Symbiotics implements pilot aptitude scheme for Qatar Emiri Air Force

Symbiotics implements pilot aptitude scheme for Qatar Emiri Air Force

3-Oct-2012 Source: Symbiotics

Symbiotics Ltd leading international specialists in human performance assessment and training solutions, has been working with Défense Conseil International (DCI) and the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF), to develop and implement a new aircrew pre-selection solution, aimed at helping stream potential pilots (fixed and rotary wing) into the QEAF elite flying training programme and at improving efficiency of assessment programmes and recruitment programmes.

Based around Symbiotics Ltd’s well established ADAPT (Assess Develop and Performance Training) suite of aircrew selection tools, the bespoke pilot aptitude solution blends an aviation context and performance psychology with psychometrics and simulation, to determine individual skills and assess the impact of behaviour, culture, personality and technology. Resultant reports give a complete understanding of a candidate in terms of skill, personality and situation.

Nikki Heath, Founder and CEO of Symbiotics Ltd commented: “The challenge was to provide multiple screening capabilities and  detailed reports on the physical, mental and behavioural characteristics of each candidate, their trainability as flight crew, their likely operational effectiveness and how they will fit into the Air Academy organisation.  The solution must also be scalable, should make the task of assessing would-be pilots easier and even reduce wasteful training”.

The pilot aptitude solution comprised a network of 8 computers incorporating flight controls (joystick, foot-pedals, throttles etc.), running assessment programs and displaying high-specification graphics on high-definition wide-screen monitors.

Using established methodologies and key features of ADAPT ™ Symbiotics Ltd created a contextual test for pre-assessment.

QEAF chose tests from Symbiotics Ltd range to build up a comprehensive assessment taking 2 hours to complete and including the following elements:

  • Mathematics
  • Co-ordination (hands, eyes and feet)
  • FAST (Future Aptitude Screening Tool) – personality, multi-tasking, situation awareness, memory, reasoning ability, numeracy, self-evaluation and learning
  • Fixed wing flying
  • Rotary wing flying
  • Questionnaire (values and personality)

The system was developed to deliver the assessment in both Arabic and English and to offer three different modes to the customer.

Demonstration Mode – providing example maths questions and personality questionnaire, short samples of the co-ordination and flying elements as well as producing representative sample reports

  • Pre-screen Co-ordination Assessment – to aid filtering of candidates before the full assessment
  • Full Assessment – including all tests in sequence with use of flight controls for  the co-ordination, fixed wing and rotary wing assessments.

Focussing on customer requirements the 2-page report, generated in English, gives a colour-coded assessment of candidate’s abilities (to indicate suitability). It covers a wide range of parameters including personality, learning, performance, situation awareness, memory, reasoning, physical ability (flying), co-ordination, multi-tasking and accuracy.

“The Pilot Aptitude System provides QEAF with a powerful tool that makes pilot selection processes more efficient and cost effective; potentially reducing wastage during flight training.  It makes effective use of technology to contextualise the selection process and gives an effective measure of how well candidates perform in a given operational role within the organisation.” Nikki Heath, CEO.

In September 2012 QEAF took delivery of their Pilot Aptitude System. This flexible solution is also available online and can include any number of tests such as, physics or company specific questionnaires.  More information on ADAPT(TM) Online Pilot Selection Tool and full details on all ADAPT products and performance services are available at

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