Consumer perceptions about pilot training: An emotional response.
Rosser, Timothy G.
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Civilian pilot training has followed a traditional path for several decades. With a potential pilot shortage approaching, ICAO proposed a new paradigm in pilot training methodology called the Multi-Crew Pilot License. This new methodology puts a pilot in the cockpit of an airliner with significantly less flight time experience than the traditional methodology. The purpose of this study was to determine to what extent gender, country of origin and pilot training methodology effect an aviation consumer’s willingness to fly. Additionally, this study attempted to determine what emotions mediate a consumer’s decision. This study surveyed participants from India and the United States to measure their willingness to fly using the Willingness to Fly Scale shown to be valid and reliable by Rice et al. (2015). The scale uses a five point Likert-type scale. In order to determine the mediating emotions, Ekman and Friesen’s (1979) universal emotions, which are happiness, surprise, fear, disgust, anger, and sadness were used. Data were analyzed using SPSS. Descriptive statistics are provided for respondent’s age and willingness to fly values. An ANOVA was conducted to test the first four hypotheses and Hayes (2004, 2008) bootstrapping process was used for the mediation analysis. Results indicated a significant main effect for training, F(1, 972) = 227.76, p ˂ .001, ηp ² = 0.190, country of origin, F(1, 972) = 28.86, p ˂ .001, ηp ² = 0.029, and a two-way interaction was indicated between training and country of origin, F(7, 972) = 46.71, p ˂ .001, ηp ² = 0.252. Mediation analysis indicated the emotions anger, fear, happiness, and surprise mediated the relationship between training and country of origin, and training. The findings of this study are important to designers of MPL training programs and airline marketers.