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United Airlines buys flight training school to build pipeline for 10,000 new pilots over the next decade

The academy, currently operating as Westwind School of Aeronautics in Phoenix, will be part of a recruiting program United announced last year, called Aviate, that lets pilots join a pipeline to United with a conditional job offer early in their careers rather than waiting until they rise through the ranks at regional carriers or complete military service. ( More...

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It’s always a good idea to read a text before commenting on it. From several of the comments posted here I have to conclude that the commenters did not read the text.
Edwin Ruhl 2
That is the only explanation I can think of for those comments.
Martin Cooper 7
GOOD IDEA, this has nothing to do with how the old pilots were and are treated, this is about filling the retired pilots' opening with well trained prospects that they have trained, and yes,the faces won't be lilly white, but a mixture of the best trained pilots, MINORITIES included.
chop12345 2
When I'm riding in the back I don't care about the crew being the best trained pilots but only the best pilots. Think of it this way........... all the baseball players on the New York Mets are the "best trained," but we know not all of them are the best hitters.
DGR Rathborne 2
All i've been trying to say , it it gives United a reliable source , and a continual source of Pilots . I still think it is a great idea , and i bet other Major Carriers are looking at this turn of events to .
tim mitchell 1
It's been done before; just like in trucking. The one thing that will never change is the human equation in all of it. People will go to school and about 80% that actually make it through training and are hired will fullfill their commitment. The other 20% will either decide the airlines aren't the type of flying they want to do or they'll leave for an airline that offers them a crewbase closer to home.
DGR Rathborne 2
I have been hearing , tid bits , here and there , that the Major Carriers , and not just in the States , are having a real problem finding , replacement Pilots . So i feel that the move by United is brilliant . They will now be able to train , in house , the type and number of crew that they need , to fly the aircraft they have , now and in the future . This may probably cause other Major Carriers , to do exactly the same thing ....It's just Brilliant ........DGR
pjshield 2
That's what United Airlines does best. Rather than reward the people who've worked to build the airline, they kick them in the ass out the door while bending over backwards to accommodate others who have/had no skin in the game. And attempting to groom others to whom piloting is just a job vs folks who view it as a special calling is a fool's journey.
Steve Ortiz 1
The attrition rate will kill them and put a lot of people in unnecessary debt while attending programs like this. As a former technical college instructor, I can confidently say not all students will finish this program. And those that don't will have taken out loans that they won't be able to pay back at your typical college dropout salary - further adding to overall student debt.

If the airline made students sign a contract to work off their debt or a fixed length of years, regardless of completion of program, they may see some financial benefit as well as tax write-offs.

In this way they are guaranteed a work force in years to come and students will have guaranteed jobs. A win all around.

Even if the non pilots aren't needed at United Airlines, they could be assigned to work at a sister airline. If they hold true and make their training fit for real world flying, any airline would be happy to get Pre-Trained pilots at no expense to them. And as a result, more of the industry would get standardized training, as a result.
Gary Harper 1
Seems like the choke point will become flight instructor positions that will be necessary for the private pilots to acquire the 1500 flight hours for the ATP. I'm not sure of the number of hours that is required for the Restrictive ATP.
DGR Rathborne 1
I don't know these details , but i know that to buy and bring in house your own training facility is a great move .
So what your suggestion is ...who trains , the trainers ? I think United will figure this out . Maybe some of there own retired crews could help out ...........DGR
Why wouldn't United work with the multiple excellent schools that exist to grow their programs, instead of competing with them. They could be offering scholarships to encourage young men and women to choose that career. This is just another way to line their pockets as kids line up to pay them tuition with a hope of a job (not a guarantee) and will not end with a more useful college degree, like they would at an accredited university flight program, or military benefits from that route.
tim mitchell 2
I agree; use existing resources. Delta, Pan Am and Mesa had programs at one time but I believe theyve all gone by the wayside. Im thinking United's thinking is it'll offer a more standardized apprach and ease the onboarding process.
Dave Nosek 1
United has also entered an agreement with Western Michigan University's School of Aviation to enter students into there pipeline program.
mike boden 1
I guess it has been long enough that nobody remembers the "Tracy Terrors."
Eric Graham 0
That is a true kick in the butt for all of the young pilots that have struggled through the ranks to “earn” their stripes to fly with a major airline. That’s all I can say.
Dave Hahn -6
Was thinking the same thing. No different than when Obama started hiring minorities off the street for ATC training after other went they college for the sane skill and ended up without a job position as a result
n9341c 2
What in gods name are you two talking about? Are you referring to the article about UA buying the flight school? I think you guys got click baited to something else.
David Beattie 2
Russian Bots
Martin Cooper 2
There was a shortage of ATC controllers then, and still is, if a person went to college for such and was not hired, that person was not ATC ready, so why not give others that may not have gone to college, but have what it takes to be an ATC Controller, why deny them just because they were monorities? Good thing OBAMA.
Dave Hahn 3
Then why was the black ATC union caught giving them answers to the tests. Doesn’t sound like the best and brightest to me. Equality worked differently under Barry
James Simms 1
Like the ATC @ SoCal Departure almost sent that EVA Air 777 into Mt Wilson several years ago. Damn nearly killed 350-odd on the plane & potentil unknown on the ground.
tim mitchell 1
And yet three years later there's still a shortage.
Dave Hahn 3
They weeded them out
Mark Weiser -2
Bravo Dave, I lost a grant when our first black president decided that white Viet Nam vets were not as deserving as inner city youth that wanted a free cell, that was stated in the letter from the VA regarding the decision! Go Mr Trump!
DGR Rathborne 1
As a side bar to my earlier congrats to United , for seising the future in flight training , I have read some of the other comments , and i don't get it . Why do you folks bring it down to the lowest level . Race , minorities ,politics . If your looking for a Lilly White society , it does not exist . A pilot , A Captain or 1st Officer is trained and hired by their abilities . The people that are promoted are done so by knowledge and ability . Thats all that matteres . ............Thanks for your time .....DGR
DGR Rathborne 0
Such pessimism . I can't even reply to it . Must be dark in your world . It is clear that United see's the future need for Flt crews . While buying up USAF crews looks attractive , these are not necessarily compatible with a commercial aircraft . The premise that a combat pilot , is an easy fit into a big Twin is not always true . If United has the opertunity to get a green horn and train them into a Commercial Crew member that they need , i can't see why thats a problem . Commercial Carriers are all seeking new blood . I still think that this makes sense .
chop12345 2
Is 300 pilots a year going to do much for United's pilot "shortage?" The article states UAL does not want to wait to hire pilots to get trained at regional carriers but then state the pilots will work at Express! Some of the article is messed up by an unseasoned reporter. Did you really state USAF crews are not necessarily compatible with commercial aircraft? When I read that I laughed and now I am furious after reading it ten times.


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