Date of Award

January 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Shayne Daku


The development of one’s identity is connected to the level of effort willing to be committed to goal achievement. Per Velleman (2006), what someone cares about, determines what they must do for survival (p.336). While identity has been dissected, the applicability of connection for social and professional ties within aviation has not been thoroughly processed. General aviation flying and that of airline pilots has been compared regarding skill and safety association, but not in identity construction. A population of airline pilots was researched, that may or may not have been actively participating GA, with attempt to establish factor recognition of identity formation via quantitative survey, and qualitative, open-ended interviews. The objective was to uncover whether a social identity in GA impacts a professional identity for airline pilots, opening doors for growth in both piloting realms. Themes were expected to emerge regarding primacy, background, and currency, that were directed by initial survey findings. Actual themes deduced through coding of qualitative interviews connected to the quantitative phase, but emphasized more strongly points of primacy, self-credibility/worth, attachment, community, and commitment.