Coverage of the merger between American Airlines and US Airways

AA Lauds Mechanic's 70-Year Career

Mechanic says he has no plans to retire

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012  |  Updated 2:48 PM CDT
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AA Lauds Mechanic's 70-Year Career

AP

Azriel "Al" Blackman signs an autograph for an aviation enthusiast after flying in a DC-3, Wednesday, July 18, 2012 in New York. American Airlines is celebrating the 70-year service of a New York City mechanic who says he has no plans to retire. Azriel "Al" Blackman was 16 years old when he started as an apprentice mechanic in July of 1942. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

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American Airlines is celebrating the 70-year service of a New York City mechanic who says he has no plans to retire.

Azriel "Al" Blackman was 16 years old when he started as an apprentice mechanic in July of 1942.

He still reports to work every day at American's aircraft maintenance hangar at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

He turns 87 in August.

On Wednesday, the Fort Worth, Texas-based airline invited Blackman to ride on a vintage DC-3 to mark the anniversary.

The 1937 aircraft took a spin up the Hudson River to the George Washington Bridge and back.

Blackman says modern engines are much more reliable than their predecessors.

He says he loves his job.


American Airlines Merger:
Complete coverage of the merger between American Airlines and US Airways into the newly-formed Fort Worth-based company, American Airlines Group (AAL). Click here for more.

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