Motivation in aviation: does it distinguish future top performers?


The formal factors as pilot candidate age, physical status and theoretical knowledge are regulated by the aviation supervisory organizations and are strictly tested before applying to flight training organization. On the other hand, the candidate screening based on human factors and competence is not mandatory and depends on aviation training centre policy. Aviation training centre Baltic Aviation Academy examines the importance of candidate motivation evaluation as it influences the further performance of a student pilot.

The importance of pilot motivation has been analyzed since 1947 when academic Anderson derived theory that pilots who are enjoying flying experience less stress and anxiety in high-performance situations. Scientific works has proved that the greater amount of self-determination the student has, reflective of identified or intrinsic motivation, the more persistent they will be in their training. Self-determined students would also be expected to perform better on tests of flight skills and general pilot knowledge.

‘The main factor in the candidate entry process is commitment and motivation to become a pilot. If you feel that it is exactly who you want to be, you will do more than you can to achieve your goal. If so, then there are almost no reasons why you couldn’t become a pilot. Furthermore, uncertainty and hesitation shows that candidate most probably doubts his choice and has more chance of dropping out in the middle of studies,” says Indre Sveistryte, Head of Flight Training Organization at Baltic Aviation Academy.

In Baltic Aviation Academy motivation is examined during pilot assessment test by conducting structured interview and test where candidate has to write short essay about his reasons why he has chosen to pursue a pilot’s profession. The preparation for assessment has to be done by a candidate himself analyzing his personality’s strong sides, what needs to be improved, where he sees himself working in the future and what is needed in order to achieve that.

‘The candidate has to view pilot assessment as a prevention of investment, strength and time in a case of a negative response. As in any other profession, person who has chosen a speciality which he is able to do but is not passionate about it, after some time will be unsatisfied and unproductive. Before conducting assessment candidate has to rethink reason which motivate person to get pilot’s license, weigh the pros and the cons, consider factors attracting to the job, discuss an issue of finance’, said Indre Sveistryte, Head of Flight Training Organization at Baltic Aviation Academy.

Baltic Aviation Academy constantly puts emphasis on Ab Initio school candidate’s selection model that shows thinking style, co-ordination, spatial orientation, decision making, and ability to work under pressure, team working capabilities and motivation which are key values of successful pilot career.

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