Selecting Pilot Group Exercises – Passing Pilot Assessment Day

SOUTHAFRICAPPL- Pilot Selection Group Exercises Passing Pilot Assessment Day

This blog post is part of our guide on how to become a commercial pilot, and it’s all about the group activities that happen during your pilot selection day.

Pilot Group Exercises – Why Are They Assessed?

Pilots need various skills to do their job well. These skills include things like being a good leader, communicating effectively, making smart decisions, working well in a team, and being aware of what’s happening around them. When you’re a pilot, you often work with other people like the captain, cabin crew, and air traffic control, especially when things get tough, like during emergencies. Airlines and flight schools use these exercises to check how good you are at these skills.

So, the main reason for these group exercises is to show your non-technical skills, which means your personality traits when you’re in a group trying to solve problems. These skills can get better with practice, and they’re really important in today’s aviation world because they go hand in hand with flying skills.

Modern airplanes are designed to be easier to fly, but when you’re in a fast-paced situation, like flying a high-speed jet, these non-technical skills are super important for keeping the flight safe. These skills include working as a team, being a good leader, knowing what’s happening around you, talking to others, and making good decisions.

What Are the Pilot Group Exercises Like?

The group activities you’ll do can be pretty different. For example, you might find yourself in a situation where you and your team are stuck on the moon with only a few things like oxygen, tape, food, or an iPod. Your job is to figure out what’s most important. The thing is, there’s no one right answer. What matters is how you decide and work with your team.

Another exercise involves making a tower using marshmallows and spaghetti sticks. Again, it’s not about the tower itself but how well you work with your team.

SOUTHAFRICAPPL-what are the pilot group exercises

Getting Ready for Success

When it comes to these exercises, being ready is about showing your non-technical skills, especially leadership, decision-making, teamwork, and communication. You can do this by asking open questions like:

  • “What do you think about this?”
  • “Do you agree with this decision?”
  • “How does that make you feel?”
  • “What could go wrong with this?”
  • “Is it worth the risk?”

Asking open questions is important, just like in commercial flying. They help quieter team members share their ideas, and it shows that you’re a good leader and communicator. But it’s also important not to be too bossy.

Dealing with Shyness

If you’re someone who’s naturally quiet and shy, you can work on becoming more confident in group settings. Try having discussions with your friends or family or taking on roles that involve speaking in front of others. This will help you gain the social skills important for a career as a commercial pilot.


These non-technical skills will grow as you become a commercial pilot, and they’re really important for airline training. Situational awareness is one of these crucial skills. During these exercises, there’s a time limit, so it’s helpful to ask the timekeeper how much time is left to show that you’re aware of the situation.

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