Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research






The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between standardization and innovation in a university flight training program. Quantitative and qualitative data were generated for this investigation by a human subjects study involving senior students in a collegiate pro-pilot program. The survey provided the following lack of innovation indicators: (a) failure to achieve program goals; (b) loss of flight training students to competitor flight schools; and (c) substandard flight training efficiency. A model describing the balance between standardization and innovation is proposed: (a) too much standardization mires a flight school in stagnation; (b) too little standardization results in a lack of professionalism; (c) too much innovation creates a chaotic training program; (d) too little innovation produces unmotivated students; and (e) too many resistors to change at the management level results in stagnation and a lack of innovation. Flight schools that can achieve a good balance between standardization and innovation would enjoy two main benefits: (a) positive and imaginative learning atmosphere that encourages instructors to train their students above and beyond the minimum standards without sacrificing safety; and (b) exciting and creative training environment that motivates students to achieve their goals without sacrificing professionalism.



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