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JetBlue wants to turn you (yes, you!) into an airplane pilot

JetBlue wants to turn you (yes, you!) into an airplane pilot
[Photo: Flickr user Anthony Quintano]

Hey you: Want to be an airplane pilot?

JetBlue is preparing for a looming pilot shortage by expanding its first-of-its-kind training program that takes regular schmos (like you!) and turns them into high-flying commercial airplane pilots. Boeing estimates there will be about 117,000 pilot jobs that need filling in North America in the next 20 years, and few people with the required 1,500 hours of flight time to fill them. That’s why JetBlue last year launched Gateway Select, to train the youth of America in the aviation arts, no experience necessary.

Trainees are taught everything from meteorology to aerodynamics and rack up the requisite 1,500 hours of flying experience before they are hired at JetBlueAccording to Bloomberg, the first batch of trainees included a grocery store clerk, an accountant, and a baggage handler–and the program set them on the path to flying the friendly skies. Want to get in on the fun? JetBlue will be accepting online applications starting Wednesday and running through Sept. 30. It isn’t cheap, though: According to the website, the cost is approximately $125,000, payable in installments over about 15 months.ML