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Journal of Aviation Technology and Engineering




This article is the third in a series of reports called Pilot Source Study 2015. In 2010, when the U.S. Congress considered dramatic changes to airline pilot qualifications, researchers from the ‘‘Pilot Source Study 2010’’ sampled pilots from six regional airlines to investigate how pilots’ backgrounds affected their performance in airline training. In 2012, when the FAA proposed rulemaking to implement Public Law 111-216, the ‘‘Pilot Source Study 2012’’ researchers repeated the study with a new sample of pilots from seven different regional airlines. Data from these two studies were combined into a Pre-Law dataset. On August 1, 2013, the mandates of PL 111-216 became effective, ushering in the Post-Law era. The Pilot Source Study 2015 consists of three articles that cover the 19 U.S. regional airlines operating under 14 CFR Part 121. This report (Article 3) compares pilots’ training outcomes between Pre-Law and Post- Law to determine whether their backgrounds had a stronger or weaker influence on Post-Law outcomes. Background variables were segmented into: (a) educational backgrounds, which occur early when pilots obtain their certificates and (b) experience backgrounds, which occur later when pilots accumulate flight time before applying to a regional airline. When comparing the Pre-Law and Post-Law data, educational backgrounds generally had less effect on airline training outcomes. Experience backgrounds also generally had less effect on airline training outcomes, with these exceptions: (a) previous airline and corporate experience had a more positive effect on extra training events, and (b) previous corporate experience had a more positive effect on completions. In conclusion, the congressionally mandated gap between earning pilot certificates and beginning airline training has reduced the positive effects of pilots’ educational and experience backgrounds.



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