James Batson

OBAP West Assistant
Regional Director

United Airlines - First Officer

James Batson

OBAP West Assistant Regional Director

United Airlines - First Officer

OBAP Member Since 2015

Born in Chicago Illinois, James moved to Portland OR at a young age where he was raised by his mother.  In elementary and high school years, James and his older sister were enrolled in an organization called Self Enhancement Inc (S.E.I). S.E.I teaches inner-city youth to dream big and equips them with the tools, coaches, and mentors to reach their dreams. In the third grade, James met President George H.W Bush during a field trip to the Portland International Airport.  James asked the president if he could have a sleepover at the White House. Although that didn’t happen, James did get a chance to see inside the presidential limousine and shared his observations with his classmates using the loudspeaker from the car. Although, that was a cool experience for James, what came next changed the trajectory of his future completely. Seeing the fighter jets take off followed by Air Force One, James knew from that moment that he wanted to become a pilot.

James is currently a First Officer with United Airlines flying the Boeing 737. Prior to United Airlines, James was a Certified Flight Instructor teaching student pilots how to fly. He later was hired at a regional airline to eventually become a Captain, Simulator Instructor Pilot, and Pilot Recruiter with Air Wisconsin Airlines. James graduated from Portland State University majoring in Japanese. After graduation, James moved to Japan and taught English to students.

James became a member of OBAP in 2015. He has volunteered, presenting at numerous school events on behalf of the APIS program telling his story to help inspire others. Because of all the help James had received along the way, he understands the importance of being there to help, which is one reason he’s so passionate about giving back. The majority of his pilot training was paid for by two philanthropists. He promised them one day that he would pay the money back but, they told him that it would be more important and impactful to pay the help forward being of service and inspiring others along the way. That passion drove him to join the OBAP leadership team becoming one of the West Assistant Directors. He will be a great addition to OBAP joining many other leaders to pave the way for the youth of the future.

My Aerospace Career Path

Graduate of Portland State University with a B.A in Japanese.

Certified Flight Instructor

Air Wisconsin Airlines Captain, Simulator Instructor Pilot, and Pilot Recruiter

United Airlines First Officer Pilot

OBAP Assistant West Director

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