U.S. Air Force pilot selection and training methods

Aviat Space Environ Med. 2000 Sep;71(9):950-6. doi: 10.21236/ada430320.


Background: U.S. Air Force (USAF) pilot selection and training procedures have changed substantially in the last several years. Pilot selection procedures were augmented with the introduction of computer-based testing to assess pilot aptitude. Training procedures have changed in an effort to modernize the training fleet and provide better, more specialized training earlier in the training process.

Results: Despite several studies showing the utility of USAF pilot aptitude tests for predicting training performance, results of a recent policy capturing study suggest that this information is often ignored by pilot candidate selection boards. The two largest sources of USAF pilot trainees relied heavily on measures of officership when making selection decisions. Cumulative research findings suggest that USAF pilot selection decisions could be improved by making better use of currently available personnel attribute data. Further improvements could be expected from the addition of a structured selection interview and measures of personality.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Military Personnel*
  • Personnel Selection*
  • United States