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Local man shatters record for longest career as airline mechanic

Local man shatters record for longest career as airline mechanic”

On Tuesday, the 91-year-old crew chief at New York's JFK Airport celebrated 75 years of service with the Fort Worth-based carrier.

Guinness World Records also recognized Blackman on Tuesday as the longest career as an airline mechanic.

I could start this column by telling you how much I love my job working in Aircraft Maintenance.

Blackman has worked in several different roles throughout his tenure at American. He told local media he hoped to have "many more years with the company". Yes, M.A.S.H. Yes, that M.A.S.H. "If I didn't do this, what would I do?" he asked. "I'm proud to be part of the American Airlines team", commented Blackman to a standing ovation at the JFK line maintenance facility. That's right - 75 years.

American dedicates N751AN a Boeing 777-200 to Al Blackman with a special decal
American dedicates N751AN a Boeing 777-200 to Al Blackman with a special decal

"I'm just honoured to be here, I'm proud to be a mechanic". A flag was also flown over the Capitol in his honor, and the Guinness Book of World Records marked the occasion. But don't think for a second that this is a retirement letter. He's now a crew chief overseeing maintenance for a fleet of jetliners. Many of these new planes are from Boeing, which happen to be my favorite to work on. The compliments come from a man who is described as a sheet metal wiz and who still works full time with no plans to quit. "If in my journey around the hangar I see something I can help on, I do that". I always have. My late wife, Dolores, knew it too. But I still hear those words, because they're true.

This isn't the first time that Mr. Blackman has received recognition in the aviation world.

Azriel Blackman, an airline mechanic for American Airlines, is not allowed to climb ladders, drive on the airfield at Kennedy International Airport or even use any tools. It's possible I know some of our aircraft as well as you know your kids, but I consider that a good quality in a mechanic.

"Al has worked on almost every aircraft American has flown since the flying boats of the 1940s to the Boeing 777s of today", Parker said in a statement.



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