Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




A great deal of effort has been made to quantify personality characteristics in the pilots of manned aircraft. However, analysis of similar characteristics of individuals interested in piloting Unmanned Aircraft (UA) remains relatively unexplored. This research examined the Five Factor Model (FFM) personality profiles of individuals pursuing Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) studies at the University of North Dakota (UND). Using the Big Five Inventory (BFI) general personality index, the responses of a UAS Student group (N=65) were compared to a Normative sample group (N=248) previously collected by Petros (2013). Apart from the two highest scoring factors in each group (i.e. conscientiousness (C) for the UAS sample and agreeableness (A) for the normative sample), the ordinal rank of mean factor scores showed similarity between samples. The sample group, comprised of students with either Pre UAS Operations, or UAS Operations declared as a first or second major, scored significantly lower in neuroticism (N) (p<0.001), significantly higher in openness (O) (p<0.01), and significantly higher in conscientiousness (C) (p<0.001) than individuals in the Normative sample. Recommendations for future research encourage the inclusion of the BFI facet scores offered by Soto and John (2008), or application of the Revised NEO Personality Inventory for assessment of more specific traits within the domains of the FFM. Also recommended is the exploration of these personality traits as they appear within individuals, both civil and military, who have completed training for the operation of UAS platforms.