Last Week’s Poll Results: DEI Is Bad For Aviation


The results were pretty conclusive this week and we got more than twice the average number of responses. More than half of almost 5,000 AVweb readers think DEI is hurting aviation.


  1. It’s stands for Diversity Equity Inclusion. What it does is eliminate meritocracy in favor of equity (not equality) thus eliminating highly qualified candidates who do not “meet” the standard set forth by the governing body de jure. As the “standards” for DEI are up to the whim of the governing body, no one knows for sure whether the best candidates were selected or, just those who meet certain characteristics. In every situation, it is not selecting the most highly qualified candidates unless said candidate ALSO happens to meet the DEI standard set forth by the governing body.

    Good luck on that one. Better odds at Vegas…

  2. It’s an alternative to the “hey, let’s go to a strip club and see if you’re qualified” and “we chose Dave with no experience because he’s just ‘one of the guys'”.

    Both of which have actually been said (in front of me) to my wife.

    It’s amazing how white guys (which must be 99% of Avweb readers) are in favor of keeping the white guy network alive and see it as a huge affront if someone considers it a problem.

  3. “It’s amazing how white guys (which must be 99% of Avweb readers) are in favor of keeping the white guy network alive and see it as a huge affront if someone considers it a problem.”

    I wound not say that.

    The ‘white guys’ you are referring to in a racist/sexist fashion simply want the best people for the job, REGARDLESS of sex or race (i.e., the OPPOSITE of your racism and sexism, and exactly in accordance with MLK’s I have a dream speech).

    We want the best and most qualified people in the cockpit, the operating room, the conference room, the lecture hall, and everywhere. Whether it is cleaning the floor or giving a speech before congress we want the best person for the job.

    Race and sex have no bearing.

  4. “It’s amazing how white guys (which must be 99% of Avweb readers) are in favor of keeping the white guy network alive and see it as a huge affront if someone considers it a problem.”

    To help illustrate what a racist and sexist thing to say this is lets make the following Gedankin experiment:

    “It’s amazing how BLACK GIRLS (which must be 99% of Avweb readers) are in favor of keeping the white guy network alive and see it as a huge affront if someone considers it a problem.”

    Yeah, that would fly.

  5. I agree William. “…We want the best and most qualified people in the cockpit, the operating room, the conference room, the lecture hall, and everywhere. Whether it is cleaning the floor or giving a speech before congress we want the best person for the job.

    Race and sex have no bearing.”

    Remember the Bakke decision?

  6. I remember it well. It was made while I was applying to college and later medical school.

    I graduated Rutgers, now Robert Wood Johnson medical school in 1990.

    We had an affirmative action program where 10% of the seats were denied to the most qualified applicants for the sake of affirmative action.

    If I recall correctly, the graduation rate of that 10% was 0%, despite special classes and less stringent testing along the way.

    That meant about 7 fewer trained physicians that particular year.

  7. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. ”

    Martin Luther King

    • It is unreasonable to assume that Martin Luther King Jr. would have been against Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives. Martin Luther King Jr., a man of peace, was assassinated by a white man, reflecting the racist moods of the time. Trying to attribute twisted opinions to him posthumously is absurd.

      • His words. Mine agree with his but those are his words. Read the entire speech. Study his life. Understand his God (i.e., God) and you will see what many people see. MLK Jr was against racism. Just as he says a person should not be judged by the color of their skin. Pretty self explanatory, and Biblically sound.

  8. Those wise words of Martin L King were, IMHO, contrary to the actual behavior of DEI and the results of those that follow that philosophy.

  9. The Diverse Skill Set of Pilots: Beyond Cognitive Abilities

    Piloting is a highly responsible role that demands a broad and intricate set of skills to navigate the complexities of flying safely. While cognitive abilities are crucial, they are just one aspect of the multifaceted skill set that defines a successful pilot. This theme explores various aspects crucial to pilots, covering cognitive, physical, and interpersonal competencies.

    1. Cognitive Abilities: Pilots often possess above-average cognitive abilities, including memory, attention, language processing, problem-solving, reasoning, perception, spatial skills, executive functions, and processing speed (measured by IQ scores falling within the 90-120 range). These abilities, vital for decision-making in aviation’s dynamic and challenging environment, encompass problem-solving and critical thinking.

    2. Hand-Eye Coordination and Spatial Awareness: Beyond cognitive prowess, pilots need excellent hand-eye coordination for precise aircraft control. Spatial awareness complements this, enabling pilots to understand their position, altitude, and orientation in three-dimensional space.

    3. Communication Skills: Pilots must communicate clearly with air traffic control, fellow crew members, and other personnel. Clear and concise communication ensures safety and coordination, playing a crucial role in successful flight operations.

    4. Decision-Making Skills and Situational Awareness: The aviation environment demands quick and informed decision-making. Pilots must prioritize tasks and respond effectively to emergencies. Situational awareness, achieved through continuous monitoring of instruments and environmental factors, ensures a comprehensive understanding of the flight’s context.

    5. Stress Management and Multi-Tasking Abilities: Pilots encounter stressful situations requiring effective stress management and the ability to remain calm. Efficient multitasking is also essential, demanding simultaneous management of tasks like simultaneously monitoring instruments and communicating with air traffic control.

    6. Physical Fitness: General good health is a prerequisite for pilots, ensuring they can handle the physical demands of flying and respond effectively to emergencies.

    7. Teamwork and Leadership Skills: Collaboration within the cockpit is crucial for successful flight operations. Pilots must possess effective teamwork and leadership skills to create a positive and efficient working environment.

    In conclusion, the skill set required for pilots extends beyond cognitive abilities. Successful pilots exhibit strong hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness, effective communication skills, decision-making abilities, and physical fitness. Stress management, multitasking, and the ability to work collaboratively further contribute to a pilot’s competence. The global diversity within the aviation industry emphasizes that these skills are not exclusive to any particular racial or ethnic group. As we observe the multi-faceted nature of pilot expertise, we recognize that success in aviation results from a combination of skills, training, and experience, irrespective of one’s background. People from various racial and ethnic backgrounds can excel as pilots, showcasing inclusivity and diversity within the field.

  10. Russ Niles, t’s important to approach the interpretation of survey results, especially on sensitive topics like diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), with caution. While your poll suggests a significant percentage of respondents feel that DEI is hurting aviation, by the promoting of women and people of color in aviation, several factors should be considered:
    1. Sample Bias: The poll was conducted within 98% white male community. Therefore, the composition of the sample is not representative of the broader aviation community, potentially introducing bias in the results.
    2. Question Framing: The wording of the main question, “Is DEI Hurting Aviation,” might inherently convey a negative bias, potentially influencing respondents towards a particular perspective.
    3. Limited Options: The options provided may not capture the full range of opinions on DEI in aviation. Some respondents might have more complex views that may not align with the given choices.
    4. Context and Understanding: Without additional context, it’s challenging to interpret what respondents mean by “hurting aviation.” Different individuals may interpret and define the impact of DEI initiatives in various ways.
    5. Potential for Emotional Responses: DEI can be a sensitive and emotional topic. The wording of the question and the nature of the issue might lead to emotional responses that may not fully capture the complexities of people’s perspectives.
    6. Response Size: Although the poll gathered a significant number of responses (close to 5,000), this number is a relatively small portion of the entire aviation community. As a result, the findings may not be representative of the broader aviation population and may not be applicable or valid for the entire industry.
    In summary, I am disappointed with how AVweb has interpreted the results, particularly the implication that a significant number of respondents believe Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is adversely affecting aviation, especially within an imbalanced public platform. It is essential to recognize the limitations and potential biases in the survey methodology. Interpretation of these results should be done cautiously since the sample size and composition might not entirely reflect the views of the broader aviation community.

    • I have so few words to create and then characterize these thoroughly unscientific polls but I’ll try to do better.

      • Russ, it’s not just the words; I am very disappointed that you demonstrated the poor judgment to consider issuing such a poll in the first place, since the obvious (and only) conclusion, that more than half of AVweb readers (presumably mostly pilots) are racist (not to mention opinionated, since they likely have no actual data on the measurable impact of DEI on anything), was foregone. I hope your aviation decision making is better than your social decision making.

        Judging by the comments, some of the readers are not diligent enough to lookup the difference between DEI and affirmative action, not that there is anything wrong with the latter as a compensatory mechanism for persistently racist employers (regardless of what the current majority in the Supreme Court has to say); see, for example, “”.

        You should let your advertisers know that I for one am much less likely to follow AVweb anymore if you are going to dabble in emotionally provocative, highly politicized issues.

        Why don’t you just stick to poking the unleaded fuel naysayers bear when you want an emotional response, and leave race (and gender) out of this forum?

    • John Doe, I will explain. Around 1915, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) started using ideas from Darwinian evolution to try to make their racist beliefs seem more legitimate. They took Charles Darwin’s scientific theories and twisted them to claim that the white race was better than others. By doing this, the KKK tried to make their discriminatory views sound like they were based on science, even though they were distorting and misusing the scientific principles. This gave their racist beliefs a false sense of credibility. All this came to be known as “Social Darwinism.”

  11. No, you are confusing two different mind sets; The Darwin Principle states that the incompetent genes will weed themselves from the environment by pulling incompetent actions. Case in point, the individual who is challenged to lick a 480 volt electrical outlet and does so, only to be electrocuted. Where as the individual with common sense knows this will lead to their death. the only issue in this environment, innocent bystanders may be involved.

  12. Let me give you an actual aviation example, a few Years ago an individual came to an instructor wanting to learn to fly. He, (the student) thought he knew it all and could do it all, so the instructor cut him loose after a couple hours of dual and conferring with his peers and the fisdo. This individual proceeded to purchase a new Husky and teach himself, He killed himself in his new aircraft one week after purchasing said aircraft…It came to light that his last instructor was one of four this guy had engaged and been dropped by…..Total flight time less than 7 hours……..This is the Darwin principle at work…….

  13. “DEI” is nothing more than racism and sexism dressed up in fancy words. No matter how hard its proponents try to justify it, it is wrong.
    Discrimination on the basis of sex and race is wrong. It doesn’t matter who you are discriminating against, or whether you have good intentions or not.
    DEI is hurting every part of our society, not just aviation.

  14. Agree BB. It’s hard to fathom why this is not self evident to racists and sexists who wish to discriminate.

    As was the case in the 60’s, it’s up to good people to resist. Keep it up. Discrimination based on race and sex is wrong. Period.

  15. Russ, this is a little off the subject, but why isn’t Avweb publishing the comments from the “Other” option any more? What’s the point of having an “Other” check box that pretty well requires the reader to explain their selection when no one gets to read those comments? If this is an indication of the “improvements” that Flying Media wants to see, I’m not impressed. I’m not criticizing your work, I think you do a fine job. It just seems that the new administration is more interested in flash than content.

  16. If the government would not ask the question of race, then race would not be a question. As far as I know everyone who becomes an pilot or mechanic must pass the same requirements. Aviation is already the most objective industry in America.

  17. “Agree BB. It’s hard to fathom why this is not self evident to racists and sexists who wish to discriminate.”

    People who love telling you how to live rarely subject themselves to the scrutiny they apply to you. Hypocrisy is ok if you just rename the objectionable.

  18. @William February 12 1:35pm

    You wrote: “It’s amazing how white guys (which must be 99% of Avweb readers) are in favor of keeping the white guy network alive and see it as a huge affront if someone considers it a problem.”

    Let me fix that for you: “It’s amazing how white guys (which must be 99% of Avweb readers) are opposed to any and all discrimination based on gender and race.”

    We need to do more than be opposed – we need to speak up. That’s easier in an online forum, but at least it’s happening here.

    I trust you spoke up when those ugly remarks were made in front of your wife. I never have spoken up, and that’s because in more than 30 years in sport aviation I have never, in person, heard remarks like those. Not to deny they happen; I fully believe they do. And, as your comment suggests, an unchallenged remark like that leaves a powerful impression of sexism and racism that goes far beyond what’s actually there in our community. The counter to that is for the non-sexists and non-racists who overhear those remarks to speak up. The goal isn’t to change the speaker’s mind – although, given a few days for them to mull it over, you may. It is to communicate to others within earshot that this is not a consensus view; that most of us really are opposed to discrimination based on gender or race.

    It doesn’t have to be a “let’s take this outside” challenge. It can be more like “I feel really sad when I hear you say that. I’d like to think all pilots respect each other.” You don’t have to start a fight. You don’t have to get into an argument; any angry reply can probably be answered with “hey, just sayin’,” or simple silence. But you will help to make it clear: the vast majority of us have no patience with racial or gender discrimination, casual or formal. Which, I think, is what the survey actually shows.

  19. In conclusion, emphasizing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the aviation industry is commendable and strategically sound. It supports innovation, safety, global awareness, and ethical responsibility. Fostering a culture of DEI positions the aviation sector for sustained success in a dynamic and interconnected world. In essence, DEI is a positive and beneficial force for aviation!

    • Reagan said it best: “The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.” This poster epitomizes that sentiment when it comes to D.I.E because the statements are baseless and not anchored in any objective evidence.

      • Reagan was known as the “Great Communicator” for his ability to connect with the American people. His communication style was practical, often using anecdotes and straightforward language to convey his messages and policies. I liked him.

  20. Implementing the tenets of a meritocracy and DEI are mutually exclusive. As soon as ANY quota is established for ANY group of people identifiable by race, color, creed, sex or any other way of identifying and culling them from the masses … someone else has to pay the price. There is no way anyone will be able to convince me otherwise for any reason.

    Now then … I have to go to the White Old Pilots Assn meeting … we’re a diverse group.

  21. It’s great to hear your emphasis on the enduring importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in various aspects of society, including education and the marketplace. Your perspective aligns with the recognition that fostering fair play and embracing diversity is crucial for progress and societal well-being.

    Indeed, as societies evolve and new generations emerge, there is a growing awareness of the need to address regressive mentalities and prejudiced philosophies. By promoting inclusivity and understanding, we contribute to building more equitable and harmonious communities.

    Thank you for highlighting the ongoing significance of DEI and recognizing the role it plays in shaping a more inclusive and just future. Your comments to these values is a positive contribution to fostering positive change.

  22. We used to have something called “NON-discrimination”. NON-discrimination means that we do NOT make a difference based on race, gender, religion, etc. DEI killed that. DEI is the resurrection of racism because decision are made BASED on your race, gender, etc. I have many black African and African-American friends (and I’m African-American too) and they dislike the DEI scam. One filed a legal complaint against the HR director because he said that if he ever got promoted, everyone will think he got promoted because he is black (not because he performed very well). Some of the HR employees agreed with him.

    Regarding aviation, meritocracy is what we want – not forcing people to identify and lean upon their race, gender, religion, heritage, etc. That is discrimination. When you are asked to fill out a form and check if you are white, black, hispanic, asian, native American … I recomment you check the box “other” and write in: “human” !!