do that, but it’s something in my mind that doesn’t naturally click. And that’s the reason for this training.”

All of Basin Electric’s pilots have already or will be undergoing the upset prevention and recovery training. Anderson says it aligns with Basin Electric’s Our Power, My Safety process and its focus on continuous safety improvement.

“It shows Basin Electric’s commitment to safety and its employees, and that Basin Electric is very serious about having a well-trained crew and best flight department it can provide,” Anderson says.

Josh Ritter, Basin Electric Pilot III, also completed the upset prevention and recovery training. Watch Ritter’s video of aerial maneuvers practiced in the training.

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