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Thread: AA mechanic celebrates 70 year career


  1. #1
    Administrator Migflanker's Avatar
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    Thumbs up AA mechanic celebrates 70 year career

    AA honors mechanic’s 70 years of service.
    "On Wednesday (July 18), Mr. Blackman was treated to scenic views of New York from a fully restored DC-3, a plane flown by the airline between 1936 and 1947. The again, it was not any anniversary.
    Mr. Blackman had just complete 70 years on the job."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/19/nyregion/american-airlines-celebrates-mechanics-70-years-of-service.html


    Congratulations Al.
    Keep'em Flying

    Migflanker - Senior NonRev Correspondent - Los Angeles


  • #2
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    86 years old? So he started working for AA at 16? No WWII service? Korea? Just got a job at AA working on airplanes at 16?

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    "He even worked on helicopters during his time in the Army during the Korean War." Ok, I see where it mentions service dates. But doesn't say how long. The math doesn't add up. Unless somehow AA gave him those years he served in the Army. Then again, it doesn't mention how long he spent in the Army. I would say at least 3 to 4 years is the average stint. Here is the math.

    86 years old
    70 years with AA
    16 years old when he started working for AA
    Worked on Helicopters in the Army

    There isn't enough room for this man to be in the U.S. Army and make 70 years at AA and be 86 years old.

  • #4
    Administrator Migflanker's Avatar
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    Because Al was working at AA before he was drafted, when he returned to work his time in the military was counted.


    Alís full bio at AMTA Knowledge, Skill & Integrity

    C.E.T. Master Mechanic Award Recipient Azriel Blackman

    "Al" or "Blackie" started his aviation career back in 1942 at LaGuardia Airport in New York working on "Flying boat" aircraft such as the Sikorsky VF44, PBY, PBM and the PB4Y for American Export Airlines. During WW II American Export worked under contract for the Navy, which is where Al was exposed to military Seaplanes. American Export was a steamship company, sold their airline division to American Airlines in the middle 1940s.

    Young Al who was only 17 years of age had to get permission from his mother in order to work. The airline had to agree not to assign him to night shift due to his young age. Of his early employment Al says, "I was left on their doorstep and they took me in, I thought they hired me, so I went to work.", and 64 years later Al is still at it.

    Al served his country in Korea from 1950 to 1952 as a Helicopter Crew Chief in the Army Light Aircraft Division servicing and repairing M.A.S.H. helicopters. In 1960 Al transferred to Idlewild International Airport, which is now JFK. In 1965 he became a Crew Chief, and to the present remains in that position. It comes as no surprise that not only is Al the number one man in seniority at American Airlines but he has been for nearly as long as anyone can remember.

    Al's love of working on aircraft has not withered over time. In addition to working on aircraft for a living Al is very active in aircraft restoration. His experience and skill are invaluable. Those who know Al have seen him create obsolete and irreplaceable parts from raw stock. The man defines the phrase "Master Mechanic". He took part in the restoration of the Sikorsky VF44 that is the showpiece of the Aviation Museum at BDL in Connecticut and is an active volunteer at the Boyd Bennett Field Museum in Brooklyn NY.

    So far his amazing career has spanned from the era of the Flying Boats (like the Sikorsky VF44) and the DC-3 to the Concorde and the Boeing 777. Those who know Al are amazed at his boundless energy and enthusiasm. His attitude and humor make his workplace a much more pleasant place to be. When his coworkers ask him why he doesn't retire he replies, "Who would hire me at my age?".



    Last edited by Migflanker; 20-Jul-2012 at 01:11 AM.
    Keep'em Flying

    Migflanker - Senior NonRev Correspondent - Los Angeles

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    Drafted. I see. Good. I'm glad they let him keep his time acrued. Hell of a career.

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    Super Moderator MRSDS1DONNA's Avatar
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    Wow, 70 years is an amazing achievement. I love my company and it is a great place to work. I always say they'll have to carry me out of here but I don't actually mean it! By 86 I hope to be sitting on a lounge chair watching my great grandchildren at the beach.
    MRSDS1DONNA - Senior NonRev Correspondent - Arizona

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    Our #2 Mechanic in seniority just had his 50 year anniversary with the company a couple of months ago. 70 years? I can't even imagine....

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