Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Robert E. Pappas, PhD

Second Advisor

David K. Vaughan, PhD


This study analyzes the effects of personnel reduction initiatives on aircrew experience levels of Air Force pilots and navigators. Four key measures of experience were defined, including total flight hours, flying hours in Primary Assigned Aircraft PAA, total hours at time of upgrade to instructor, and total PAA hours at time of upgrade to instructor. Three objectives were established for this study. These objectives measured the degree of change in overall aircrew experience for pilots and navigators in six major weapon systems, to determine if changes in aircrew experience varied by weapon system, and if changes in aircrew experience varied by aeronautical rating. Fifty-five statistical tests were conducted to determine if significant decreases in experience had occurred. For the first objective, significant decreases in experience were, except for one, related to total or PAA hours at time of upgrade. The exception was a decrease in experience attributed to total PAA hours. Tests for the second objective indicated that the AC-130H and E-3C experienced significant changes over all other weapon systems. Finally, no significant differences were revealed between aeronautical ratings.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



Co-authored thesis.

The authors' Vita pages are omitted.

Presented to the Faculty of the School of Logistics and Acquisition Management of the Air Force Institute of Technology.