The improvement in jetliner safety among U.S. commercial airliners since the 20th century is remarkable. Looking at this list of airliner fatalities, it appears that exactly one passenger has been killed in a big U.S.-owned Boeing or Airbus jetliner in the 20 years since the last catastrophic American passenger jetliner crash (in Queens in 2001).
But, you’ll be glad to know, some people are working on fixing that unbroken problem.
From the New York Times news section:
Airlines are struggling to find enough pilots and to diversify a profession that has been very resistant to change.
By Niraj Chokshi
April 23, 2022
It’s been a half-century since airlines started hiring women and people of color to fly passenger planes, allowing a handful of pioneering pilots into the flight deck.
In the decades since, commercial aviation has grown exponentially, democratizing travel and rewiring how Americans live, work and play. But one part of the industry has remained mostly the same. Piloting is stubbornly monolithic: About 95 percent of airline pilots in the U.S. today are male. Nearly as many are white.
Zakiya Percy is one of a small and growing number of people trying to change that.
Similarly, few black women used to write op-eds, and thus the crucial topic of hair-touching was criminally under-op-edisized. Obviously, we need more Zakiyas piloting jetliners in order to change the status quo. What was so bad about a few hundred, or a few thousand, passengers dying annually?
… Few women and people of color aspire to fly planes because they rarely see themselves in today’s flight decks. The cost of training and the toll of discrimination can be discouraging, too. Now there’s urgency for the industry to act. Pilots are in short supply, and if airlines want to make the most of the thriving recovery from the pandemic, they will have to learn to foster lasting change.
“The pilot shortage for the industry is real,” Scott Kirby, the chief executive of United Airlines, told analysts and reporters on Thursday. “Most airlines are simply not going to be able to realize their capacity plans because there simply aren’t enough pilots, at least not for the next five-plus years.”
In other words, the CEO at United wants to pay lower salaries to pilots, so he’s willing to increase your risk of dying.
People are flying a lot these days, and pilots are not enthusiastic about their current pay in this inflationary era. I’ve been on a trip (which is why blogging has been slow — more about my trip later) and the outbound flight was notably delayed by the flight crew not showing up on time. I’d presume this was due to a mechanical problem, except the gate crew did not mention that reason.
I was reminded of when I got stuck in Ireland an extra day in June 1994 because the night before was the first game of the World Cup soccer tournament and little Ireland beat mighty Italy, the defending champion, on a fluke kick. I can attest that there was much celebrating in Ireland that night, and two days later the newspaper implied that the Aer Lingus crew had been still too drunk to fly the next day.
But, at least jetliners aren’t crashing.
Airlines have started to do more to diversify. …
As air travel became more popular in the 1970s and 1980s, airline advertisements almost exclusively depicted pilots as white men, with some exceptions in publications directed at Black consumers, said Alan Meyer, a history professor at Auburn University who is working on a book on the slow pace of racial integration in airline flight decks.
“It just continues to reinforce this image,” Dr. Meyer said. “This simultaneously plays into this often subconscious association between whiteness and maleness and technical competence.”
… Two years and about \$100,000. That’s what it takes, in most cases, to gather the experience necessary to qualify to become a commercial airline pilot.
In the winter of 2009, a Bombardier turboprop crashed, probably due to flight crew errors, killing virtually all aboard. The co-pilot, a 24-year-old woman, was being paid \$16k per year according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
Congressmen, who fly a lot, responded by raising the standards for passenger jet pilots. In the 13 years since, American passenger jetliner safety has been remarkably good.
But, higher safety standards have disparate impact.
After all, what have white American men ever accomplished in the field of aviation? I mean, besides the Wright Brothers, the DC-3, the Battle of Midway, the 707, and Apollo 11?
… Historically, the armed forces offered a less-expensive path into the field. But the military has long struggled with pilot diversity and shortages, too. Still, the Air Force has slowly improved diversity among active duty pilots: Today, about 8 percent of those pilots are women and about 13 percent are nonwhite. While nowhere near reflective of the American public, those figures are still better than the numbers for commercial airlines.
But the reason for racial inequality among pilots that is most commonly cited by experts and instructors is perhaps the most apparent: A lack of role models and exposure has played a central role in keeping many women and people of color out the field.
Similarly, there weren’t any blacks allowed in the NBA until 1950, so that’s why there are so few now.
Seriously, there are obvious tradeoffs with the airlines’ goal of not having to pay pilots as much, such as more planes crashing. But when the airline PR people frame the issue as discrimination against People of Intersectionality, such as Zakiya, the NYT goes brain-dead, even though NYT subscribers tend to fly a lot.
I bet Tucker Carlson flies a lot too.
I want to thank everybody who has contributed to my April fundraiser so far.
Here are nine ways for you to contribute to the April fundraiser:
First: Most banks now allow fee-free money transfers via Zelle.
Zelle is really a good system: easy to use and the fees are nonexistent.
If you have a Wells Fargo bank account, you can transfer money to me (with no fees) via Wells Fargo SurePay/Zelle. Just tell WF SurePay/Zelle to send the money to my ancient AOL email address steveslrAT aol.com — replace the AT with the usual @). (Non-tax deductible.) Please note, there is no 2.9% fee like with Paypal or Google Wallet, so this is good for large contributions.
Zelle contributions are not tax deductible.
Second: if you have a Chase bank account (or even other bank accounts), you can transfer money to me (with no fees) via Chase QuickPay/Zelle (FAQ). Just tell Chase QuickPay/Zelle to send the money to my ancient AOL email address (steveslrATaol.com — replace the AT with the usual @). If Chase asks for the name on my account, it’s StevenSailer with an n at the end of Steven. (Non-tax deductible.) There is no 2.9% fee like with Paypal or Google Wallet, so this is also good for large contributions.
Fourth: You can use Paypal (non-tax deductible) by going to the page on my old blog here. Paypal accepts most credit cards. Contributions can be either one-time only, monthly, or annual. (Monthly is nice.)
Fifth: You can mail a non-tax deductible donation to:
P.O Box 4142
Valley Village, CA 91617
I have no idea why somebody carefully hung this empty picture frame from a tree alongside the Fryman Canyon hiking trail, but I appreciate it, like I appreciate your support.
Sixth: You can make a tax deductible contribution via VDARE by clicking here.
Please don’t forget to click my name at the VDARE site so the money goes to me: first, click on “Earmark your donation,” then click on “Steve Sailer:”
This is not to say that you shouldn’t click on John’s fund too, but, please, make sure there’s a blue dot next to my name.
VDARE has been kiboshed from use of Paypal for being, I dunno, EVIL. But you can give via credit cards, Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, check, money order, or stock.
Note: the VDARE site goes up and down on its own schedule, so if this link stops working, please let me know.
Seventh: send money via the Paypal-like Google Wallet to my Gmail address (that’s isteveslrATgmail .com — replace the AT with a @). (Non-tax deductible.)
Eight: You can send me Bitcoin. Bitcoin payments are not tax deductible.
Here’s my Bitcoin address:
Here’s the OCR
Please let me know if this works, ideally by sending me Bitcoin. Or let me know what else you’d like to send me.
If you’re sending to a crypto address that belongs to another Coinbase user who has opted into Instant sends in their privacy settings, you can send your funds instantly to them with no transaction fees. This transaction will not be sent on chain, and is similar to sending to an email address.
Learn more about sending and receiving crypto.
Send off-chain funds
- Tap at the bottom
- Tap Send
- Tap your selected asset and enter the amount of crypto you’d like to send
- Enter the Receiver’s crypto address or scan their crypto QR code to see if the address belongs to a Coinbase user
Sign into Coinbase.com
Click Send at the top right
Click your selected asset and enter the amount of crypto you’d like to send
Enter the Receiver’s crypto address or scan their crypto QR code to see if the address belongs to a Coinbase user
Obsolete: Below are links to two Coinbase pages of mine. But these don’t work anymore. I will try to fix them. This first is if you want to enter a U.S. dollar-denominated amount to pay me.
This second is if you want to enter a Bitcoin-denominated amount. (Remember one Bitcoin is currently worth many U.S. dollars.)
▲▼Ninth: I added Square [which is now Block] as a fundraising medium, although I’m vague on how it works. If you want to use Square, send me an email telling me how much to send you an invoice for. Or, if you know an easier way for us to use Square, please let me know.