Legendary American Airlines Pilot Honored
Retired American Airlines Captain Dave Harris has received the "2008 Men of Honor and Distinction Award" by American Legacy magazine.
The publication, which is the premier magazine for African American history and culture (http://www.americanlegacymag.com/), recognized Harris for being the first African American to fly for a major passenger airline. Others receiving the award have included filmmaker Spike Lee and Olympic track and field gold medallist Edwin Moses.
"I'm honored and humbled by this award from American Legacy magazine, but the reality is that there were 500 pilots -- Tuskegee Airmen -- who were qualified for airline jobs when they left the service," said Harris. "None of them received an opportunity to sit in a cockpit. There is no way I should be the first; it should've happened long before 1964."
Harris, 73, joined American in 1964 flying the DC-6 aircraft. He retired from American in 1994 as a captain, flying American's largest airplane at that time, the widebody MD-11. Harris was featured in a Smithsonian Museum exhibit called "Black Wings." The American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, has a permanent exhibit honoring Harris. He remains an active member of the Organization of Black Airline Pilots (OBAP).
About American Airlines
American Airlines, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection® airlines serve 250 cities in 40 countries with, on average, more than 3,400 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft. American's award-winning Web site, AA.com, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® Alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members serve nearly 700 destinations in over 140 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. American Airlines, American Eagle, the AmericanConnection® airlines, AA.com, We know why you fly and AAdvantage are registered trademarks of American Airlines, Inc.
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