Minimum NSS to Select Rotary Wing
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Navy and Marine Corps Rotary-wing community is experiencing unprecedented expansion while becoming more technically complex than ever before. As a result, the quality of pilots required by each Rotary-wing community has increased as well. Currently, the only pipelines that require a minimum Navy Standard Score (NSS) for selection are: USMC Jet (52); Navy Tailhook (50); and USMC Tilt-rotor (40). The remaining pipelines, E6 (Navy only), Multiengine, and Rotary-wing do not require a minimum NSS for selection. Traditionally, students who were not selected for a community with an NSS cutoff were selected into E6, Multi-engine, or Rotary-wing, with Rotary-wing receiving the lowest performers. This method of selection, while far from scientific, was accepted due to the fact that a Naval Flight Student (NFS) had to achieve a minimum NSS of 35 to advance from Primary Flight training. With the implementation of Multi-Pilot-Training- Syllabus (MPTS) in both Primary (2000), and Advanced Flight Training (2004), the minimum NSS requirement to advance from Primary Flight Training was removed. To ensure the lowest attrition rate possible without sacrificing the quality of students selected for rotary-wing, the consultants on this study sought to determine whether there should be a minimum NSS to select a NFS for the rotary-wing pipeline. This study analyzed data for a three-year period for students who selected Rotary-wing. Data for NFSs who were attrited for deficient performance was analyzed to determine their median and average NSS. The median and average NSS of a Helicopter Advanced training flight attrite was 35 with a standard deviation of 6.17. If a minimum NSS of 35 is applied it would have reduced the flight attrites by 21 students, or 55 percent, and overall attrition by 31 percent. This would have also resulted in a loss of 148 NFS over three years. Although applying a minimum NSS one standard deviation above the median would have reduced the number of flight attrites by 89 percent, it would also have adverse effects on student production by eliminating 432 students over the three-year period. Conclusions • This study serves as the starting point to transform a historically anecdotal argument on the validity of NSS correlation to NFS performance into an empirical and analytical discussion. • The statistical data supports establishing a minimum NSS of 35 to select Rotary-wing. Recommendations • Conduct additional research to determine the validity of establishing a minimum NSS for selecting Rotary-wing and determine the placement of lower performing NFSs. • Fleet Replacement Squadrons establish a database to record individual student performance in order to historically compare students.
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