The Social Context of the Aeronautical Education Experience of Civilian, Commercial, and Military Pilots
1 online resource (97 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
The purpose of this research is to explore the social context (the nature and cultural environment) of the aeronautical training experience of African-American civilian, commercial, and military pilots. This research highlights the challenges African-American pilots are exposed to in addition to drawing parallels between the social context and the obstacles they are subjected to along the way. This study is valuable for stakeholders, African-American pilot aspirants, aviation corporations, Federal Aviation Administration, flight schools - in the aviation industry in understanding ways to initiate a paradigm shift and increase awareness about representation and participation of African-American aviation professionals. The qualitative approach was selected to gather a better understanding of the sociological hurdles black aviators face while going through the journey of becoming a pilot. Hardiman (2010) states "While quantitative research is valuable, qualitative research provides the researcher the ability to view real world situations as they naturally unfold" ( p. 25). According to OBAP (2014), less than 2% of pilots in the United States are African-American. The experiences shared by the participants can provide helpful insight of possible policy implications for the aeronautical industry. There were three research questions in the study: 1) What factors hindered pilot training? 2) What were the resilience factors experienced during pilot training? 3) What were the defining features of the social context surrounding pilot training? Semi-structured, face-to-face interviews were conducted of six professional pilots. A qualitative data analysis was conducted to illustrate the context of the social challenges during the course of pilot training. Three themes were revealed: 1) access, 2) perception of inferiority, and 3) support. Implications of the significance of providing social networks to expose African-Americans to aviation were discussed. Additional means of access and exposure of African-Americans to aviation is essential for further research.
Abrams, LyndonTempest, BrettWiggan, Greg
Thesis (D.Ed.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2016.
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