This is a really bad idea, IMO

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by dtuuri, Apr 8, 2021.

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  1. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    United seeks to build its own diverse pipeline of pilots (apnews.com)

    I'm thinking back to July, 1979 and my first day in training at United's Stapleton Training Center. There were twelve of us in the new-hire class that Monday morning. Every Monday for the foreseeable future was booked solid with winners of the extensive computer-driven hiring contest. We had taken every kind of test imaginable, flown a DC-10 simulator and passed two flight physicals over a three-day evaluation. Getting invited just to participate in that contest was another victory in and of its own.

    As we introduced ourselves around the conference table I was struck by the diversity of experience and background each of us brought to the bottom of United's seniority list. I remember a Chief Pilot or maybe he was an assistant Chief Pilot from AT&T (heavy iron kind of pilot) based in White Plains, a NASA test pilot, an ex-military pilot or two or three and an ex-American Airlines Flight Attendant, a man, who decided to trade his career pushing a heavy liquor cart up and down the aisle for sitting at the controls up front. He had learned to fly and built his experience in the civilian ranks flying light airplanes much like myself. It made me proud to be included with these guys.

    United has now changed their idea of diversity from "experience" to gender and skin color. Instead of hiring pilots that exceed their minimum standards of knowledge, skill and experience by the widest margin possible, whatever their color or gender, they inevitably will hire less qualified pilots—pilots they have inbred by themselves through ab initio training.

    I also remember killing time in Key West intently listening to the war stories of a retired Navy blimp captain who had bought a seaplane and flew excursions to the Dry Tortugas. I wondered if he felt cheated by having to fly a blimp and not fighter jets. He thought it over and said maybe at first, but after all these years he wouldn't have it any differently. He told me the one thing that matters the most is total time off the ground. It doesn't matter what it's in.

    Skimping on total time and diluting the amalgam of experience on United's flight decks, to me, seems like a really bad idea.
     
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  2. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    One of the arguments in favor of this approach is that pilots of modern commercial jet airliners are now more "systems managers" than "stick and rudder" pilots of the 707 and DC8 variety. Of course, Air France 447 is cited as the poster child example of what's wrong with that. But ever increasing levels of automation are unlikely to stall and stay that way, unlike that unfortunate Airbus.

    I can remember in the summer of 1969 watching a small DC8 from a major carrier doing touch and go training in the pattern at one of our regional airports near the city. That's about as stick and rudder as it gets.
     
  3. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Yup. It’s Wrong.
    Automation to a point, yes. But..
    Until you’ve gone through 121 or 135 training every six months, (and maybe you have) you don’t realize we have to actually fly the airplane.
     
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  4. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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  5. catmandu

    catmandu Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Not fair to anyone to ask a less than qualified individual to commit to a given career just to improve optics. Aviation at that level demands quality, driven by desire, fueled by passion. Maybe there are a ton of super passionate individuals being held back out there, but neither I nor most of the open minded folks I know are seeing it.
     
  6. Racerx

    Racerx Line Up and Wait

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    It's not happening just in aviation. This problem is widespread. And it's wrong everywhere. From politics, to Nascar, to college acceptance. Heck there was a law and order episode on this 25 years ago. People are chosen not by talent or qualifications, but by skin color and optics. Bringing up the topic just gets you labeled a bigot and a racist.
     
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  7. Country Flier

    Country Flier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hmm, I'm thinking about Atlas Air Flight 3591.
     
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  8. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    They’re not going to make their numbers...again. If they hired every black and woman who had the ATP minimums, that would still not be 50% of their needs. If they started hiring the ones that didn’t have the minimums and run their own puppy mill, they still would find it difficult.
     
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  9. farangutan

    farangutan Pre-Flight

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    I think it would be a big problem if they were diluting training standards and made a deal with the FAA for easier testing standards but that doesn't seem to be the case. I don't see any reason to believe any pilot coming out the other side of this pipeline with ratings will be no more or less qualified or passionate about aviation than from any other puppy mill flight school. I don't like affirmative action type programs based on gender or skin color, but rather more an approach that gives training to people who can't afford to take out a mortgage sized loan to train for a career. That would naturally help diversify the ranks over time. My opinion as a so called POC pilot myself.
     
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  10. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    This is stupid. How is this not a racist policy since clearly it is based solely on gender and skin color? I also guarantee that before you accept training from United you will have to sign a paper basically going into indentured servitude for much of your career to "pay them back" for the training. I would also wager that the first plane that crashes with a person hired through this program at the controls will face all sorts of law suits with people claiming United was not hiring the most qualified people even though they may be very qualified.

    Beyond that if I were a woman or minority I would not want people thinking I was hired because of my gender or skin color instead of my capability.

    Oh and IBTL.
     
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  11. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    I wonder what that training contract is going to look like when it comes to payback for washing out along the way or finding out flying isn’t what you really wanted to do.
     
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  12. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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  13. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    It's the latest trend in aviation. First it was the future ATC candidates, now in the cockpit. The lawsuit for the ATC people is still not settled. Will be interesting when the trend hits the medical specialty professions like neurology. IBTL.
     
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  14. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    "Giving" training (a very expensive gift) to one demographic over another, especially when this gift is other people's money—people who themselves can't afford the training, is going to create resentment. How about simply nurturing the demographic you favor to find basic non-aviation employment and then they can make their own choices about how much they want to sacrifice for a shot at the airlines?

    By the way, earning the ratings doesn't make one "qualified", as you know. Remember the old saw about a pilot's license really being just a "license to learn"? That's called "experience" and is missing in any in-bred ab initio program. Even United seems to concur, since they plan to assign the graduates to smaller subsidiary airlines, to practice on those passengers instead of the flagship's precious brand.
     
  15. farangutan

    farangutan Pre-Flight

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    United's money, they should do whatever they want with it no?
    If they operate it like a conditional scholarship I'm not going to be worried about the quality of the pilots that finish the training. But I share all the concerns about potentially exploitative contract terms and the all the stigma of being chosen for a program solely because of race.
     
  16. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

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    25% of black people live below the poverty line. Explain to me how they have an equal shot at being a pilot to white people, only 9% of whom are below the poverty line?

    And getting hired is one thing, making it through training and on to the line is another.
     
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  17. farangutan

    farangutan Pre-Flight

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    How is this much different than taking out a huge loan and washing out, not passing a 1st class medical, or losing interest?
    If United wants more of something for an image and they have their own money for it, then I'm not going to lose sleep over it.
     
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  18. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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  19. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    Yeah but then an Airbus goes missing over the ocean and it comes out that the system mangers up front were ****ty pilots.

    I hear this theory floated a lot and it’s just not true. If anything the technology laden airplanes require better stick and rudder pilots.

    I had been sitting on this article and wanted to share it here but did not have much confidence in how well I would have communicated my feelings. @dtuuri said it well.
     
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  20. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    I see one group below the poverty line where you see two. The same solution applies, get a job, save some money, sign up for flying lessons or enlist.
     
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