Two United pilots fly 787 for first time
Posted January 23, 2012
For the first time, a Boeing 787 took off with a United pilot at the controls. On Monday, Flight Operations Managing Director Jim Starley and Boeing 777 Assistant Fleet Manager Niels Olufsen each had a turn on the flight deck on Boeing Flight 787 from McConnell Air Force Base near Wichita, Kan., to Rockford, Ill.
Capt. Niels Olufsen, left, our Boeing 777 assistant fleet manager, and Capt. Jim Starley, right, our flight operations managing director, on Monday became the first two United pilots to fly the Boeing 787.
"This is very exciting for me and especially for the company," said Niels. "I wish all of our pilots and ground instructors could have been here. It's a beautiful airplane."
The flight took just over an hour and cruised at 35,000 feet. Niels took off and flew the first half of the flight. Jim took over and landed at 10:06 a.m.
"Up to this point, the airplane has just been something that is coming," Jim added. "Now that we've gotten to fly it, it's a reality, and we are excited about putting this into service later this year."
Both Jim and Niels are type-rated on the 787 through simulator work.