Inaugural aviation training proves success for Air Force psychologists

The Air Force implemented new training for aviation psychologists that aims to increase the psychologists’ knowledge of aviation training and practices. One of the many aspects of Air Force Aviation Psychology is focused on resiliency and readiness of its aircrews’ daily activities by addressing the human factors involved in safe and effective performance. Enhanced understanding of pilot training and the human performance demands on aircrew will facilitate improved ability for these psychologists to accomplish their mission.

The service conducted the 14-day flight training for the Aviation Psychology Introductory Course at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. This course is the first time the Air Force has given direct aviation training to psychologists. Aviation psychologists total strength is now at seven, with four more in the pipeline.

“We are so excited! The Aviation Psychology Program’s first APIC class brings to fruition a concept long in development in the USAF, to have psychologists trained to look at not only the human factor of ‘why’ do aviation mishaps occur, but what aircrew-specific needs could be fulfilled by trained psychologists,” said Maj. Nancy DeLaney, recent Aviation Psychology human factors and human performance expert at the Air Force Safety Center. “The typical psychologist doesn’t ‘speak’ aviation, so this course is meant to provide an orientation to that culture as well as practical understanding of the human performance demands and skills utilized in aviation.”

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