Personality Profiles in Aviation

Most current personality assessment instruments have a data set (norm) that does not accurately reflect airline needs. Leading to either a high fail rate in selection (airline reports are up to 75%) and the resulting lack of confidence in the tests, which leads to airlines constantly changing personality test types without recognizing that the real requirement is for a proven norm set, one that measures candidates against profiles of proven well performing pilots.

We at KM Flight Research & Training recognized this and started to work on our research to create the ‘Performance Based Pilot Personality Profile’ (4P) to fill the gap and provided safe, efficient and cost effective means to successfully measure these other characteristics. Adding resilience i.e. the individual traits that either add or detract from resilience, identified by behavioural researchers as positive appraisal, optimism and expertise that should be used as a measure for well performing airline pilots. Our new performance based profile has already proved to correct this gap and has been was successfully validated in a recent selection of 200 ready entry pilots, making use of the widely respected and used NEO Personality Inventory Revised (NEO-PI-R) measure of the FFM that meets the EASA Task Force recommendations (contact us for further details of these benefits).

In 2017 you could see our updated “4P” presentation at WATS 2017:

You can see our “Professional Pilot Personality in Selection” the at 20st World Airline Training Conference and Tradeshow (WATS) 2017 in Orlando, Florida.

Partial results of the “4P” study was presented in 2016:

Presented “Pilot Personality in Selection; how to integrate PP into Training” the at 15th European Airline Training Symposium (EATS) 2016 Berlin Germany.

Presented Performance based Pilot Personality Profile-Defining a Well Performing pilot at the European Association for Aviation Psychology (EAAP) 2016 Thinking High and Low: Cognition and Decision Making in Aviation. Cascais, Portugal.

Presented Pilot Personality in Selection; how to integrate PP into Training. at the '5th European Congress of Aerospace Medicine. (ECAM) 2016 Pushing the Limits of Aerospace Medicine Together. Oslo, Norway.

Presented Pilot Personality in Selection the Use or Misuse of Science; Are we Measuring What Needs to be Measured? at the 13th Asia Pacific Airline Training Symposium (APATS) 2016 Building a Safety Culture through Sharing Best Practice in Airline Training'. Singapore.


A better understanding of the personality profiles and stress coping strategies of pilots entering civil aviation training programs helps develop better selection, training, and safety programs for the civil aviation industry.