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Coordinates: Breech Academy (also called Breech Training Academy) was a school operated by Trans World Airlines between 1969 and 1988 to train flight attendants, ticket agents, and even pilots. It was named for TWA executive Ernest R. Breech.
TWA opened the academy on December 3, 1969, on a 25-acre (100,000 m2), three-building campus in Overland Park, Kansas at 6300 Lamar Ave. to train women to be stewardesses and air hostesses. The academy was so popular that other airlines sent their own flight attendants to the school. Previously TWA had done its training at its TWA Corporate Headquarters' Building in downtown Kansas City. In 1972, TWA started interviewing young men for the position that was previously exclusively held by women. The name "Hostess" thus became "Flight Attendant" because of the addition of male employees to that position. Two men were in the first class started in April 1972. In the years to follow, hundreds of men would eventually graduate the Breech Academy as Flight Attendants.
It was a "state-of-the-art" training school for flight attendants, surpassing any and all other airline schools in United States at that time. The training included being taught inside actual interiors of airplanes such as 747s, L-1011s, and others.
This included intense training the flight attendants on food and beverage service and emergency procedures which included shimmying down a deflated ramp from 30 feet (9.1 m) to the ground from the plane's emergency door hatch. Not to mention the physical inspections which included weekly weigh-ins. There were modern classrooms, air-conditioned and well-lit with oval-type seating for the "book"-type learning.
The school was renowned for its flight attendant dormitories which were in "pods" with beautifully decorated themes such as "Africa", "Asia" and other country's themes. In the African theme, there were leopard skins, bows and other African type objects on the walls of the living room "pod".
Each "pod" had a sunken living room; or "Common Area" with 10 individual dorm-type rooms for two student flight attendants. These "pods" were grouped so that you could easily visit each Dorm Room while walking a full circle. In the evenings, many of the flight attendants in their "pod" would converge into the Common Area room to mingle with each other.
At graduation for the flight attendants, the parents and visitors were invited to watch the graduation ceremony taking place on the school stage as the flight attendants accepted their "wings".
As flight attendants who graduated from Breech Academy, it was a sense of achievement to have graduated from the "top" flight attendant airline school in the nation. To this day, those who graduated from Breech Academy say that no flight attendant is as well trained as those who had graduated from Trans World Airline's Breech Academy.
Breech Academy today
All structures have been converted to office buildings.
- Main Building: Waddell & Reed Financial Management.
- Dorm A: Higdon & Hale CPAs.
- Dorm B: De Marche & Associates.
- Dorm C: TMP Directional Marketing.
- We will never forget - A TWA history site, includes photos of Breech Academy