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(LifeSiteNews) — In a searing commentary on Wednesday, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson recounted the story of an Atlas Air/Amazon Prime cargo flight which crashed in 2019 due to errors by a pilot who was grossly unqualified to be at the controls of a Boeing 767, but who had been hired nonetheless in the name of “diversity, equity and inclusion” (DEI).   

 DEI hiring practices are in place at virtually every major air carrier in the United States.  

“United Airlines has promised that fifty percent (50%) of their new trainees will be women and minorities,” noted Carlson. “Not the best pilots, but people that look a certain way.”  

“The airlines are in a mad scramble to meet equity targets, meaning, they are pushing safety aside in favor of ideology,” said Carlson.  “And people will die.” 


As seasoned professional pilots, I and many of my colleagues are alarmed by the trends we see in our industry. Safety is being traded for woke DEI concerns, and health standards for pilots are being relaxed to accommodate adverse reactions to the experimental COVID-19 “vaccine” that were required by major carriers for cockpit crews.      

 The state of commercial aviation is likely worse than you think  

 Whatever your thoughts are about the state of commercial aviation, it’s likely worse than you think.  Here are just a few areas of concern:  

  1. With the approval of the FAA, many airlines have cut in half the 1,000 hours of “Pilot in Command” (PIC) experience previously required for crew members to qualify as airline captains. 
  1. COVID-19 vaccines were developed and rushed under Emergency Use Authorization before being fully tested and approved by the Food & Drug Administration. As a result, commercial pilots who were forced to take the jab in order to keep their jobs are now in violation of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) regulations which ban pilots from receiving unapproved medications, trapping the majority of U.S. commercial pilots in a horrible Catch-22.  
  1. The FAA recently relaxed EKG standards for pilots, allowing irregularities in  their heart rhythms that would’ve placed their medical certificate in jeopardy just a year ago.  
  1. The U.S. Military previously provided a direct pipeline of trained pilots to feed the airline industry’s voracious hunger for experienced crew, but that flow has slowed to a trickle, due to increased government interference and degradation in the aviation system.  
  1. In a departure from wise past precedent, many of those training to become pilots have never actually flown a plane prior to entering flight school, yet are being fast tracked from classroom, to simulators, to cockpits of commercial jets. 
  1. As already mentioned, the vetting and acceptance of potential pilots into many airline and private flight schools are now based primarily on the woke notion of “equity”, not aptitude and demonstrated capability.
  1. There has been an alarming increase of new pilot procedure failures that are written up in pilot logs, but are generally ignored by airlines and go unreported by the media.   
  1. The Feds are now considering “single pilot cockpits” for commercial airline flights, bending to demands by airline executives that air travel safety be subordinated to corporate profits.    

That last point is especially concerning.

I have a decade of commercial piloting experience. Can I competently fly my 737 by myself? In the majority of situations, my answer is an unequivocal “H*ll, yes!” But there are times when it is critical to have two pilots at the controls acting as a team to avoid disaster. Here are a few examples:   

  • Power is lost in one engine or both engines
  • Bird strikes
  • Pressurization problems
  • Smoke & fire problems
  • Control problems from incorrect service procedures
  • Increasing instances of engine cowling peeling off during flight
  • Planes landing & taking off on the same runway 

As a captain, I am solely responsible for the lives of more than one hundred people aboard my aircraft and countless others on the ground. I darn well want an extra set of hands and eyes to protect those lives! 

Add to all this the fact that healthy young adults, susceptible to keeling over from heart issues stemming from adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccinations, are now in cockpits with reduced health restrictions to maintain a license. 

READ: United Airlines employees file lawsuit over tyrannical, government-backed COVID jab mandate

Is the woke trans agenda jeopardizing passenger safety? 

Long-standing airline safety policy isn’t just being relaxed in the cockpit.Some companies are now mandating that “transgender” flight attendants be allowed to wear cross dressing uniforms, while others are mandating the hiring of transgender persons.  

Last year, The Epoch Times reported 

Eight current Southwest employees, including three minorities, [explained] that “woke, leftist” DEI policies, as implemented, have tarnished the cherished Golden Rule principle, fractured a once-cohesive workforce, and, ultimately, may put safety at risk. 

Faced with pandemic-related staffing shortages and pressure to add minorities, the company has changed the way it hires, trains, and disciplines workers—mostly to benefit less-qualified new hires representing the diversity rainbow, the employees say. 

One Southwest flight attendant, a Hispanic female, said: “They are compromising safety for the sake of race, gender identity, and sexual preference … They’re risking people’s lives because of agendas.” 

Cabin crew members’ first and highest responsibility has always been to ensure passenger safety. Flight attendants undergo extensive training for emergencies and must be physically agile and mentally in control. Employees who are obsessed about being called by their “preferred pronouns” or pushing the woke trans agenda trivialize the respected role of flight attendants.

Help unvaccinated United Airlines staff defeat the company's vax mandate
We are 30 people fighting United Airlines because of their disregard for our religious convictions, and their heavy handed mandate of an untested drug. While they may have plenty to spend, we need help from everyone who believes that regardless of your situation, no employer should be able to force you to take a drug or else get fired.


Evidence of an industry in disarray is mounting on many fronts 

A couple weeks ago, a departing Southwest Airlines flight with 128 people on board and a FedEx cargo plane on final approach narrowly avoided crashing into each other at Austin’s International Airport thanks to the quick thinking and actions of the FedEx pilots.  The two aircraft –– which came within less than 100 feet of each other –– had been cleared by Air Traffic Control (ATC) to use the same runway at the same time. 

Just weeks before at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, a Delta Air Lines Boeing 737 was forced to abort takeoff, stopping less than 1,000 feet from a taxiing American Airlines Boeing 777 crossing the active runway.  

During the month of January alone, ATC centers around the country experienced over 100 near-miss situations. Over one hundred!  

Airline traffic across the country was brought to a halt for several hours last month after the FAA’s archaic NOTAM system, which supplies information critical to flight safety to pilots and airport crews, experienced a critical system error. More than ten thousand flights were reportedly delayed. 

The fact is, the airline industry is in extreme peril today and has been for quite a while.  Aviation infrastructure remains antiquated and has not kept up with expansion needs.    

President Biden, in his State of the Union Address this month, discussed onerous airline fees while ignoring the much bigger issue of looming air travel safety concerns.   

His omission doesn’t instill confidence. On the contrary, members of the flying public should be alarmed.   

READ: COVID mask charges dropped against elderly Canadian arrested after WestJet flight last year

Let airlines know you are concerned 

Those who frequently fly for business or pleasure should be very concerned about the future of air travel.  I suggest researching your favorite carrier and if you find policies that you are uncomfortable with, call or write them about your concerns.  Do not remain silent. 

With the direction the aviation system in America is headed, pushed along by powerful woke-tailwinds, it’s just a matter of time before the next air disaster grabs national headlines.    

Bradley Reed is a commercial airline pilot who flies Boeing 737-400Fs for an international carrier, and a Marine Corps veteran who did four extended tours in Afghanistan.