W.W. Estridge Award

Captain Walter W. Estridge, Jr. is a former Director of Flight Training at the American Airlines Flight Academy in Forth Worth, Texas. Before joining American in 1955, Estridge was a U. S. Air Force pilot and served during the last year of World War II, the Berlin Airlift and the Korean War for a total of nine years of active duty.

During his 31 year airline career, Captain Estridge flew and instructed on practically every airplane operated by American during that period. He was made the Director of Flight Training for the company in 1975. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Airlines Training Corporation, a subsidiary of the company, from 1975 to 1982.

He served as chairman of the ATA and IATA Training Committees and is one of only four people to receive the International Air Transport Association’s coveted Brevet award for outstanding service to that organization.

Estridge has acquired approximately 25,000 hours in nearly 100 types of civil, military, and airline airplanes. His pilot certificate has a second page, added by the FAA, to hold his qualifications and ratings. He also holds a low altitude aerobatic air show authorization for high performance aircraft, and in 1976 he was qualified by Bob Hoover to race in the unlimited category at Reno. He then ran the P-40 in the Reno Air Races.

Captain Walt Estridge is a strong supporter of collegiate aviation. He foresees a time when our colleges and universities will be the major source of airline new hires. This includes administrators, engineers, flight crewmembers, mechanics, and dispatchers.

Since retiring from American, Estridge has worked part time as a consultant for the company. He has written three proprietary studies for American, which has provided valuable data and forecasts for American’s growth plan and for future new hire pilot needs. He also has served on the Aviation Advisory Boards of Mountain View and Navarro County Community Colleges, reviewing their course curricula and training programs. He consults with faculty and students regarding airline career path training programs.