What is the difference between a loss of control and an upset? From what I have read, first, an upset occurs, which leads to a loss of control (LOC). But, when can one say that the upset has been transformed into a LOC?


1 Answer 1


Aircraft upset

 is a dangerous condition in aircraft operations in which the flight attitude or airspeed of an aircraft is outside the normal bounds of operation for which it is designed. This may result in the loss of control (LOC) of the aircraft, and sometimes the total loss of the aircraft itself.

Loss of control

 is the unintended departure of an aircraft from controlled flight, and is a significant factor in several aviation accidents worldwide and the leading cause of jet fatalities worldwide. Loss of control may be the result of mechanical failure, external disturbances, aircraft upset conditions, or inappropriate crew actions or responses.


  • Upset occurs when attitude and/or airspeed are outside of the boundaries where the aircraft is controllable.

  • Upset is one of many possible causes for loss of control.

  • $\begingroup$ Or in short: upset = you're inverted (could be fun in certain aircraft), loss of control = you can't get back upright. $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Commented Nov 24, 2019 at 14:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Jan, upset is not inverted, and inverted is not an upset in aircraft that are designed for it. $\endgroup$
    – bogl
    Commented Nov 24, 2019 at 16:22

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .