AETC deploys new pilot screening test for FY07
By 2nd Lt. Kirk Reimer, AETC Studies and Analysis Squadron
/ Published July 11, 2006
RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AETCNS) --
Air Education and Training Command officials here announced they will field a new psychomotor skills test to be required of all candidates meeting pilot selection boards after October 1.
The replacement of the existing Basic Aptitude Test with the new Test of Basic Aviation Skills represents an AETC initiative to harness science and technology to screen candidates and train the pilot force more efficiently.
Pilot selection boards meeting after October 1 will require all candidates to have taken the TBAS prior to record closeout, which typically occurs two weeks before the board date. BAT results are still required for pilot selection boards meeting before that date; however, due to the retest policy, TBAS cannot be taken sooner than 120 days after one's final BAT test to be valid.
Also, the minimum time required between two successive BAT tests remains 180 days. Candidates are highly encouraged to take the BAT as soon as possible if they are meeting a board requiring the BAT and who also want to leave enough time to take the TBAS for a subsequent board.
Prospective pilot candidates should pay close attention to two key dates regarding the new testing process. BAT testing will be discontinued at all testing locations on July 17, and all locations must begin administering the TBAS no later than Aug. 14. Some test locations may install TBAS faster than others, however. For the most current information visit the Pilot Candidate Selection Method website: http://www.aetc.randolph.af.mil/sas/pcsm/.
Both the TBAS and the BAT measure psychomotor skills proven to be correlated to the completion of Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, including hand-eye coordination and listening response. Results of the AF Officer Qualifying Test and previous flying experience are two other key indicators correlated to success in SUPT.
The PCSM program weights these three indicators -- BAT or TBAS, AFOQT, and flying hours -- and combines them into a single score. Pilot selection boards use PCSM scores as a part of their process to evaluate and select Airmen for pilot training.
"TBAS replaces the BAT with newer hardware and improved tests which incorporate recent advances in psychomotor and cognitive research," said Brig. Gen. Richard E. Perraut Jr., Air Education and Training Command Plans, Requirements and Programs director.
The TBAS system incorporates modern computer capability and low-glare, flat-screen monitors, as well as updated joystick and foot pedal controls which look, feel and perform more realistically. Further, the TBAS is an adaptable platform that can facilitate new research to advance the science of pilot screening.
If your pilot selection board meets before Sept. 30, you are required to take the BAT. BAT testing ends July 16. BAT-based PCSM systems will be deactivated July 17.
If your pilot selection board meets after Oct. 1, you are required to take the TBAS no later than the record closeout deadline, usually two weeks prior to board date.
If you want to be prepared to meet a board requiring the BAT and a later board requiring the TBAS, plan to take the BAT early enough to allow 120 days before taking the TBAS.