Monday, April 12, 2021

These Are the Kinds of Pilots You Are Going to Get on United Flights Now That It Is Going on a Woke Pilot Hiring Spree

Scott Kirby

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby is deep in the woke ether.

I doubt there is another executive in the airline industry that is as woke and as enthusiastic a supporter of big lefty government as he is. 

A few facts about him and what occurs under his reign at United:

  • From Over the past couple of weeks, Kirby has stepped out in front of his competitors at other airlines -- and frankly, in front of most of corporate America -- by saying he wants United Airlines to make the Covid-19 vaccine mandatory for all United employees...American, Delta, and Southwest Airlines; each confirmed that it has no current plans to make the vaccine mandatory for employees.
  • United Airlines and Southwest are the only airlines that require an ID to fly. It is literally easier to get past  TSA agents than United "flight attendants." (TSA accepts some excuses. United has zero tolerance for those without ID on them.)
  • United Airlines issued a political statement and called Georgia's new voting law "wrong" and claimed it "infringes on the right to vote of fellow Americans."
We are talking authoritarian and woke. Early in his career, Kirby worked at The Pentagon as a budget analyst for the United States Secretary of Defense for three years, at the time Dick Cheney headed the Defense Department. Maybe this is where he picked up his authoritarian streak. Curiously, Kirby does not list his time at Defense on his LinkedIn bio.

And then, of course, there is this latest announcement from United under his leadership:

Our flight deck should reflect the diverse group of people on board our planes every day. That’s why we plan for 50% of the 5,000 pilots we train in the next decade to be women or people of color. 

This is the one that is most concerning. 

John Green explains why this latest woke move by Kirby could be dangerous:

To fully appreciate the flaw in United’s decision, it’s important to understand the reasoning of the diversity industry.  When I was an engineering manager, I had occasion to hire a number of new engineers.  To ensure diversity, our HR department would be intimately involved in the hiring decisions.  Their reasoning was that any person that met the job requirements could do the job.  They had no recognition that a person with greater capabilities may do the job better.  The qualifications were to be treated as strictly binary -- the person could either do the job or not.

Since I was prohibited from looking for the best candidate, I was required to make selections from the remaining pool of qualified candidates, based on various diversity hiring criteria.  It was presumed that a person with greater qualifications/capabilities wouldn’t provide added value over those who were merely qualified.  Therefore, as the hiring manager I was not permitted to seek competitive advantage by hiring the “best.”  As long as a candidate could do the job, and met diversity criteria, that was good enough.

I have no doubt that any qualified pilot can fly from point A to point B and land an airplane.  However, the danger in diversity thinking becomes apparent when the job differs from the routine.  In 1983, Captain Bob Pearson had the unfortunate experience of being the command pilot of a Boeing 767 that experienced total engine failure.  He did something that the Boeing engineers said was impossible -- he glided the plane, without power, to a landing with no injuries.  The plane became known in the aviation community as the Gimli Glider.  It turns out Captain Pearson’s qualifications exceeded those required of airline pilots.  He was also a highly experienced glider pilot.  In this case, was having the “best” somewhat better?

A more recent example is that of Captain Sully Sullenberger.  In 2009, shortly after takeoff from New York City, Captain Sullenberger’s Airbus A320 experienced a double bird strike.  After total engine failure, Sully successfully landed the aircraft on the Hudson River with no casualties.  It became known as the miracle on the Hudson.  It turns out that Captain Sullenberger’s qualifications exceeded the minimum requirements for airline pilots.  In addition to being an experienced Air Force pilot, he earned an advanced degree from Purdue University (my alma matter), was an accident investigator for the NTSB, and was an expert in the psychology of air crew functioning during a crisis.  That last item may not be very important during a pilot’s normal day at the office, but it comes in rather handy when landing on a river -- no?...

The reality is that employees are not interchangeable components of a machine.  Organizations, both business and government, are living and breathing organisms in which the quality of the individual components matter.  Having people that exceed the minimum requirements provides value.  If you question that statement, consider the relative value that football players provide to their team.  Did Tom Brady’s movement to Tampa Bay have any impact on either the Patriots or the Buccaneers?  The next time you board a plane, do you want Tom Brady at the controls -- or is Johnny Manziel good enough?

Kirby doesn't want the best pilots, he wants the pilots that will make him look like a woke hero.

Think about that the next time you are boarding a United flight and gaze into the cockpit to see who is going to be flying. 



  1. "It turns out Captain Pearson’s qualifications exceeded those required of airline pilots. He was also a highly experienced glider pilot. In this case, was having the “best” somewhat better?"

    Absolutely not. Imagine how many fewer white racists (but I repeat myself) there would be if he had crashed the plane. Sad.

  2. The woke movement exists to advance the ideas for human society that the wealthy so-called elite have had for about a 140 years now but became more or less cemented in the 1930s and haven't changed a whole lot since.

    Part of that vision is making most people into fungible human resources to carry out tasks. Take a look at how corporate training functions. The entire idea is to get people follow canned routine, procedure, and so on. These powers that be think they can turn every job into something a meat robot can do. One meat robot is as good as another.

    It makes no consideration for being any better because someone also knows X, Y, and Z.

  3. I didn't realize that diversity hires had to even meet the traditional minimum requirements. I assumed that they snuck under, or that these requirements were lowered until the targets were reached (as in the US military).

  4. This is much ado about nothing. It's pointless posturing by a woke CEO who knows the game.

    There are many female pilots. I know because I am married to one. I have accompanied my wife to the Women in Aviation conference multiple times. I have even had the honor to meet Tammy Jo. And that is truly an honor. She is a real hero. I know there are a lot of white female pilots. There are many many more male pilots, however. And once the females are hired, likely by the regionals with crappy routes, the well of cv's will become dry and UA will have no choice but to hire what they need.

    Now how to beat this nonsense if it comes to you:

    I see this is my profession as a cyber security manager. The idiotic woke morons that run my company tried to force diversity upon me in hiring. I simply raised the requirements for the job. I made programming a must, and I use language like "strong understanding" of x fundamental. I wrote it into the team operations book which gets audited by corporate, so that anyone who questions it can see the requirements have been audited.

    And then I rejected candidate after candidate until they got me some quality cv's.

    Humorous side note: our woke company tries to meet its diversity requirements by hiring Nigerian immigrants. I know we are not the only ones. I work for a Fortune 500 company. Think that one over a bit.

  5. That guy even looks like the biggest douche. Reminds me of "PC Principal" from South Park.

  6. You and a friend have a car wreak and have identical injuries.
    Two surgeons are waiting and both meet the minimum requirements.
    its a toss up who gets whom.
    You both come out of surgery and wake up.
    You are missing an arm and a leg, your friend has not lost either, his surgeon saved his limbs because he has 20 more years of experience than your surgeon, enjoys surgery, and spent most of his career in surgery specializing in trauma.
    Your surgeon does not particular care for surgery, and avoids it if he can.

    Remember, both met the minimum requirements.

    Federal Farmer