Multidimensional Aptitude Battery-Second Edition Intelligence Testing of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Training Candidates Compared with Manned Airframe Training Candidates
Final rept. Sep 2013-Dec 2014
SCHOOL OF AEROSPACE MEDICINE WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH AEROMEDICAL RESEARCH DEPT
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The advancement of aviation drone technology has led to significant developments and improvements in the capabilities of military remotely piloted aircraft RPAs, also known as drones. The prolific demand for RPA missions has led to an ever-increasing need for RPA pilots and to the development of a U.S. Air Force USAF RPA pilot career field. To date, there are limited objective data published on personnel who desire and self-select to USAF weapons bearing RPA pilots. This study evaluated the pre-training standardized general intelligence testing for three groups of pilot training candidates Group 1 - newly commissioned officers who volunteered to become RPA pilots Group 2 - pilot training candidates who completed undergraduate pilot training for a manned airframe but were reassigned to RPA pilot training and Group 3 - training candidates who completed undergraduate pilot training and were assigned additional manned airframes. General intelligence testing consisted of the Multidimensional Aptitude Battery-Second Edition taken during initial medical flight screening prior to pilot training. Overall, the results of the study reveal the intellectual ability of those who are motivated and self-selected to pursue a career in RPA pilot training is very similar to those who are motivated to pursue manned airframe pilot training. However, performance in any demanding career field is more than a function of intellectual ability, and pilots are no exception. All three groups scored significantly higher than same-age peers in the general population on intellectual ability, but that does not mean that small differences in intellectual ability within these pre-screened, high-functioning populations will be insignificant when subsequently predicting performance and training success.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations