No surprise— upset recovery worse when surprised.

New research in The International Journal of Aerospace Psychology on the influence of surprise on upset recovery performance in airline pilots is no surprise. Hint— unexpected unusual attitudes caused “significantly more difficulties”.

Best be over-prepared. And remember, this was still in a sim. If it happens for real, in a plane, with weird g-forces and the ground in a strange place on the windshield, I’ll bet our performance will be worse than what the researchers saw!

Full paper is free online:

The Influence of Surprise on Upset Recovery Performance in Airline Pilots
Annemarie Landman, Eric L. Groen, M. M. (René) van Paassen, Adelbert W. Bronkhorst & Max Mulder.
The International Journal of Aerospace Psychology. Vol. 27 , Iss. 1-2, 2017