The time period 1935 to 1965 saw the US involved in three armed conflicts, World War Two, Korea and Vietnam, so Golden Years may be a bit of a misnomer; however, when you look simply at aviation That having been said I would like all aviators to connect with their roots and one of the ways they can do that is by using the “Third Dimension Blog” as a resource.
“More than anything else the sensation is one of perfect peace mingled with an excitement that strains every nerve to the utmost, if you can conceive of such a combination.”— Wilbur Wright
Between 1935 and 1965, the pay for pilots, and all aviation professionals working in the airline industry, was stable, predictable and rewarding. Sure there were bumps in the road but all in all I think you can refer to this era as the “Golden Years”.
The stability and lifestyle of the pilots, cabin crew, mechanics and all other employees during this period will not likely be repeated in the future, but there are some exceptions to this statement in the 21st century. Still, by and large, those days are gone. The pilots during this period were paid well, they had a protected industry, and their retirement plan actually stayed intact after they retired so they were able to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
However, the problems created for the trunk carriers during this period were only fully realized in the late 1990s and still plague the industry now as the legacy carriers continue to fight for their survival.
Let me explain the difference between trunk and legacy. A “trunk carrier” is a carrier that operated under the CAB and a “legacy carrier” is any carrier that was operating when deregulation occurred in 1978. Considering that there were 26 carriers, plus or minus, in 1978 the number of legacy carriers still operating today may surprise you.
In regards to job security, I do believe that I was born too late to enjoy the best years of aviation. I do not necessarily mean that the “Golden Years” were meant for me, but I would have really loved to fly the Pan AM Clippers. Maybe in my next life but for now I guess I should be thank full that I still fly and get paid for it.
Next week I am going to be in Europe so on Friday, May 29, I am going to miss my weekly e-letter/blog post but will be back in June with a new four part series on the “Golden Years and Technology”. Until then, take some time to look back, connect with your past and remember as an aviator you are a “Gatekeeper of the Third Dimension”.
Protect your profession, your future and the future of your fellow aviators.
May 8, 2009