Date of Award


Access Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Aviation


College of Aviation

Committee Chair

Dr. Steven Hampton, Ed.D.

First Committee Member

Dr. Michael Wiggins, Ed.D.

Second Committee Member

Dr. Elizabeth Blickensderfer, Ph.D.

Third Committee Member

Dr. Andy Dattel, Ph.D.

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. Anne Little, Ph.D.


The study examined the effect of active scenario-based training on the knowledge and self-efficacy of instrument rated pilots who were not instrument current. Additionally, this study addressed an issue that was not present in the existing literature by validating the potential of using at-home personal computer scenario-based simulation for instrument currency. The current method of maintaining instrument currency does not require any context or scenario-based training. At a minimum, a pilot must perform a specific number of instrument approaches and holds in an airplane, approved simulator, or training device.

Sixty-two non-current instrument rated pilots who represented the U.S. general aviation pilot population participated in the study. The participants were divided into three experimental groups, where each group received a different training method with varying levels of active learning. The first group experienced passive learning (only reading), the second group experienced some active learning (flying simulated approaches), and the third group experienced the highest degree of active learning (flying approach scenarios requiring decisions). Before and after the training, each of the participants took knowledge tests and self-efficacy questionnaires as a measure of training effectiveness. The results show that the increase of knowledge scores between pre-training and post-training was significant regardless of training type, F(1,57) = 184.977, p < .001, η2 = .764. Additionally, the results show that the increase in self efficacy scores between pre-training and post-training was significant, F(1, 57) = 299.409, p < .001, η2 = .840. The increase in self-efficacy score was significant between the passive method of training, reading, and the most active method of training full scenarios with decision making involved, t(38) = -2.653, p = .012, r = .395. Using active learning through personal computer-based flight scenarios is an effective method of refresher training for instrument rated pilots who are not instrument current.