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American Airlines mechanic gets ride on DC-3


To commemorate his 70 years on the job, American Airlines mechanic Al Blackman recently got a tour of New York City from the cockpit of a restored DC-3 that once flew for the airline. Blackman is American’s most senior employee, and at 86 isn’t quite ready to retire, either. Blackman has maintained more than a dozen different aircraft models for the airline and currently supervises a crew of mechanics at the airline’s maintenance facility at JFK Airport. Last month’s tour of Manhattan from 1,500 feet above was coordinated with a Detroit aviation foundation that has maintained the DC-3, which is the oldest flying example of the model. At a ceremony recognizing Blackman’s years of service, his fellow mechanics also unveiled a mural across one wall of the maintenance hangar with Blackman’s face at the center of a constellation of aircraft that he’s worked on.