Celebrating The End of Excellence

One of the headlines from last night’s Super Bowl LVII was the all-woman piloted flyover team.

OK, I get it—maybe that inspires young girls to seek a military aviation career. I’m assuming they’re as good as the men, right?

But then I see this headline in the New York Times: “The End of the All-Male, All-White Cockpit”

Quick question: can we still even call it a “cockpit”?

The story is about how the airline industry, for decades, drew from the ranks of military pilots. They had a lot of flight hours, and were exhaustively trained for in-flight emergencies. As someone sitting in 27C, that sounds pretty good to me.

The sub-head gives away the game: “Airlines are struggling to find enough pilots and to diversify a profession that has been very resistant to change”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the hint I’m getting is that “struggling” probably means lowering standards, not admitting that gender or racial diversity should not factor into having a qualified pilot. See, whenever an institutional “struggles” with diversity, it doesn’t mean they’re rethinking it. The “struggle” is lifting up and re-setting the goalposts. They’re very heavy.

Already, and we’ve talked about this on the show, the airline industry is in a self-made dilemma of low salaries, high stress and pandemic attrition leading to a pilot and crew shortage so acute that it outstrips weather as the primary reason for flight delays and cancellations.

So, naturally, let’s make that worse by weeding out any white or male candidates.

I  know people meant well, when they started with the “firsts” accolades, but who knew that would turn into a compulsive obsession to check the “first” boxes, every time, for every thing?

Could we take a vote of passengers? If my fellow customers want to prioritize a diverse flight crew, like it’s the anchor team on “ActionNews10 at 6PM”, fine, I’ll be quiet and start driving to my destinations.

I don’t think passengers, especially those focused on safety, anxious about air travel, or taking their entire family to Hawaii, would vote like that.

Of course, I AM “resistant to change”, so…


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