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Local man shatters record for longest career as airline mechanic

An airline mechanic for American Airlines was honored Tuesday for his 75 years with the company.

Every day since 1942, Azriel "Al" Blackman has worked out of hangar 10 at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

"They're here to help me celebrate all the years I've been with the company," said Blackman.

There was a lunch reception in his honor inside the hangar.

Blackman also shattered the Guinness world record as the "longest career as an airline mechanic." He was presented with a plaque from Guinness.

"I've worked on every airplane American has had over the years."

Blackman appeared most touch by American dedicating an aircraft to him. Just to the left of the boarding door of the Boeing 777 was a replica of his signature.

"I feel very honored they did that, I hope I have many more years with the company but that's up to the man upstairs first thing I do when I wake up every day is say thank you for another day," said Blackman.

Blackman had the same job since he was 16 years old. He's now 91 years young.

His first position earned him 50 cents an hour working in the sheet metal shop. He's now a crew chief overseeing maintenance for a fleet of jetliners.

His job has changed a bit over the years. Due to his age, he's no longer allowed to perform physical tasks. But that hasn't broken his stride.

"Some ask me when I retire I don't think of that, I get up and go to work that's what I do."