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Captain Michael Gitt Papers

Creator:
Gitt, Michael.  Search this
Names:
Air Lines Pilots Association (ALPA)  Search this
Colonial Airlines  Search this
Eastern Airlines, Inc.  Search this
Extent:
5.71 Cubic feet (11 document boxes, 1 oversize box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Technical manuals
Legal documents
Financial records
Maps
Date:
1931-2002
bulk 1938-1970
Summary:
Captain Michael Gitt was a pilot for several airlines from 1940 until 1968, most notably Colonial Airlines and Eastern Airlines. This collection consists of materials from Captain Michael Gitt's aviation career, particularly his thirty years as a commercial airline pilot for Colonial Airlines and Eastern Airlines. Of special note are the documents from his 1969 age discrimnation lawsuit regarding the "Age 60" mandatory retirement rule for pilots.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of materials from Captain Michael Gitt's aviation career, particularly his thirty years as a commercial airline pilot. Documents include: flight logs and aviation licenses; applications for employment; aerial negatives and photographs of the New York City area; correspondence, mostly to colleagues at Canadian Colonial Airways, later renamed Colonial Airlines, and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA); Colonial Airlines bulletins and staff newsletters; material relating to his employment at Colonial Airlines, including aircraft manuals for the DC-2 and DC-3; rosters and documentation relating to the Retired Eastern Pilots Association (REPA); and legal briefs and correspondence associated with his age discrimination case against Eastern Airlines in 1969. A small selection of personal materials include correspondence, licenses, housing documentation, and an autobiography and obituaries. There are also materials regarding his wife, Cornelia Gitt, her flight records, and her attempt to organize a Colonial wives safety petition.

Note: The digital images in this finding aid were repurposed from scans made by an outside contractor for a commercial product and may show irregular cropping and orientation in addition to color variations resulting from damage to and deterioration of the original objects. Materials with personally identifiable information have not been included.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into five series. Materials within each series are arranged chronologically.

Series 1: Early Aviation Career

Series 2: Canadian Colonial Airways and Colonial Airlines

Series 3: Eastern Airlines

Subseries 3.1: Age 60 Lawsuit

Subseries 3.2: General Eastern Materials and Retired Eastern Pilots Association

Series 4: Logbooks, Licenses, and Cards

Series 5: Personal Materials
Biographical / Historical:
Captain Michael Gitt (1908-2002) was a pilot for several airlines from 1940 until 1968, most notably Colonial Airlines and Eastern Airlines.

Michael A. Gitt learned to fly on a Brunner-Winkle Bird at the Flushing Flying School in 1931. In November 1931, he bought a Buhl Flying Bull Pup and a Taylor Cub E-2 in March 1935. He earned his transport license in 1937. He studied with the Aircraft Radio and Instrument Company at Roosevelt Field. Between 1938 and 1940, he was employed by Aero Service for aerial photography, Bennett Air Service, and Standard Flying Service at Somerset Hills Airport in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.

In August 1940, Gitt began his career as a commercial airline pilot with Canadian Colonial Airwayss, which was renamed Colonial Airlines in 1942. In 1956, Eastern Airlines purchased Colonial and Gitt continued his employment with Eastern until he retired as a Senior Captain in 1968.

Gitt was also extremely active with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) union from 1946-1956. He served as chairman of numerous negotiating committees, including the retirement committee and the Colonial #28 Council. Gitt filed many grievances with the airlines on his own behalf over issues such as vacation time, compensation, and seniority. In 1969, he filed one of the first airline pilot age discrimination suits against Eastern Airlines in response to the "Age 60" mandatory retirement rule for pilots.. F. Lee Bailey served as one of his lawyers. His suit was not successful and the mandatory retirement age for airline pilots remained 60 until 2007, when it was changed to 65.

After his retirement from the airlines, Gitt began a second career as director of Marine Activities for the Park District of Great Neck, Long Island, New York. Besides his work and many civic and community organizations that he was involved with, Gitt also fulfilled a dream during the 1970s by earning his glider pilot license. He also was a member of the Retired Eastern Pilots Association (REPA).
Provenance:
Patricia and Brian Gitt, Gift, 2003, NASM.2003.0033
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Airlines  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial  Search this
Discrimination in employment  Search this
Collective bargaining -- Aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Technical manuals -- 20th century
Legal documents
Financial records
Maps
Citation:
Captain Michael Gitt Papers, Acc. NASM.2003.0033, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2003.0033
See more items in:
Captain Michael Gitt Papers
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/pg2070e9c2d-c70b-4ed7-8c37-95806cf0a19f
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2003-0033
Online Media:

Collision course : Ronald Reagan, the air traffic controllers, and the strike that changed America / Joseph A. McCartin

Author:
McCartin, Joseph Anthony  Search this
Subject:
Reagan, Ronald  Search this
Physical description:
1 online resource (viii, 472 pages)
Type:
Electronic resources
Electronic books
Place:
United States
Date:
2011
Topic:
Air Traffic Controllers' Strike, U.S., 1981  Search this
Collective bargaining--Aeronautics  Search this
Collective bargaining  Search this
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS--Labor  Search this
POLITICAL SCIENCE--Labor & Industrial Relations  Search this
Call number:
HD5325.A4252 1981 M38 2011 (Internet)
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1150015

The few, the proud, the bankrupt : a study of labor and management history in the airline industry / by K.R. Wright

Author:
Wright, K. R  Search this
Physical description:
256 p. : ill., ports. ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
2000
C2000
Topic:
Airlines--Management  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial--Management  Search this
Collective bargaining--Aeronautics  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_620188

Collision course : Ronald Reagan, the air traffic controllers, and the strike that changed America / Joseph A. McCartin

Author:
McCartin, Joseph Anthony  Search this
Subject:
Reagan, Ronald  Search this
Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
United States Federal Labor Relations Authority  Search this
Physical description:
viii, 472 p. ; 25 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
2011
Topic:
Air Traffic Controllers' Strike, U.S., 1981  Search this
Collective bargaining--Aeronautics  Search this
Collective bargaining  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_991158

Airline industrial relations, pilots and flight engineers [by] John M. Baitsell

Author:
Baitsell, John M  Search this
Subject:
Air Line Pilots Association  Search this
Flight Engineers' International Association  Search this
Physical description:
xvii, 398 p. 22 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
1966
Topic:
Collective bargaining--Aeronautics  Search this
Air pilots  Search this
Flight engineers  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_608020

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