HAMPTON, Va. (Oct. 14, 2021) — A team of five United Airlines pilots conducted interviews on September 23rd with students and alumni from the Hampton University Aviation Department in a pre-screening event to qualify for the Aviate Program. Aviate is United's industry-leading pilot career development program offering aspiring and established pilots the most direct path to a United flight deck. Hampton University is a collegiate partner for the Aviate Program.
“Hampton University is a proud partner with the United Airlines Aviate Program” said Dr. William R. Harvey, Hampton University President. “This initial round of interviews is the first step in our joint mission to cultivate the next generation of commercial pilots as well as create new professional pathways for women and people of color to pursue careers in aviation.”
Four United Captains and one First Officer served as University Ambassadors and are currently fly the Boeing 787, 737 and the Airbus 320 for the U.S. Air Carrier worldwide. Four of the ambassadors are graduates from the Hampton University Aviation Department. The interview questions covered all areas of aviator professional development and technical concepts regarding flight planning and aircraft performance as well as personal flying experiences. During the event United Aviate Pilot Recruiter, Sue McGrath, provided a briefing for all candidates, covering the details of the Aviate Program.
“The Hampton University, Department of Aviation, Flight Education program is increasing enrollment of new students due to our excellent program and the Good Morning America recognition on ABC,” said Dr. Joyce Shirazi, Dean of the School of Engineering and Technology. “We are proud to foster an environment with United Airlines to provide quality pilots for the Aviate Program and become the first fully Aviation accredited HBCU to partner with the United Airlines. This partnership will create a fast track pipeline for Flight Education majors with a professional pilot career at United Airlines.”
Participating in the interviews were three Hampton Alumni and all current pilots - Josh Reed (2020) Airport Administration, David Dorsey (2020) Air Traffic Control and Qaisera Alexis (2021) Flight Education. The five current Hampton University Aviation Department Flight Education majors participating in the pre-screening interviews were: Senior Viktoria Ljungman, and Juniors Ellis Woodyard, Myles Divinity, Griffin Weathers, and Tavis Garlington.
“The Hampton University Aviation Department is very honored to partner with United Airlines and the Aviate program. The Aviation Department in partnership with our Flight School partners, Rick Aviation at Newport News-Williamsburg Airport, provides our students with the best training to prepare them for this opportunity. With United and the Aviate program, our students now have an early opportunity to enter an aviation career pipeline in order to track towards becoming a professional pilot at United Airlines,” said Dr. Michael Oakes, Aviation Department Assistant Professor for Flight Education.