Maria Chaparro & Captain Shem Malmquist

Maria Chaparro, Aviation Sciences PhD Student, Florida Institute of Technology

Maria Chaparro received a B.S. in Technical Communication and New Media from the University of South Florida, an M.S. in Aviation Human Factors, and is currently an Aviation Sciences Ph.D. student at the Florida Institute of Technology. Her research interests include sustained attention and performer/learner engagement in complex monitoring tasks in both operational and training contexts, as well as usability of mobile applications.


Captain Shem Malmquist, B777 Captain, Visiting Professor, Florida Institute of Technology

Captain Shem Malmquist is a visiting professor at the Florida Institute of Technology and an active current B-777 Captain operating predominantly international routes. In addition to being an international pilot for the bulk of the last 32 years, he has taught aerobatics and instructed in a variety of both general aviation and transport aircraft. Captain Malmquist has published numerous technical and academic articles stemming from his work on flight safety and accident investigation. His most recent work has involved approaches to risk analysis and accident prevention utilizing MIT’s System Theoretic Accident Models and Processes (STAMP) and facilitating the integration of these methods on behalf of several organizations.

His past work includes Automation and Human Factors lead for the Commercial Aviation Safety Team’s Joint Safety Implementation Team, Loss of Control working group, as well as the Aircraft State Awareness working group and the Joint Implementation Measurement and Data Analysis Team. He also has either led or been deeply involved in several major aircraft accident investigations, performing operations, human factors, systems and aircraft performance analysis.

Captain Malmquist’s education includes a Masters (MSc) degree in Human Factors in Aeronautics through the Florida Institute of Technology, a Bachelors of Science (BSc) from Embry-Riddle University, and an Associate of Science (ASc) through Mt. San Antonio College. 

He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a full member of ISASI, and a member of the Resilience Engineering Association, AIAA, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, IEEE, the Flight Safety Foundation and SAE where he also serves as a voting member of the Flight Deck and Handling Quality Standards for Transport Aircraft committee and is a member of the Aerospace Behavior Engineering Technology and the Lithium Battery Packaging Performance Committees. 

In addition to his papers on flight safety and accident investigation topics, he is the co-author (with Roger Rapoport) of the book “Angle of Attack” on the Air France 447 accident and its implications on aviation safety. 


Improving Pilot Training and Completion Rates Utilizing Personality Assessment

Pilot success in training is a vital component for airlines and other organizations (Barron, Carretta, Bonto, & Kane, 2016). Prior to training acceptance, both Universities and Airlines rely on a variety of instruments. These instruments primarily measure aptitude, however, airlines also employ additional personality measures as a way to weed out individuals that may be unstable or a danger to themselves or others (King, Carretta, Retzlaff, Barto, Ree, & Teachout, 2013). However, pilots can have a fairly broad range of personality and still be successful, and yet utilizing personality instruments beyond looking for at-risk individuals has not been part of any formal program.

A review of the literature was conducted to examine, pilot personality using the five-factor model of personality. The five-factor model (FFM) of personality has been used extensively in the personality literature (McCrae & Costa, 2004) and many personality measures correlate to domains of the FFM leading to the creation of a correlation matrix to incorporate as many studies as possible. Results pointed to the existence of a general pilot personality that does vary and even more so when looking at different pilot types.

Given, the high attrition rates for students completing training and the expensive cost due to incompletion a need to better understand what role personality truly plays is imperative. We propose that it is possible to utilize instruments based on the Five-Factor model to first measure pilot personality at the time of entering the training program, and then to use that information to tailor the training program to ensure the highest probabilities for the success of the candidates.