SEVERAL OF THE FIVE formats or "batteries" used in RAF pilot-aptitude tests will still be familiar to old hands:

ncompensatory tracking and co-ordination: a dot is driven, by stick and rudder pedals, to follow a cross moved to a standard computer-controlled schedule. A relevant civil/transport scenario might be windshear. The old box-cockpit with circular screen, adopted by the Air Ministry in 1939, still stands in a corner;

ncontrol-of-velocity test: a stream of dots must be anticipated and tracked as it meanders down the screen, with varying spacing and splitting streams - rather like an arcade game. This needs learning, and the best of three sessions is scored. Hits must be close centred, to keep comparison with a device unchanged between 1940 and 1960, where a finger-driven contact touched studs on a rotating drum;

ninstrument comprehension: basic flight-panel situations are shown, with questions below, to test reading dials. In a second part, just the horizon and compass are compared with a choice of five external views - of aircraft attitude and direction of flight - in a test of spatial reasoning. Students are allowed 18min for up to 60 displays; speed must be balanced with care;

nshort-term memory: this is a 10min test which entails recalling briefly displayed seven-digit numbers. This has relevance for air-traffic-control clearances and the test is also given to controllers;

Students are cocooned in soundproofed booths for up to an hour at a time

Source: Flight International