Azriel "Al" Blackman started as an apprentice mechanic at 16 in 1942. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

NEW YORK (AP) — American Airlines is celebrating the seven-decade service of a New York mechanic who turns 87 next month and has no plans to retire.

Azriel “Al” Blackman was 16 when he started as an apprentice mechanic in July of 1942, long before bag fees, airport security or even the introduction of the jet engine. He was paid 50 cents an hour.

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