Breaking News
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

Aviation heavyweights flock to U.S. grassroots air jamboree to fill pilot shortage

Stock MarketsAug 01, 2021 07:30AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items

By Tracy Rucinski

OSHKOSH, Wis (Reuters) - The wings of a Boeing (NYSE:BA) 737 MAX airliner swept over green fields populated by colorful small planes, lending a rare corporate touch to the world's largest grassroots air show this past week.

EAA AirVenture brought together more than half a million aviation enthusiasts and thousands of vintage or homebuilt aircraft and aerobatic showstoppers to Oshkosh (NYSE:OSK), Wisconsin, for a celebration dubbed the Woodstock of aviation.

For one week, the annual summer event becomes the world's busiest airspace with well over 100 takeoffs or landings every hour.

With marquee events like the Paris Airshow cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Oshkosh provided a tempting showcase this year for corporate industry leaders like Boeing and United Airlines - a reminder of what's at stake for an industry still overcoming its worst crisis.

A year ago U.S. airlines were grappling with a pilot surplus. Now as travel demand snaps back more quickly than expected, they are rushing to fill hiring pipelines and woo youth to the industry, a change from the slow pace of recovery from previous crises.

"If you had told me last year that I'd be in this event, that I'd have an avenue to get to United Airlines, I would have told you, you were crazy," said John Pama, a 21-year old graduate of Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University.

Pama was among 30 prospective young pilots United flew into Oshkosh on a brand-new 737 MAX brandishing the "Aviate" logo for its pilot recruitment program.

The airline plans to hire 350 pilots this year, 1,500 by 2022 and 3,000 by 2023.

The Boeing 737, dwarfed by its larger 777 cousin at airports like United's Chicago O'Hare, stood out against the sea of small planes dotted about the Wisconsin countryside, many with pitched tents under their wings where spectators stay for the week-long event.

Elsewhere at the show, Boeing joined forces with rival Airbus for a presentation on efforts to prevent the spread of viruses like COVID-19 during flight.

Yet unlike the prominence given to corporate messaging at the more widely noticed air shows in Paris and Farnborough, England, only a handful of people attended.

By contrast, packed forums nearby featured experts discussing topics for small planes such as "How healthy is your engine," all while war birds and stunt planes zipped above.

The jamboree, which was itself canceled last year because of the pandemic, wraps up Sunday after what organizers expect will be record attendance, despite a sharp decline in international visitors due to continued COVID-19 travel restrictions.

"The crowd this year is an overwhelmingly U.S. domestic audience," said Dick Knapinski, spokesman of the show's organizers the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA).



Aviation heavyweights flock to U.S. grassroots air jamboree to fill pilot shortage

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email