Jon “Huggy” Huggins is the Executive Director of the Citation Jet Pilots (CJP), Inc. A 27-year pilot for the USAF, Huggy spent the bulk of his career in the classified U-2 program, and flew over 7200 hours and 4100 flights in the U-2, T-38, and King Air 350ER. He is an avid General Aviation pilot who enjoys flying jet warbirds, is an airshow announcer, and is single-pilot type rated in the Cessna 525 series of aircraft.

Flight Research Inc. would like to thank Jon for his service to our country and his continuing contribution to aviation safety.

“We appreciate the opportunity to fly with Jon and his involvement in the ongoing development of our customized URRT curriculums for the Cessna Jet aircraft owner/user.”

Read below what he had to say.

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Jon Receiving URRT Cert From Bill Korner - CEO Flight Research             Jon Huggins With Bill Oefelein - Instructor Flight Research

Upset recovery training

  by  Jon Huggins on Wed Dec 17

There are some good discussions elsewhere on the Internet about stall recoveries. It is good to hear that many of you are taking the initiative to accomplish the Upset Recovery Training courses that are offered by various firms. My perception is that there is such a lack of emphasis on this during much of our early civilian flight training, and it seems that as we progress, there is little-to-no new or recurrent training. And the Loss of Control statistics validate that we need it, especially with the increased emphasis on automation. Loss of Control doesn't always mean getting the jet inverted. Simply stalling at low altitude is arguably your biggest threat.

Because of my background in upset recovery training, I was invited by Flight Research Inc (http://www.flightresearch.com ) in Mojave CA to attend their Upset Recovery Training Course, and to give them some feedback on it. 

Their pedigree is impressive: it was created by the founders of the National Test Pilot School (NTPS). Their instructor pilots include 2 Space Shuttle Test Pilots with a combined total of 5 space flights; 2 highly experienced Flight Test Engineers from the AF Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB; a full blown maintenance and egress section; and a fleet of about 40 aircraft, including jets, props, and helicopters, which comprise the aircraft used at NTPS.

There are a number of things I like about Flight Research’s program:

- They don’t use full-up aerobatic aircraft. 

--- As a Citation Jet pilot, I feel that my desired learning objectives are best satisfied by using something that will have a slower roll rate, and that I cannot pull 9G’s in. Aerobatic aircraft are different to recover, and I’m not convinced that for a 2-3 ride syllabus they are the best option. Apples and oranges. Just my opinion. 

--- There is no argument that learning to fly and spin an unlimited aerobatic aircraft will make you a better pilot. But are they the optimum aircraft for improving your upset recovery skills in a Citation Jet in only 2-3 rides? 

- For one of your two flights in the Flight Research syllabus, you do recoveries in an actual business jet… they use a Sabreliner. Very realistic. Very eye opening. If you haven’t seen 80 degrees of bank with 20 degrees nose low or 30-40 degrees nose high in a bizjet, you will be impressed. 

- For the 2nd flight, they use an Impala… a tandem light attack/trainer jet. Despite its military pedigree, the Impala doesn’t have the crispy roll rate of the T-38 that I’m used to, and you must use the same type of recovery techniques (e.g. unload!) that they teach for the bizjets. Plus, just getting to fly the Impala is a treat. 

- Instructor cadre: the resume will only get you so far, and then your instructors actually need to be good at what they do. And the three pilots I worked with had a great deal of knowledge and experience in upset recoveries, and were good at teaching it. 

- Syllabus: it is solid, but they are aggressively seeking input to continue to improve it. And they demonstrated a lot of flexibility based on the backgrounds of my classmate and me. 

- The weather: I believe they have VFR flying weather around 330 days per year.

- Airspace: they operate in the Edwards AFB MOA’s… literally over the top of Mojave Airport. No time spent droning to and from the work area. 

- Admin and facilities: top notch. 

Flight Research recently became a CJP Patron (introductory level) Partner, and are looking to develop a course that will specifically address Citation Jet nuances. They are very interested in knowing exactly what will appeal to CJP members, and incorporating that into their academics. More to follow there. They also have partnered with Embry Riddle Aeronautical University as a provider for ERAU’s upset training. And they are investigating synergies that will allow CJP members to get their 61.58 updated in conjunction with their upset training. Finally, they are in discussions with insurance companies to get CJP members that graduate their course an insurance discount. 

If anyone wants to discuss my experience in more detail, give me a ring.

Jon "Huggy" Huggins
CJP Executive Director



Flight Research leads the industry in professional upset recognition & recovery training, as well as testing and certification for airframes, aircraft modifications, avionics and weapons systems. Call us today at 661-824-4136 and let's discuss your training or testing needs.