Flying Tiger Line
Pilots Association

Richard A. Middel

I started working for Northeast Airlines, after the completion of my Military obligation, in 1960, worked in reservations, while getting my Aircraft Dispatchers certificate in Jamaica, New York. Moved to the West coast, and got a job with Western Airlines, in Los Angeles, as a Crew Scheduler, while getting my Pilot Licenses, Private, Instrument and Commercial.

Western let me know early on that I had no chance of becoming a pilot, as I had all of the information about the contract, by administering it for the years that I was there. I became a department of one, called the Flight Training Coordinator, and took on a lot of responsibility, for all of the proficiency checks, ground school requirements, initial upgrade training, and Simulator scheduling, which included leasing Simulator time on the 707 Simulator, the only people interested in it was Flying Tiger Line, who were taking delivery on 707's at the time.

As luck would have it, Flying Tigers, took an interest in me, as there was a shortage of pilots at the time, due to the fact that the Air Force was extending service time due to the Viet Nam War. I was hired on a Thursday, to start School on the following Monday, I was not going to pass this up, so I let Western know of my intentions, they were less than happy, however they were nice enough to tell me that I would never be a pilot for them, so we were even. Knew some real fine people at Western.

Spent the rest of my career with Flying Tigers, had some real great times there.

Now retired, spend my time playing golf, at home (Incline Village, Nevada) during the summer, and in Timaru, New Zealand, during their summer.

Regards,

Rick Middel

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