Pilot aptitude is the capacity of an individual, through innate or acquired ability, to be a pilot.
Aptitude testing gives information on strengths and weaknesses in terms of potential for being a pilot. Flight training is an expensive investment and is generally a lifetime career choice. So it is sensible to find out whether an individual is well suited to the profession before spending money on training.
Pilot aptitude testing involves a series or “battery” of tests that measure an individual’s knowledge, skills and attitudes in regard to their competence to fly (or learn to fly) an aircraft. They generally fall into three broad areas:
Usually the tests are taken on a computer and typically last about 2 hours.
Yes. Pilot aptitude tests are used in the selection systems of most airlines and by the military to assess potential pilot candidates.
The complete battery of aptitude tests is offered at $495.00 ($450.00 plus GST) per candidate. The cost is about the same as a single training flight at many flight schools.
Contract rates for multiple candidates are available on request.
Some companies offer some on-line tests, although these are usually just a sample of the types of tests to expect. For accurate and credible results in the full range of tests, it is important that tests are conducted in a controlled environment, free of noise and distractions and using standardised and calibrated equipment. Professional testing should also require proof of candidates' ID to ensure the integrity of the tests.
The tests are conducted at the Simulator Training Centre at the Aviation Australia Campus, Boronia Road, Brisbane Airport. There is ample parking at the campus and bus services are available directly to the Aviation Australia Campus from a number of city locations.
The Simulator Training Centre is on the North Western corner of Boronia Road, opposite the Aviation Australia Administration building.
Please arrive at the testing centre at least 10 - 15 minutes before the booked time slot.
On arrival at the Aviation Australia Campus, you will be directed to the test room and given a short briefing. You will then be seated at a computer, which has a "joystick" style control column and rudder pedals, as well as a normal keyboard. You will take the tests by following the instructions on the screen. You can take a brief rest in between tests and there is a short practice run before each new test so you can "settle in". Tests include visual and audible elements as well as physical inputs through the joystick and rudder pedals. At the end of the test your results will be analysed by the computer and given to your sponsoring airline or flight school in the form of a comprehensive, multiple page report.
In order to get a true measure of a candidate's potential, it is much better to undertake pilot aptitude tests without specific practice. Certain skills are innate, but knowledge and certain acquired skills can be improved with practice. However, rather than practising for specific tests, it is much better to address underpinning areas.
Dr Steve Holding at the College of Aeronautical Science in Brisbane conducts courses in Mental Maths, Numeracy, Aviation Mathematics and Physics. Dr Holding's website is at http://www.aeroscience.com.au
You may like to bring a bottle of water but you do not need anything else other than a photo ID. Just arrive in plently of time, so you are not flustered or rushed.
The basic Compass test battery is designed for pilots with limited or no previous flying experience. The advanced tests are designed for more experienced or qualified professional pilots. It is recommended that pilots holding a Pilot's Licence or pilots with more than approx 100 hours flying experience should take the advanced tests. More details on both test batteries can be found under the "ABOUT THE TESTS" tab on the main menu.