Flying the Line
Chapter 17 (Part 1)- “Safety and Crew Complement in the 1950s”

Chapter 17 (Part 1)- “Safety and Crew Complement in the 1950s”

December 21, 2020

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.

Chapter 16 (Part 2)- “The Sayen Style”

Chapter 16 (Part 2)- “The Sayen Style”

December 7, 2020

ALPA’s second president Clancy Sayen began his term on the heels of a bitter fight that ousted ALPA’s founder Dave Behncke. Upon his election, Sayen began a top-to-bottom reorganization of ALPA’s governance structure in order to democratize the association. In addition, he took head-on the issue of how the quick advancement of aviation technology impacted productivity, and thus, the pay rates of pilots. With the advent of jet technology, Sayen created the Jet Pay Study Committee to determine how best ALPA could navigate addressing the dual issues of aviation safety and crew complement in the cockpit, while protecting pilot jobs and pay.

Chapter 16 (Part 1)- “The Sayen Style”

Chapter 16 (Part 1)- “The Sayen Style”

November 23, 2020

In a way, ALPA's second president, Clancy Sayen was a victim of the ouster of ALPA's founder and first president, Dave Behncke. When Sayen joined ALPA, he did not have the presidency in his plans. However, due to his well-spoken and eloquent nature, he started to become noticed by many of his fellow members and quickly ascended to national leadership, which culminated in being chosen to succeed Behncke. The intentional and analytic nature of Sayen came as a stark contrast to Behncke's, and ALPA's culture changed as a result of the Sayen administration.

Chapter 15 (Part 2)-”The Fall of Dave Behncke”

Chapter 15 (Part 2)-”The Fall of Dave Behncke”

November 9, 2020

Against all odds and amidst a quickly shifting industry and labor landscape, ALPA’s first president Dave Behncke continues his fight to maintain his position atop the organization he founded. Questions about the legitimacy of an vote takes the battle for leadership into the courtroom.

Chapter 15 (Part 1)-”The Fall of Dave Behncke”

Chapter 15 (Part 1)-”The Fall of Dave Behncke”

October 13, 2020

ALPA’s founder and first president, Dave Behncke, works to maintain his position against all odds. But an investigative committee looks into various factors that would eventually lead to his downfall, including discontent among the professional staff of ALPA and the fulfillment of Behncke's dream, ALPA's first national headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. 

Chapter 14 (Part 2)-”The Ordeal of E. P. McDonald”

Chapter 14 (Part 2)-”The Ordeal of E. P. McDonald”

September 12, 2020

The fight for Capt. MacDonald's career ends with a victory for the union pilots of National Airlines after a long and hard-fought battle with National's CEO, George T. Baker. However, this was only the start of what would be a series of battles with George Baker.

Chapter 14 (Part 1)-”The Ordeal of E. P. McDonald”

Chapter 14 (Part 1)-”The Ordeal of E. P. McDonald”

August 24, 2020

In the wake of the National Airlines strike, management resorts to dirty tricks to topple labor, and one pro-ALPA captain, Ed McDonald, is removed from flying as two other pilots sabotage his airmanship.

Chapter 13 (Part 2)-”The National Airlines Strike of 1948”

Chapter 13 (Part 2)-”The National Airlines Strike of 1948”

August 10, 2020

In ALPA’s short history, Ted Baker, the owner of National Airlines, was one of the most unscrupulous operators Dave Behncke had to deal with. The pilots of National Airlines attempted to hold their management accountable for poor working conditions, but to no avail. This, compounded with the firing of one pilot resulted in the pilots voting to authorize a strike. Hear how the longest and costliest strike at in the history of ALPA to that point, turned out.

Chapter 13 (Part 1)-”The National Airlines Strike of 1948”

Chapter 13 (Part 1)-”The National Airlines Strike of 1948”

July 27, 2020

Fresh off the TWA Pilots’ strike of 1946, ALPA had another battle looming with the management of National Airlines. In the minds of the pilots of National Airlines, the strike of 1948 was like World War II—a good fight, a just cause, an evil foe. George T. “Ted” Baker, founder of National Airlines and its president during the strike, was the villain while ALPA President Dave Behncke was the heroic champion of justice. Learn why ALPA’s National Airlines pilots felt this way about their “unscrupulous” owner and what events led up to the longest and costliest strike at ALPA to that point.

Chapter 12 (Part 2)-”The TWA Strike of 1946”

Chapter 12 (Part 2)-”The TWA Strike of 1946”

July 13, 2020

The pilots of TWA struck over “the four-engine pay problem” and another pilots association threatens to cross picket lines. However in the midst of all this, ALPA President Dave Behncke was rushed to the hospital with a suspected heart attack. 

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