Air Force Refines Pilot Selection Process to Support Nominal Diversity | Vas military news
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) – Several Air Education and Training Command initiatives aimed at removing barriers for qualified candidates in the pilot candidate selection process were highlighted in the semi-annual assessment of Air Force for its initial report on racial disparities in September. 9.
Pilot candidates can now:
• Use their highest composite scores from any Air Force Officer Qualification Test (AFOQT) rather than the most recent score.
• Complete the Test of Basic Aviation Skills (TBAS) up to three times, the third requiring a waiver from the candidate’s Wing Commander or equivalent.
• Resume AFOQT and TBAS after 90 days from the previous requirement of 150 days for AFOQT and 180 days for TBAS.
• Participate in study sessions with other people who have not yet taken the test if the candidate has never taken AFOQT either.
These changes came after extensive research by the Pilot Selection Process Working Group tasked with identifying potential obstacles while meeting the standards of excellence of the Pilot Candidate Selection Method used since 1993.
“Our studies have concluded that these changes will result in the selection of more qualified candidates from under-represented groups for training,” said Lt. Col. Brandi King, AETC task force leader.
Previous flight experience a barrier to qualification
Previous flight experience, the second most important component of a candidate’s PCSM score, is particularly a socio-economic barrier for candidates without access or without the financial means to pay for flying lessons. To overcome this hurdle, the Air Force now only takes into account a candidate’s first 60 hours of flight time when scoring a candidate.
“There is no evidence that more than 61 hours of flight experience constitutes a significant advantage for successful pilot training,” said Dr Katie Gunther, head of strategic research and evaluation at Air Force Personnel Center. “The probability of successful flight training increases dramatically from 0 hours to 60 hours, then levels off relatively. “
The task force also found that removing the highest flight hour ranges as part of the PCSM score would result in a more diverse candidate pool. According to the Validation of the 2020 Pilot Candidate Selection Method report prepared by the Strategic Research and Evaluation Directorate of the PSAC, removing the four highest ranges of flight hour codes would have resulted in 69 Hispanics in addition, 47 more women and 26 more blacks / Africans. Qualified US applicants over a 12-year period.
“Flight lessons are expensive and could potentially exclude qualified applicants from becoming air force pilots due to limited income or a lack of opportunities,” the brigadier said. Gen. Brenda Cartier, AETC Director of Operations and Communications and General Manager of the Pilot Selection Process Working Group. “To ensure that we do not screen out otherwise qualified applicants, flight programs have been implemented at both the United States Air Force Academy and the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. Cadets receive free ground and flight training, as well as an opportunity to learn essential skills and directly improve their competitiveness for pilot selection panels.
Pilot selection process
A PCSM score quantifies a pilot candidate’s predicted ability to successfully complete undergraduate pilot training. This score is made up of AFOQT and TBAS scores, previous flight experience, and other “whole concept of the person” merits such as cumulative grade point average, fitness assessment scores and rank. the class.
“The data confirms that the PCSM is the best single predictor of pilot training completion,” King said. “However, it is imperative that we continue to re-evaluate our selection methods and remove barriers that hinder the diversity assessed without compromising test integrity or lowering standards.”