FAA Seeking Pilots for EAA AirVenture Study

The agency is looking for nearly 1,000 participants for the four-hour paid study measuring pilot cognitive functions.

The FAA is soliciting pilots to participate in a paid research study to measure cognitive function in the aviator population. [FLYING archive photo]

The FAA is looking for pilots to participate in a paid research study to measure cognitive function in the aviator population. 

The study, which consists of four hours of cognitive testing, will take place at the 2023 EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Tests will measure pilot performance in tasks such as working memory, attention, mental rotation, and multitasking performance, the FAA said.

Participants need to be at least 18 years old, hold a current medical certificate of Class I, II, or III, and have flown at least once in the past six months—either in an aircraft or simulator. Participants must show their pilot certificate and valid medical to take part. 

The study involves the pilots taking computerized cognitive tests for four hours. The pay is $300 to $500 depending on the level of medical certification. Payment comes upon completion of the tests.

The purpose of the study is for the FAA to evaluate the use of computerized cognitive tests as a screening tool for pilots who may have a medical condition that results in cognitive impairment, such as a head injury, stroke, or a reaction to certain medications, and who wish to return to flight or duty status.

The FAA is looking for 960 participants, and the information gathered during the study will be used to establish a normative dataset representing what is usual or expected in a representative sample of pilots. The outcome of this research will help ensure that FAA processes for aeromedical decision-making are consistent with best clinical practices for aerospace medicine and current scientific knowledge.

The identity of the aviator taking the tests will not be released to the FAA, and there will be no impact on the participant pilot's medical status. If selected, you can expect a follow up email or phone call from a third-party contractor to confirm your time slot. Please note the phone call may appear as spam depending on your mobile phone provider.

Pilots interested in participating in the study may find the scheduling questionnaire here.

Meg Godlewski has been an aviation journalist for more than 24 years and a CFI for more than 20 years. If she is not flying or teaching aviation, she is writing about it. Meg is a founding member of the Pilot Proficiency Center at EAA AirVenture and excels at the application of simulation technology to flatten the learning curve. Follow Meg on Twitter @2Lewski.

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