Pathway to captaincy in business aviation
: key leadership competencies to become a commander

  • Carolina Maria Cantante Margarido (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The study evaluates Company X pilots' well-being during the upgrade process, a programme that trains co-pilots to become captains. The upgrade training course consists of stages, including filter 1 (identification of requirement for captains), filter 2 (upgrade panel: interview and knowledge test), and upgrade training, which incorporates segment 1 (ground and generic simulator training), segment 2 (type-specific simulator training and evaluation – Line Oriented Scenario (LOS), Line Oriented Evaluation (LOE), and Operator Proficiency Check (OPC)), and segment 3 (Line Flying Under Supervision (LIFUS) & Line Check). Pilots must have the knowledge and expertise to fly specific aircraft (technical skills) and leadership competencies (non-technical skills). A qualitative approach (N = 15) was used to collect feedback from pilots during the 2021-2022 upgrade. The study found that participants with a wrong perception of the captain role had a negative upgrade experience and showed poor management skills. The findings contribute to a deeper understanding of role perception and effective training, impacting pilots' performance and providing practical insights for effective crew management. This research enriches the existing body of knowledge and paves the way for a pre-command course for business aviation pilots in a challenging and excessive technological world.
Date of Award26 Jan 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorCátia Reis (Supervisor)


  • Pilots
  • Upgrade training course
  • Leadership competencies
  • Role perception
  • Workload and stress management


  • Mestrado em Psicologia na Gestão e Economia

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