Follow-on Student Pilot Performance Differences Based on Private Pilot Training in a Residential Collegiate Program or Non-Collegiate Program
Cihak, Anton William II
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The purpose of this study was two-fold: to examine the difference between students who had obtained a private pilot certificate from a residential collegiate flight program and students who had obtained a private pilot certificate from a non-collegiate flight program in a) pilot performance and b) time spent completing commercial and instrument flight courses. A supplemental analysis of the differences in the number of lessons required to complete commercial and instrument flight training was also conducted as a further comparison between pilot groups. This study utilized an ex post facto, effects-based methodology and design with data derived from a university flight program’s archived flight records spanning a five-year period. A census of the commercial and instrument student records was used to provide the following: the sum of graded lesson objectives in each course, the ground and flight hours completion for each course, and the number of lesson attempts in each course. Independent-samples t tests conducted on the graded activity sums indicated no significant difference between pilot groups. MANOVAs conducted on the ground and flight times within each commercial and instrument course revealed a significant difference between pilot groups in the first of three commercial pilot courses. Follow-up univariate ANOVAs further revealed a significant difference in ground instruction time required with non-collegiate trained private pilots requiring more ground instruction time than collegiate trained pilots. No other time-related significant findings between pilot groups were identified. Mann-Whitney U tests on the lesson attempts indicted a significant difference between pilot groups in the first of three commercial pilot courses with non-collegiate trained private pilots requiring more lessons than collegiate trained pilots to complete the course. Findings of this study build upon existing research and contribute to a greater understanding of collegiate flight training with a focus on improving integration of non-collegiate trained private pilots into the collegiate training environment.