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Pilot Training This annotated bibliographies purpose is to inform hopeful pilots as well as their future trainers about the

pilot training world. More specifically the personality and abilities a person needs to become successful during training. One thing that pops up in these articles many times is the term, “cognitive ability,” which is defined as, the mental process of knowing, including aspects such as awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment. This appears to be the most important thing in relation to ones success in flight training. This annotated bibliography consists of mostly peer reviewed articles as there have been numerous studies done on predictors of success, a major reason for this is that the military hopes to cut spending by rejecting hopeful pilots that may not have the right stuff from the get go. Most of the journals are psychological journals, this in its self shows that a pilot’s mental capability is much more important than their physical attributes, a common misconception is that most pilots drop out of training due to the demanding physicals stress, this clearly shows that is not the case. On another note many of these articles are dated from studies from the 1960’s, although these studies are old they hold an important status and remain in this annotated bibliography because of this. They are considered relevant because planes have not changed since then, nor has the way pilots are expected to fly them. Therefore if we are using the same planes and the same techniques than the methods and predictors of success will remain constant. These articles create a sense of what it takes to complete flight training successfully and they give hopeful trainees something to strive for. For clarification, this annotated bibliography covers predictors of success for flight training, including, various studies on the effectiveness of these predictors when put into a testing format. However this paper is not

intended as a guide to follow in order to complete field training but a tool used for learning how a trainee is judged and what the most important abilities of a pilot are. Rene Amalberti, et al. “Cognitive-Adaptation Training For Improving Performance And Stress Management Of Air Force Pilots.” International Journal Of Aviation Psychology 22.3(2012):203-223. Academic Search Premier. Web. 19 Oct. 2013. In this study researchers for the International Journal Of Aviation Psychology review twenty two pilot cadets who are participating in a 7 month training known as the basic flying program. In addition to their basic flying program these cadets were put through cognitive adaptation training, as to enhance their metacognitive skills. As reported previously they believe that increasing the cognitive abilities of a cadet will increase their overall flight scores during their final evaluation. The results of the study showed that cadets who received cognitiveadaptation training had significantly higher flight performance score after the training than before. The results prove the theory that cognitive skills are included as a predicator of a cadet’s success during flight training. Concluding the study, clarifications were made explaining the limitations of the study. The first was that the study sample was small and only contained twenty two pilot cadets. The second was that the control group did not participate in alternative training and the results may be due to a “Hawthorne effect.” Third, the trainees did not have the opportunity to practice the cognitive adaptation techniques outside training sessions. Johnston, P, John, and Victor M. Catano. “Investigating The Validity Of Previous Flying Experience, Both Actual And Simulated, In Predicting Initial And Advanced Military Pilot Training Performance.” International Journal Of Aviation Psychology23.3 (2013):227-224. Academic Search Premier. Web, 19 Oct. 2013. Professors Johnston and

Victor M. Catano at Saint Mary’s University took 300 Canadian Pilot candidates for military pilot training and 150 candidates who attempted intermediate level military pilot training. The article attempts to find a good predictor of success in pilot training. The article found that according to the U.S. Military research suggests that cognitive ability is the most important construct in predicting the success of pilots in training. The article then shows the reader of other research providing analysis by Dr R. Hunter and Burke with supporting facts leaning towards cognitive ability showing less importance. However the reader is warned that the later of the information may be dated and not represent current aviation practices. Upon completion of their research they found that general cognitive ability was in fact the most important predictor of military flight performance. Gibb, Gerald D., and Daniel L. Dolgin, “Predicting Military Flight Training Success By A Compensatory Tracking Task.” Military Psychology(Taylor & Francis Ltd)1.4 (1989):235. Academic Search Premier. Web, 19 Oct. 2013. This study was conducted by researchers for the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory. Researchers wanted to know if utilizing a psychomotor would further aid in the prediction of success while in flight training. Using a psychomotor was common practice in the 1950’s but by the 1960’s it had been abandoned due to the number of miscalculations attributed to the tool. Because of the advances in computer technology a psychomotor is a more reliable tool to be used today. Because of this these researchers conducted a study to test the reliability of a psychomotor test in predicting flight training success. The study consisted of 187 candidates who where entering flight training, the candidates were asked to perform various tasks in perceptual and motor skills. The study found that candidates who failed

this preliminary test were also more likely to drop out of flight school or, if they did graduate the candidates were primarily within the bottom quarter of their class. This study concludes that flight training success is greatly dependant on a candidate’s perceptual and motor skill before entering the training program. Guinn, Nancy, Lackland AFB, TX. Personnel Research Div. Air Forice Human Resources Lab., and Others And. “Background And Interest Measures As Predictors Of Success In Undergraduate Pilot Training. Final Report.” (1976): Eric. Web. 19 Oct. 2013. Researchers at Lackalnd Air Force Base conducted a study of 593 pilot trainees in Officer Training school. The trainees were administered the Strong Vocational Interest Blank and the Officer Biographical and Attitudinal Survey. The researchers then labeled the trainees strictly using the two surveys predicting on whether or not they will pass flight training The researchers monitored their performance during pilot training in order to assess the values of background and interest in the success of flight training. In the end the researchers incorrectly labeled only 10 percent of the passing trainees as failures, this shows that a person’s background and interest are directly involved with their ability to complete flight training. Gordon, Harold W., and Robert Leighty. “Importance Of Specialized cognitive Function In The Selection Of Military Pilots.” Journal Of Applied Psychology 73.1 (1988): 38-45. Business Source Premier. Web. 19 Oct. 2013. In this study researchers from the University of Pittsburg and Carnegie Mellon University took 600 student naval aviators and had them complete cognitive tests during the early stages of training. The two subcategories of the test were verbosequential and visuospacial abilities, where the verbosequential section focused on verbal tests and sounds and the visuospacial test

focused on localization and orientation of objects. Of those tested 22% dropped out or where forced to leave the aviation training program. Both the successful pilots and the dropouts had similar verbosequential skills but their scores were marginally different for the visuospacial skillset. This result suggests that within ones overall cognitive ability visuospacial is the most important concerning becoming successful during flight training. Tuomo, Leino, et al. “Effect Of Cognitive Load On Speech Prosody In Aviation: Evidence From Military Simulator Flights.” Applied Ergonomics 42.2 (2011): 348-357. Academic Search Premier. Web, 16 Oct. 2013. In this study several researchers from the University of Oulu determined that a mental overload affects the safety of aviators and it needs to be alleviated. 15 pilots were set to be tested inside an isolated simulation environment. The researchers set out to record the pilot’s voice frequency during simulation in which increased cognitive load was put on a pilot. These three types of cognitive load were situation awareness, information processing and decision making. The researchers found that during phases of high cognitive load the frequency of the pilots speech increased, on average, by 7 Hz and the mean vocal intensity increased by 1 dB. They found that some pilots were able to keep calm during these high intensity simulated flight situations therefore assuming they had superior cognitive skills and therefore had the potential to be safer aviators. They assumed that some pilots had better stress coping skills than others, either learned or inherited. Syburra, Thomas, Samuel Huber, and Jost Suter. “Motion Sickness In Pilot Trainees: Management To Keep Them Flying.” Aviation, Space & Environmental Medicine 80.10 (2009): 887-889. SPORT Discus Web, 15 Oct. 2013. Researchers from Aviation, Space & Environmental Medicine determined that motion sickness was a recurring problem

during flight training. Because of this they set out to make a motion sickness checklist to be used during the debriefing after a training flight in which the trainee experienced even slight motion sickness. The results showed that up to 47% of trainees experienced motion sickness on their first training flight. Because motion sickness is such a common issue the researchers determined that it had no correlation between the future success of pilots. Backing up this claim the study showed that over time the trainees were able to fly without experiencing any motion sickness or at least a lessoning of the symptoms. After the 7th flight all but one of the initial 13 had absolutely no symptoms of motion sickness and thus they were able to continue flying without being bothered by it. This shows that most trainees will have the ability to overcome motion sickness after a relatively few amount of test flights and that motion sickness does not affect the success of flight training. Hollander, E.P. “Peer Nominations On Leadership As A Predictor Of The Pass-Fail Criterion In Naval Air Training.” Journal Of Applied Psychology 38.3 (1954): 150-153. PsycARTICLES, Web, 19 Oct. 2013. In this study E.P. Hollander from the U.S. School of Aviation Medicine, Pensacola, Florida decided to test ones leadership ability in correlation to success in Naval Air Training. A total of 268 Naval Aviation Cadets who were entered in pre flight training were used as the test subjects. During the third month of training the cadets were administered a list of their fellow cadets in which they were supposed to rank three peers who would be most suited for a leadership position and three who where least likely to succeed in a leadership position. The study found that there was a direct correlation between the results of the leadership ranking and ones pass or fail rating during flight training. This concludes that one’s leadership ability directly

affects their ability to be successful in flight training. Further investigation is required to find out why this correlation is present. Caretta, Thomas R. “Pilot Candidate Selection Method: Still An Effective Predictor Of US Air Force Pilot Training Performance.” Aviation Psychology And Applied Human Factors 1.1(2011): 3-8. PsycARTICLES, Web. 18 Oct. 2013. This study was performed by Thomas R. Caretta, a researcher in aviation psychology. The study was formed to find if the candidate selection method is an effective predictor of U.S. Air Force Pilot training performance. The participants of the study included 883 U.S. Air Force officers selected for Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training. The Candidate Selection Method consists of an analysis focused on the relation of the PCSM score along with the AFOQT pilot composite, TBAS composite, and previous flying hours. To determine whether or not this selection method is still effective, researcher Caretta took the scores of the 883 trainees and compared them to their final evaluation at the end of flight training. Caretta found a direct correlation between the Candidate Selection Method and the trainee’s final evaluation concluding flight training. This shows that the Candidate Selection Method is indeed an effective predictor of U.S. Air Force Pilot training performance and has proved its relevancy. Drinkwater, JL, and BRC Molesworth, “Pilot See, Pilot Do: Examining The Predictors Of Pilots’ Risk Management Behavior.” Safety Science 48.10(n.d) 1445-1451. Science Citation Index. Web, 16 Oct. 2013. In this study researches from the University of New South Wales set out to find predictors of pilots risk management behavior. 56 participants were recruited from various pilot training schools in the surrounding area. The main reason the study was conducted was to find if there were any personal characteristics that directly

affect one’s ability to successfully cope with risk management. The results were contrary to popular belief, they found that the older pilots were more inclined to make risky life threatening decisions whereas the younger pilots stayed more conservative with their decisions. The study also found that those who tested higher in self confidence were also more likely to minimize risk in hazardous situations. The researchers decided that the overall subject needs more testing in order to clarify some of the results but they did manage to find a few bridges in the predictors of risk management behavior and peoples personal attributes. Proper risk management is necessary for success in flight training, this shows the importance of this study on hopeful pilots. Sulistyawati, Ketut, Christopher D. Wickens, and Yoon Ping Chui. “Prediction In Situation Awareness: Confidence Bias And Underlying Cognitive Abilities.” International Journal Of Aviation Psychology 21.2(2011): 153-174. Academic Search Premier. Web, 19 Oct. 2013. This study was conducted by three researchers from leading technical universities in Singapore. It consisted of sixteen military fighter pilots who were to perform air combat simulation. Their situational awareness was assed using the Situation Awareness Global Assessment Technique (SAGAT). The testing was done on a simulation game called Falcon 4.0 which was deemed by the researchers to be a highly qualified simulation to test situational awareness. Their confidence levels on situational awareness were also elicited and derived overconfidence scores. Situational awareness is deemed one of the most important attributes a pilot can have, according to a study done by the FAA in 2008, 88% of all problems related to human error are attributed by problems with situational awareness. The study showed that both prediction and overconfidence bias

were significant predictors of pilots’ performance according to mission survivability, situational awareness may be the number one factor in pilot success. Boyd, James E, John C. Patterson, and Bill T. Thompson. “Psychological Test Profiles Of USAF Pilots Before Training Vs. Type Aircraft Flown.” Aviation, Space, And Environmental Medicine 76.5 (2005): 463-468. MEDLINE. Web, 16 Oct. 2013. Three researchers from the USAF school of Aerospace Medicine Department of Graduate Medical Education conducted a study to observe the psychological test profiles of USAF pilots before training and if that has any correlation to the type of aircraft flown. This study was done in an attempt to disprove the thought of a “fighter pilot” personality. 5518 pilots had taken the psychological test and were included in this study, these pilots were a mix consisting of all types of aircraft. The results of the study showed that the fighter pilot group has a tendency toward narcissism and a willingness to fight, it also showed that they are more purposeful and strong-willed. However they also pointed out that there were only slight deviations between fighter pilots and other pilots as the pilot field itself yielded similar results in all fields. The study shows that all pilots need to have the “fighter pilot” personality in order to do well in both flight training and further in their career. Mark S. Teachout. Et al. “Standard Cognitive Psychological Tests Predict Military Pilot Training Outcomes.” Aviation Psychology And Applied Human Factors 3.1 (2013): 28-38. PsycARTICLES. Web, 16 Oct. 2013. The study was done by Mark S. Teachout who is a researcher for aviation psychology. The study was formed as the first part of an effort to determine the effectiveness of intelligence and personality tests for predicting pilot training outcomes. Data was collected between 1994-2008, 12,924 tests were taken by

pilots attempting to get into flight training. Once accepted their scores were kept and used as an aid in an attempt to predict whether or not one can predict a pilots success in flight training based off their cognitive test scores. The results showed that the aptitude tests did have a slight significance when compared to flight training success but the researchers deemed this as not enough. They concluded that the aptitude tests should not only include cognitive ability but they also need to test ones experience, psychomotor abilities, and overall personality. By adding these factors in for prequalification the researchers agree in a higher passing rate for trainees during flight training. Bartram D. and H. C. A. Dale. “The Eysenck Personality Inventory As A Selection Test Fo r Military Pilots.” Journal Of Occupational Psychology 55.4 (1982): 287-296. Academic Search Premier. Web, 16 Oct. 2013. This study was conducted by two researchers from the Ergonomics Research Group from the University of Hull. This was conducted in order to test various personality tests in order to determine their effectiveness for predicting pilot success in flight training. A personality test was given to 432 pilots in order to test their personalities and contrast them to the general population. Further in their research they determined that the study was flawed and that it is not possible to judge the extent of the personality test as they had only been administered to men accepted for training. They determined that the information attained from non pilots was not able to be shown in relation to the ones taken by the pilots so further research is necessary to back up their claims. David R. Hunter, Eugene F. Burke. “Predicting Aircraft Pilot-Training Success: A MetaAnalysis Of Published Research.” The International Journal Of Aviation Psychology (1994). Web, 19 Oct. 2013. Researchers from the Federal Aviation Administration in

Washington, DC set out in an attempt to predict aircraft pilot-training success. They took 68 published studies from 1940-1990 extracting 468 correlations for a cumulated sample of 437,258 cases. They are interesting in finding out predictors of success in flight training to help alleviate some of the cost from trainees failing out. The average cost for each failure ranges from $50,000 to $80,000 which is a substantial amount to invest without return. They found that none of the predictor groups satisfied enough correlation to provide any substantial evidence to differ selection methods. Therefore the researchers agree that the selection method in use is the best way to predict success in flight training and until further research is made the armed forces will continue to use these tried and true methods.