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96-year-old mechanic turns 80 working at American Airlines



Entering Guinness World Records five years ago as the longest-serving person as an aircraft mechanic in history, American Airlines' longest-serving employee reaffirmed his title this week as he turned 80 as an airline employee. Azriel "Al" Blackman, 96, joined the American giant's staff in New York in July 1942 after finishing high school when he was just 16 years old.


In the same year, Blackman graduated from Aviation High School in Manhattan and began working for American Export Airlines (predecessor of American Airlines) initially as an apprentice in the airline's body shop in LaGuardia, for the fleet made up at the time by Vought-Sikorsky VS-44 seaplanes and Consolidated PBY Catalina, at a wage of 50 cents an hour.


In 2017, upon completing 75 years of service, he was honored by the airline with a major event in New York, with the participation of hundreds of employees and executives, and a plane was traced in his honor, the Boeing 777-200ER registration N751AN, which to date sports the sticker in the nose section in honor of the services provided to the airline for more than seven decades. And according to One Mile at a Time, American Airlines would be preparing a new tribute to its longest-serving employee in the coming days.


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