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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Randall Brooks

Friday's Fabulous Flyer

Randall Brooks
VP Training & Business Development
APS Emergency Maneuver Training

There are a variety of career paths in aviation, but when experience and opportunity put a person with knowledge and skill into a position to make a difference in aviation, the industry benefits as a whole. Especially in this case.
Randy Brooks, is an Upset Prevention and Recovery Training instructor for Aviation Performance Solutions. He is using his experience from corporate flight operations and all-attitude/all-envelope flying to help influence the future of aviation.

Randy was born at Edwards Air Force Base while his father attended the Test Pilot School. He soloed in gliders while in high school and began flight instructing during college. While attending the University of Colorado in Boulder working toward a degree in Aerospace Engineering, Randy learned aerobatics in sailplanes, and was instructing in Decathlons, Great Lakes, and Pitts Specials before he graduated.

After teaching aerobatics for a few years, Randy ran off to join the circus...the flying circus, that is. For four years Randy was an inaugural member of the Red Baron Squadron airshow team, learning formation aerobatics and flying as a member of a formation of four Stearman biplanes at airshows nationwide. He enjoyed the precise handling and aerobatic prowess of the Pitts Special flying as a part of a four-ship aerobatic team performing throughout North America and the Caribbean for six years.
Randy finally learned to fly right-side up as a corporate pilot flying King Airs and Citations for the company that owned and operated the Red Baron Squadron. After becoming the Director of Operations for the Red Baron Squadron, he saw an opportunity to "put it all together." 

“I found an opportunity that combined several of my talents.”

As part their strategy to prepare non-jet rated pilots to safely operate the Eclipse 500, Eclipse Aviation planned to provide Upset Recovery Training in an L-39 jet training aircraft. They hired Randy to create the training program and provide flight training for customers. 

“My job was to use my all-attitude/all-envelope flying skills to teach pilots of the Eclipse 500 how to avoid or recover from accidental upsets or loss of control. I ended up doing many things while at Eclipse: flying newly built aircraft in production flight test, demonstration flights, and managing all of our customer flight training both in aircraft and simulators. I hit the pinnacle of my flying career to that point flying aerobatic demonstrations in the company's prototype single-engine jet aircraft at Oshkosh.”

With the bankruptcy of Eclipse Aviation in early 2009 Randy took on his first non-flying job, but it was still within the field of aviation. As the Senior Director of Training for a flight simulator engineering and manufacturing company, he became involved in several special projects, traveling the world for conferences and meetings.

During that time serious interest surfaced in reducing the Loss of Control In-flight (LOC-I) accident rate, which had become the leading cause of aviation fatalities worldwide. Randy worked with members of the Royal Aeronautical Society’s International Committee for Aviation Training in Extended Envelopes (ICATEE), becoming a co-chair of their Training working group.

While involved with ICATEE, Randy met Paul “BJ” Ransbury, President of Aviation Performance Solutions (APS). The principal business of APS was Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPRT) utilizing Extra 300L aerobatic aircraft as well as Level D full Flight Simulators. 
As part of ICATEE, BJ and Randy evaluated multiple simulators in North America and Europe together investigating enhancements to assist in the delivery of UPRT in simulators. In 2012 when BJ asked Randy to join APS, Randy saw an opportunity to get back in the cockpit and use his diverse aptitudes to help train pilots who may not have received the benefits of all-attitude/all-envelope flight.

In 2013, the FAA and ICAO joined forces to find a way to reduce the LOC-I accident rate in the future. As part of ICATEE, BJ Ransbury and Randy participated on the original drafting committee for what became a new ICAO document, the Manual on Aeroplane Upset Prevention and Recovery. The document outlines general training strategies and considerations in the delivery of UPRT. The FAA convened an Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) at ICAO headquarters in Montreal so that ICAO, EASA, Transport Canada, the UK CAA and other international participants could observe and benefit from the proceedings.

BJ and Randy were able to testify on two occasions before the Loss of Control Avoidance and Recovery ARC on their experience in the delivery of UPRT. Many of their messages were received and acted upon. Beginning in August of this year the FAA will require academic and simulator instruction in UPRT for Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) candidates as part of the new ATP Certification Training Program. For its part ICAO will begin recommending that all pilots worldwide receive UPRT “in actual flight” prior to receiving a Commercial Pilot License.

Randy says, “I was fortunate to be in the position of being able to return some of my acquired knowledge, teaching essential aspects of flying that have been lost to the increased use of automation; unfortunately to our peril. I am grateful I had experience in this particular domain of aviation when my voice could be heard.”

We never know where our paths will take us in this industry. But as long as we continue to learn and are willing to try something new, the opportunities will continue to present themselves. But just like Randy, it takes strength to not give up and ambition to keep moving forward. When one door closes, it often means there is another, more important door opening. Eclipse gave Randy the opportunity to perfect his skills. And thanks to the economic downturn in 2009, he was pointed to where he needed to be.

Please join me in thanking this incredible individual for sharing his story.

Randy Brooks
APS Emergency Maneuver Training
Office: 817-465-1881
Skype: randallbrooks

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene


  1. The best aviation education by any standards.
    Absolutely tremendous.

    1. Thank you John, I was thinking the same thing! Thank you so much for your comment!

  2. Keep up the good fight! Hope more pilots will undertake training like that at APS !

    Best Rgds

    1. Thank you Lukas. I wish we had this at the airlines! Maybe one day.


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