Critical careers: pilot shortage crisis

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – These are turbulent times for the airline industry. There is a severe global shortage of airline pilots, and it affects us all.

If you’ve traveled this summer and experienced flight delays or cancellations, chances are it’s due to a pilot shortage. This has an impact beyond those of us who travel by air. About $6.8 trillion worth of goods are transported by air freight every year, ranging from urgent medical equipment to perishables and other goods.

Andrew Hegland had a completely different career in mind. But in 2019 he started flying. He completed his RCTC aviation pilot program in February 2020, and now he is one of the instructors in the program. Pilots must have 1500 flight hours and significant training. Andrew completed the RCTC’s immersive program, gaining industry knowledge with hands-on lessons. And then, take flight with RCTC’s partner, Great Planes Aviation in Rochester.

Great Planes gets students off the ground with one-on-one flight lessons at its innovative facilities, including its own commercial pilot flight lab.

Kess Klouser is also a graduate of RCTC and Great Planes. “It’s a way for students new to flight training to familiarize themselves with procedures on the plane,” she says. We went for a short virtual flight over Rochester. She trusted me enough to take charge, and I didn’t do too much damage.

Kess fills a major gap in the airline industry. It projects worldwide that it will need 804,000 new civil aviation pilots, 769,000 new maintenance technicians and 914,000 new cabin crew members to fly and maintain the fleet over the next 20 years. .

Learn more about the RCTC Aviation Pilot Program and Great Planes Aviation in Rochester.

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