What We Don’t Know About the Danger of DEI in the Airline Industry is Scarier than What We Know

United Airlines became the subject of derision and mockery recently as a viral video emerged of United’s CEO Scott Kirby proclaiming his company’s potentially disastrous and deadly mission to have half of their future hires be “women or people of color” as part of its corporate quest for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), an ideological cancer that has been eating away at America’s academic, economic, and societal strength for years.

The reasons for the acute public outrage aren’t mysterious.  Millions of Americans fly commercially, and the idea of plummeting 30,000 feet over several minutes in anticipation of you and your family’s death is a frightening enough prospect for most people that the very idea of prioritizing race or gender in selecting pilots and mechanics seems nothing short of insane. 

And in the past weeks, we’ve learned that the door plug of an Alaska Airlines fuselage blew off of the aircraft at 16,000 feet, depressurizing the cabin and creating a scenario so harrowing and nightmarish that one passenger felt compelled to send a presumedly final text: “Mom our plane depressed. We’re in masks. I love you.”

The Boeing 737 Max was the plane involved, which some may remember was grounded after two deadly crashes overseas in 2018 and 2019, which claimed 346 lives in total and were both deemed the result of faulty equipment on the airplane. 

As many Americans are only now discovering as a sidenote to other outrageous DEI news, such as the FAA being decidedly hellbent on taking DEI to its most ludicrous extent by “actively recruiting” people who suffer from “severe intellectual abilities,” Boeing has also long been suicidally devoted to woke DEI initiatives.  They now claim, for example, that they want their employees to “look like America,” but are looking to have 92.5% of interview slates be “diverse,” i.e., non-white males.  This, of course, means that they are quite illegally prioritizing non-white male applicants for employment, and I am very much looking forward to the forthcoming lawsuits on these grounds. (See: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.)

Also involved was the manufacturer of the malfunctioning door plug, Spirit Aerosystems, which is so devoted to woke DEI policies that it even created a cringy marketing video of its all-girl crew of employees sashaying to Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like a Woman.”

But all of these things that we know to fear about what DEI has wrought in aviation pales in comparison to what we should fear about what we don’t know.  Or rather, what we haven’t been told. 

You likely didn’t hear about it at the time, just over one year before the Alaska Airlines nightmare, a United flight from Maui to San Francisco began climbing, reached 2,200 feet, then rapidly plunged more than 1,400 feet at a rate of 8,600 feet per minute, before the craft was miraculously righted just a few seconds before impacting the Pacific Ocean.

The problem, we’re told, is that the pilots weren’t in sync.  The captain called for the flaps to be “reduced to five degrees,” but “the first officer thought he heard the captain say fifteen degrees, rather than five degrees.”

Personally, I’m embarrassed at how many times I had to read that explanation before realizing that it’s an obvious lie.  The words “five” and “fifteen” sound absolutely nothing alike when spoken.  Yet it’s being reported, over and over, that the first officer “heard” the captain “say” fifteen, when he actually requested the flaps to be set at five degrees. 

Why would they lie to us about this?  Since we’re not being told who the first officer was, what can we surmise based upon the evidence that we have?

Well, perhaps we should consult United’s DEI hiring policies.  What, exactly, are the qualifications needed to become a pilot with United these days?

The first time I can recall United being mocked for its outrageous corporate mission to arbitrarily declare that “50 percent of the pilots” trained in the next decade would be “women or people of color” was in April of 2021.  An announcement on Twitter (now X) suggested that the cockpits are just too often occupied by white men, and that’s a problem because it doesn’t reflect the racial and gender composition of society at large.

“If your goal is to fly for United, but you don’t have any flight experience, this is the place to start,” says the United Aviate Academy, which promises to churn out diversity-hire pilots at breakneck speed in the coming years.  And it’s true that you don’t need “flight experience” to pursue a career as a United pilot -- the basic requirements for application are 18 years of life on planet Earth, status as a citizen or permanent resident, and a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

That may not seem like much knowledge or experience, but at least it’s clear and objective.  The selection process after this point, however, becomes necessarily murky, given that United has to game the system in order to reach the outcome that has been pre-ordained by the corporate DEI mission. 

For example, there will be “assessments,” United says, to find out candidates’ “thinking style” or how they “prefer to work.”  United assures you that they “do not share specific information about the assessments” it uses to make its selections, so once you “pass” (wink-wink) these assessments and a virtual behavioral interview that is also objectively immeasurable, you’re conditionally accepted to start your path to a career as a United pilot.   

Now, if you’ve ever known a pilot who isn’t a diversity hire, you likely know that they tend to be passionate about their trade.  Such pilots certainly didn’t stumble onto the career path by seeing a classified ad suggesting that his skin color could make him an excellent candidate to fly planes for the world’s largest airline.

My father, for example, served in Vietnam as an attack helicopter pilot.  In the early 1970s, he, my mother, and my elder siblings moved to Malaysia for several years, and then to Iran, in order for my father to fly overseas and earn the money and experience needed to obtain his commercial pilot license.  When the anti-American furor that took hold during the Islamic Revolution forced my family back to America, he found work at small airlines before finally landing a role as a pilot with a large commercial airline in the mid-1980s. 

He was able to happily retire from that airline after a long career of dedicated service to his company and customers, but the point is that by the time he was hired by one of the largest airlines in the world and began flying its aircraft that carried hundreds of passengers, he had nearly two decades of experience flying various aircraft.  With such pilots in the cockpit, the chances of the user error that nearly caused that Boeing 777 to plunge into the Pacific Ocean off Maui would be substantially lower than it was with… well, whoever the first officer is that United refuses to name. 

But we can be certain that this first officer wasn’t vetted in such a way, given what we know about how they’ve been vetting their candidates, and further evidenced by the fact that United seems to be doing everything possible to cover up the details of this near-tragedy.

United has a recent history of secrecy around these incidents.  As Ashley St. Clair asks United on X:

On July 29 [2023], a United plane was nearly totaled after a hard landing.

Who was flying this aircraft?

Was the co-pilot a former flight attendant who was FIRED and then rehired through United’s DEI program despite being on a list to not return to United?

Am I correct that this individual failed multiple trainings including simulator training?

Am I also correct that United has covered up this DEI disaster and many others?

We’ll likely never know the specific identity of that co-pilot, just as we’ll likely never know the identity of the first officer who “misheard” fifteen degrees instead of the captain’s order of reducing by five degrees, either. 

We’ll also never know which Boeing technician gave the go-ahead for use of the door plug which failed on that Alaska Airlines flight, and we’ll also never know which sassy gal turning wrenches and minding the welding torches at Spirit Aerosystems might be responsible for the faulty door plug.

The only thing of which we can be absolutely certain when it comes to the deadly risks that DEI crusaders have introduced to the airline industry is that the truth is undoubtedly much worse than we have been allowed to know, and, given the extent to which the evidence is being covered up by very powerful people and institutions, it’s likely far worse than we can even imagine.   

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