Dan Pedersen

Dan Pedersen, Director, Airline Academy USA, L3Harris

Dan Pedersen is the director of the L3Harris Technologies Airline Academy, USA. In this role he is responsible for all aspects of training over 600 cadets a year as professional commercial pilots. Prior to this role, Pedersen served as vice president of programs for the military training sector at L3 Technologies, Inc. During Pedersen’s tenure at L3, he served in various program management and engineering roles. Pedersen has more than 30 years of Aerospace and Defense leadership, engineering and program management experience. He served in the US Navy as a Strike/Fighter pilot, where he held a variety of operational and instructional positions. His final tour of duty was as the Commanding Officer of Strike Fighter Wing, Pacific at Naval Air Station Lemoore, CA. He primarily flew the F/A-18C but also has flight time in the T-34, T-2, A-4, F-5 and F-16. After leaving the Navy in 2001, he was employed as a Simulator Instructor Pilot. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy and a master’s degree in National Security Strategy from the United States Naval War College.

The Journey to Becoming an Airline Ready Pilot

At what point is a pilot ready to take control of a commercial aircraft? Today, pilots have to achieve a strict set of pre-requisites in order to become ready for the commercial airline environment. These pre-requisites differ from one region to another and often airlines will have separate opinions on regulations. How can the aviation industry create the right set of requirements to produce airline ready pilots?

Pilots are required to possess many technical competences in order to fly the aircraft but much more is needed. How important is the multi-crew behavior they exhibit, what understanding of safety do they require and how much of an airline culture is needed?

With such a growing demand for pilots, comes the need to create a more efficient training journey that doesn’t compromise on quality. In fact, there is always room for improvement despite the added pressures we face, many of which can be developed by gaining insight from other regions, airlines, authorized training organizations and regulators from around the world.