Pilots who crash: Personality constructs underlying accident prone behavior of fighter pilots
Lardent Jr., C.L. (1991). Pilots Who Crash: Personality Construct Underlying Accident Prone Behavior of Fighter Pilots. Multivariate Experimental Clinical Research, 10(1), 1-25.
Personality factors have been shown to be related to accident prone behavior, and generic profiles and regression equations have been developed to identify those more likely to experience behaviors associated with accidents events. Using the 16PF, the ultimate purpose of this study is to assess differences between a group of F-4 Phantom fighter pilots who "crashed" (N=47) versus another deemed to be "safe" (N=44). Several subsidiary objectives were established using comparative profiles of four pilot groups: airline, airline/military fighter, general military, and F-4 fighter. The study reveals that: (a) pilot personality in general differs substantially from that of the general population; (b) there are both striking similarities-and dissimilarities between the four pilot groups; (c) there is only minimal consistency or agreement between pilot personality profiles and the prediction equation for generic "freedom from accidents:" the airline pilots show the greatest consistency and the F-4 pilots the least; and (d) most important, five significant personality factor differences discriminate the "safe" from the "crashed" F-4 pilot group. Using set correlation techniques, it is shown that 27% (33% attenuated) of the variance in "crashing" is explained by personality differences and that over 70% of the pilots are correctly classified.