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Marching Together

Step up with United in support of healthier infants and children

UNITED AIRLINES IS committed to supporting the programs and organizations that benefit our people and our communities. In keeping with that commitment, we are continuing a long-standing tradition as the Official Airline Sponsor of the March of Dimes National Ambassador Program and a national sponsor of March for Babies, the premier fundraising event for March of Dimes.

March of Dimes 2012 National Ambassador Kieran Wittstruck will travel throughout the U.S. this year to share his story with millions of Americans and attend hundreds of meetings, conferences, special events and fundraising activities in order to personalize the organization’s mission to improve the health of babies. As the official airline, United will proudly fly Kieran and his family to these events.

March for Babies takes place each year in nearly 900 communities throughout the U.S. The money raised by these events supports community-based education programs that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies; it also provides vital funding for research aimed at solving the problems that threaten infants and children. United would like to invite our customers to join us for this year’s March for Babies. You can visit www.united.com/marchofdimes to learn how to join our co-workers in walks in our hub cities of Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco on Saturday, April 28; Houston, Chicago and Cleveland on Sunday, April 29; and Washington, D.C., on Saturday, May 12.

You can also start your own team, or make cash contributions or MileagePlus Charity Miles donations to support March of Dimes, by following the links on www.united.com/marchofdimes. For more information, go to the March of Dimes website at www.marchofdimes.com, or its Spanish-language site at www.nacersano.org.

With Captain Mike Bowers

Q: Are there circumstances in which an airplane can take off safely without extending its wing flaps?
A: Wing flaps help increase an airplane’s lift, which allows it to take off at a slower speed and therefore use less runway. While most airplanes can take off without the use of wing flaps, doing so would require a higher speed and a longer runway. For that reason, most commercial airliners are certified to take off only at certain flap settings, and they are restricted from taking off with the flaps up. So, yes, a plane can take off without using flaps — but it’s not an allowable procedure and therefore it’s something that we as pilots do not attempt to do.

Do you have a question for Captain Bowers? Write to him at askthepilot@united.com.

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