CBS Local — After working for American Airlines for 75 years, Azreil “Al” Blackman says he does not intend to retire any time soon.
Blackman, 91, of New York, started his job as an aviation maintenance technician for the airline earning 50 cents per hour while serving as a sheet metal shop apprentice, when the airline’s name was “American Export Airlines.”
The former U.S. Navy service member has since dedicated his life to American Airlines, working on projects including the Sikorsky flying boat that initiated American’s trans-Atlantic flights, and the Boeing 747, the original jumbo jet.
On Tuesday, the airline thanked Blackman for his dedication to the company and revealed a Boeing 777 aircraft dedicated to his 75 years of service at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The aircraft now displays Blackman’s name and signature, which are inscribed to the left of the Boeing 777’s main cabin door. The company says it will stay that way until the jet is no longer used by American Airlines.
The jet is also capable of flying 247 people on some of the airline’s longest routes.
Blackman was also awarded with the title of “Longest career as an airline mechanic” by Guinness World Records.
During the Tuesday ceremony, Blackman boarded the jet and took in the accomplishment as it flew over New York City in honor of his lifetime of service to American Airlines.
Still, the victory lap isn’t going to lead to a break for the 91-year-old mechanic any time soon.