First time at the Oshkosh airshow for United Airlines. Their senior captains did some yanking and banking in a 777 in front of the crowd. The most frightening maneuver was approaching the crowd (west side of the runway) from the east in a dive and then climbing over the crowd. Some years ago I was in one of the jump seats of an empty Boeing 757 being ferried out of JFK and the captain put the plane into a 40-degree bank so that a friend on the ground could get a photo. The avionics were unhappy, shouting “bank angle, bank angle” repeatedly.
As the plane carved up the sky, the United announcer proudly disclosed the quota-based hiring policy for the company’s new flying school. Only 20 percent of the slots would be available for white males while 80 percent would be allocated to “women” (however that term is defined by the airline’s team of biologists) and “people of color” (however that term is defined by the airline’s team of diversity consultants). Curiously, there is no quota for student pilots who identify as 2SLGBTQQIA+. Numerous folks sitting near me grumbled angrily on hearing the airline’s plan of sex- and race-based discrimination. It is unclear why United thought that this message would be warmly received by the audience at Oshkosh. General aviation is overwhelmingly white, male, old, and conservative. The young people there who talked about pursuing a dream of professional aviation were also overwhelmingly white and male (i.e., they’d have to fight for the 20 percent scrap at the United school). Here’s the United AVIATE booth within the “EAA Career Center”:
It seems that United has taken over Lufthansa’s old school in Goodyear, Arizona, perhaps because Lufthansa could no longer get students in and out due to coronapanic. Cirrus SR20s with air conditioning are used for primary training.
If United were serious about diversifying its pilot group, the company would offer a “no-overnight” schedule (see Ryanair: airline that is not a hotel customer for how the world’s lowest cost airline does this). Right now, the only people who can consider flying for the U.S. airlines are people who are willing to be away from friends and family up to 22 days per month (trending down to 10 or 11 for the most senior pilots in a seat, but it can take decades to reach this level of seniority as a captain at a major U.S. airline). This makes it a terrible job for anyone who might become a parent. When the mostly-at-home spouse files the inevitable divorce lawsuit, he/she/ze/they is a slam-dunk winner to obtain primary custody, a free house, and a river of child support cash under a typical U.S. state’s family law that looks to see “who was the primary historical caregiver of these now-lucrative children?” How many women want to fly around for a few years and then spend the rest of their lives paying a former husband to hang out at home with what used to be her kids plus some new sex partners from Tinder?
If we visit the EAA official merchandise market, we can learn that pilot and astronaut are already jobs held exclusively by females.
Airplane constructor is also exclusively a woman’s job, according to EAA’s merchandise selection. Here is the only plane-builder featured:
Pilots identifying as “women” can get a free T shirt and participate in a variety of exclusive events at Oshkosh under the rubric of WomenVenture, a 15-year-old event started just in time for the term “women” to become undefined. As a measure of progress, what had been the “innovation” pavilion at Oshkosh, showcasing new technologies, is now the “WomenVenture Center” (complete with pink theme).
Meanwhile, gender ID is somewhat less fraught at the SOS Brothers tent, “BeerVenture” until some litigation with EAA forced a re-titling. Here are the “bikini bartenders” that EAA complained about in its lawsuit: