Flying the Line show

Flying the Line

Summary: Recount an exciting chapter in aviation history and the beginnings of the Air Line Pilots Association, the world's largest pilot union and nongovernmental air safety organization, through an abridged retelling of the book by George E. Hopkins, "Flying the Line." Narrated by Corey Kuhn.

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  • Artist: Air Line Pilots Association, International
  • Copyright: Copyright 2019-2020 All rights reserved, Air Line Pilots Association, International


 Chapter 25 - The Rise of J.J. O’Donnell | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 34:34

ALPA’s fight against skyjacking is taken to the next level, as an unorthodox tactic is deployed to raise public awareness in the wake of continued violence.

 Chapter 24 (Part 2) - ”Skyjacking” | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 25:15

A surge of skyjackings tears through the industry. Armed with experience, ALPA mobilizes to halt the advancing threat despite significant pushback. 

 Chapter 24 (Part 1) - ”Skyjacking” | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 24:46

The pilots of Eastern Airlines strike and ALPA is forced to walk a fine line with management. 

 Chapter 23 (Part 2) - ”Jets and Thin Ice” | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 21:23

The transition of pilots and airlines to the jet age becomes a major trouble spot for all, and the rising tensions result in some pilots taking matters into their own hands with an unauthorized strike.

 Chapter 23 (Part 1) - "Jets and Thin Ice" | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 18:18

As ALPA enters the jet age, technological improvements open the door to progress. But much like every major leap in technological progress before, the transition to jets isn't without problems or controversy.

 Chapter 22 (Part 2) - "American Airlines Goes It Alone" | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 18:02

The dissidents of American Airlines mount their challenge, and decide on their future, with or without ALPA.

 Chapter 22 (Part 1) - "American Airlines Goes It Alone" | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 19:47

The pilots of American Airlines decide to chart their own future after the issue of crew complement returns to the forefront, and dissident leaders seize their chance to break away. 

 Chapter 21 - "The Origins of the American Airlines Split" | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 22:25

ALPA's during its early years was a remarkable story of unification across company lines. There were cracks lying under the surface, but unity kept any schisms at bay. But as time went by, the old spirit of shoulder-to-shoulder solidarity among ALPA's pilots began to erode. The new generation of pilots coming up were complacent about ALPA and the importance of unity, which would lead to the largest split that ALPA has experienced in its history.

 Chapter 20 (Part 2) - "Charley Ruby's Hour" | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 21:06

The unique experiences of Charles Ruby’s life and career made him an unlikely choice for the Association’s president. But his due to the circumstances surrounding the departures of his predecessors, and the place ALPA was in at the time of his election, it could only have been Charley Ruby.

 Chapter 20 (Part 1) -"Charley Ruby's Hour" | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 22:01

The election of ALPA President Charles Ruby, a seemingly status quo leader, brings reform and new ideas to the Association – challenging what some members’ thoughts on what their union’s purpose should be.

 Chapter 19 - "Internal Politicking, 1960–1962" | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 25:07

The 1960 election of President John F. Kennedy opens new doors for labor, in both aviation and other industries. And the promise of a new age spawns new ambitions for leaders and politicians alike.

 Chapter 18 (Part 2) - "The Southern Airways Strike of 1960" | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 18:00

The striking pilots of Southern Airways resort to unorthodox tactics, including starting their own airline, to win public support, and the federal government intervenes. But this strike tests the Association like no conflict prior. And with the country’s election of a new president – new opportunities for labor arise.

 Chapter 18 (Part 1) - "The Southern Airways Strike of 1960" | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 22:22

In stark contrast with his fellow airline operators, the president of Southern Airways, Frank Hulse, goes to war with his airline’s pilots by cutting pay and benefits to bolster his own profits. While the pilots are forced to resort to unorthodox and inventive methods to plead their case with the flying public, Hulse takes strike-breaking to a new low by hiring unqualified pilots.

 Chapter 17 (Part 2)- "Safety and Crew Complement in the 1950s" | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 19:17

A prank by a pilot in the jumpseat on a scheduled passenger flight highlights the need for more stringent standards on who should be afforded the right to have a seat on the flight deck. But this battle with federal regulators over crew complement would set the foundation for what would be the toughest and most painful period for ALPA in the years to come.

 Chapter 17 (Part 1)- "Safety and Crew Complement in the 1950s" | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 19:16

ALPA advocates on behalf of having three pilots working on the flight deck of the new airliners of the post-World War 2 era, but accidents and pilot pranks do little to help the cause, all while one airline’s pilots mull over leaving the Association.


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