(LifeSiteNews) — As a commercial pilot, I had hoped the new year would usher in a wave of renewed sanity, safety, and a brighter future for my industry.
Sadly, just a week or so into 2024, the industry is off to a horrific start.
One year ago, LifeSiteNews published a commentary I penned expressing great concerns that I and other pilots share about the direction in which the Biden administration has taken our industry.
In my article, I outlined the effects of forced vaccinations for pilots and crew and increased mandates of woke policies, especially the promotion of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) over ability and experience for new pilot and Air Traffic Control (ATC) hires, both of which currently suffer from severe shortages.
On top of all that, this administration is pushing for single pilot cockpits and more.
Alarmingly, over the last two decades, these policy trends have also been creeping into the manufacturing of the planes we fly.
One year later, air travel safety continues to decline
This past week has demonstrated that the problems are not only real but they are also increasing in this country and around the globe at a frightening rate.
As a Japan Airlines (JAL) Airbus A350 landed at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, a Japan Coast Guard plane proceeded onto the runway even though it had been instructed to hold short of the runway.
This caused a collision that killed five on the Coast Guard plane. By the grace of God, all 379 passengers and crew on the JAL A350 were able to exit safely before the plane burned to a melted pile of composite materials.
Japan Airlines Airbus crashes into a Japanese Coast Guard plane at Tokyo's airport. Reportedly everyone on board the Airbus got off safely…#japan #JapanAirlines #tokyo #crash #flying pic.twitter.com/HlLqe0yRxj
— Mrgunsngear (@Mrgunsngear) January 2, 2024
In Texas, a hearing has finally, albeit quietly, been initiated concerning a July 29, 2023 incident at Houston’s Intercontinental Airport (IAH) where a new First Officer mishandled the landing of a United 767-300ER, slamming it to the ground and bouncing the nose gear multiple times so hard that the airframe of the plane was severely damaged.
#United_Airlines Boeing 767-300 (N641UA) performed hard landing on runway 26L at Houston Intercontinental Airport.
— Aviation World Group (@Aviationwg_en) August 1, 2023
The United First Officer was allegedly a former flight attendant who had been fired, then rehired and enrolled in the airline’s DEI Pilot Training program despite being on a company “Do Not Rehire” list.
While in training, the pilot candidate allegedly failed multiple simulator training sessions and scored poorly on training exams.
Apparently, after barely meeting the required tasks, he or she was put in a cockpit as a First Officer.
On July 29, a United plane was nearly totaled after a hard landing
Who was flying that 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…
— Ashley St. Clair (@stclairashley) January 5, 2024
United has gone out of its way to keep this story quiet. No word if the damaged 767 was reparable or if it has been placed back in service.
Revenue, woke policies valued over safety
Lastly, a story emerged this month that is likely the most disturbing thing I have heard over the course of my commercial flying career!
That is a huge red flag regardless of the equipment’s age.
Alaska Airlines did a quick reset and because no issues could be immediately identified gave the OK to return the aircraft to flight.
To be on the safe side, the airline banned the plane from flying over the ocean “just in case,” valuing revenue over safety until the aircraft could be scheduled for a more complete inspection sometime in the future.
Yet again, by the grace of God and thanks to the quick actions of an excellent flight and cabin crew, all on board landed safely after the major depressurization event.
Now we find out that Boeing — the epitome of great aircraft manufacturers until the past decade or so — left out at least four of the retaining bolts during assembly of the 737-900 MAX, causing the service door plug to blow out of the fuselage seven minutes after takeoff.
Family and friends in the aerospace industry, including those working at Boeing, have left or taken early retirement because of the company’s woke leadership and the loss of engineers and assembly professionals with actual flight knowledge and abilities.
They are being replaced by younger, less experienced individuals and DEI hires.
Former military pilots have long been a key source of qualified pilots entering commercial air travel. In the 1980s, two-thirds of airline pilots came from the military.
Today, according to the FAA, that number is now around 30 percent and falling, mostly due to changes in military service that require a minimum of 10 years of service in return for flight and officer training. Military pilots are now into their 30s when they leave.
The Biden administration’s focus on DEI, pronouns, and trans and gay issues in our military over and above training to actually win conflicts has left a bad taste in the majority of personnel as they leave military service.
The last thing these men and women want to do is enter an industry where DEI is at the head of the line, not their expertise and experience of being in the cockpit for over a decade.
Competency is no longer the primary requirement considered for employment.
Syndicated conservative talk show host Jesse Kelly has been addressing the decline of our nation’s airline industry for the past year.
Kelly, who has impeccable sources, posted a statement on X (Twitter) that I and my experienced aviation colleagues know to be true:
“I’ve had MULTIPLE commercial airline pilots confide in me that they will not fly with their families anymore after seeing the DEI hiring of the airlines.
“Mark my words, people are gonna die. And when it happens, The System will move heaven and earth to protect ‘the DEl hires!’”
I’ve had MULTIPLE commercial airline pilots confide in me that they will not fly with their families anymore after seeing the DEI hiring of the airlines.
Mark my words, people are gonna die. And when it happens, The System will move heaven and earth to protect the DEI hires. https://t.co/9Ctk8l7FZ4
— Jesse Kelly (@JesseKellyDC) January 9, 2024
Bradley Reed is a commercial airline pilot who flies Boeing 737-400Fs for an international carrier and is a Marine Corps veteran who did four extended tours in Afghanistan.