Photo of the RUPA president

Captain Don “wm” Wolfe

President, Retired United Pilots Association
Retired 2018


Welcome to RUPA!

Congratulations! You’ve just had a successful career flying big jets and are about to enter one of the best chapters of your life. Retirement offers no concerns about bidding, commuting, or studying for your next check ride. Even though your schedule is open, you’ll soon discover that your calendar will fill up quickly. You’ll wonder how you ever found time to go to work. Retirement will allow you to see many of the places you’ve flown over, and to travel to destinations you’ve only dreamed about. When you get there you can stay as long as you like and finally relax without worry. Retirement is also a time to put those CRM skills to good use as a volunteer or a board member of your favorite charity. Don’t be surprised to be invited in to a leadership position because of your ability to achieve goals and to get everyone to work together. As aviators, our seats were in the front row. We were hired and trained to be leaders not followers.

You’ve made many friendships during your career at United. RUPA will allow you to continue enjoying many of those friendships via our regional monthly luncheon events, the RUPA Cruise 2023 and our RUPA Reunion 2023. The luncheons enable you and your significant other to socialize with good friends from the old United family. Consider including an out of state RUPA luncheon in your vacation plans where you can meet up with old friends and classmates. Luncheon locations can be found by selecting the “RUPA Luncheons” tab on this website. Look for future information about the RUPA Cruise 2023 and the RUPA Reunion 2023- as these events mature.

We are also very proud of our monthly RUPANEWS magazine. Cleve Spring and George Cox have used their talents to create a professional publication that is entertaining, informative and second to none. The RUPANEWS will keep you up to date on the developments in the aviation industry as well as United Airlines. You will also read entertaining stories and updates from your peers. We encourage you to submit your own “There I was story”, travel adventure or personal update. Contributions from our members have brought back the old hangar flying stories previously spun on the flight deck or layover. You’ll be surprised to see how many of us actually “saved the day”.

In addition to the RUPANEWS we have an “eBlast” system and annual membership directory. An eBlast is used for providing timely information related to our membership and the directory will help you find old friends and acquaintances. The membership directory is published on an annual basis in January.

Our volunteer staff is here to serve you and to keep our association running like a “well dialed” Pratt and Whitney. Your RUPA team includes Vice President Dan Petrovich, Secretary/Treasurer John Rains, RUPANEWS Editor and eBlast Chairman George Cox, Membership Chairman Larry Whyman, RUPA R&I Chairman Bob Engelman, RUPA Travel Rep Pat Palazzolo, RUPA Luncheon Group Coordinator John Gorczyca, Website Coordinator Jon Rowbottom and the Facebook RUPA group coordinator Cort de Peyster.

I am honored to sit in the “left seat” of RUPA for the next 2 years. We share a common bond of being some of the best aviators in the world. We’ve served the traveling public and the military CRAF operation by flying big jets safely around the world day in and day out. As pilots, flight engineers and family members we have been brought together in a way that is experienced in very few professions.

In closing, I’ll remind you that the seatbelt sign is never on in this organization. You are encouraged to get up, move about planet earth and to enjoy every day. I will see you out there!

Captain Don “wm” Wolfe
President, Retired United Pilots Association
UAL retired 2018