January 1, 1994
The Navy trains pilots to fly a variety of aircraft. At present, all student pilots attend primary training in the fixed-wing T-34 training aircraft and are then assigned to specialized advanced training 'pipelines.' In this paper, we document the Navy's use of observed flight performance in primary to assign student pilots for advanced training. We examine the ability of the Navy to predict student pilot performance before primary begins and early in primary. First, we predict primary flight performance before flight training begins, using the data employed to screen candidates into flight training. Next, we predict primary performance using flight stage grades earned early in primary. We address two major policy issues: (1) how would pipeline selection be affected if the Navy had two separate primaries, one for helicopter training and another for fixed-wing training? and (2) how would pipeline selection be affected if helicopter pilots were selected early in primary training?
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