One Man's Fight To Fly Is Honored

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Capt. Marlon Green may not be a household name but his achievements paved the way for all aviators, regardless of race or ethnic background, to vie for that coveted left seat. On Saturday, Green, 74, was honored in Seattle for his achievements at the Organization of Black Airline Pilots annual convention. The organization promotes the training, mentoring and hiring of black and other minority pilots. Green's battle goes back to 1957, when, just as he wrapped his duty with the US Air Force, he decided to apply for a flight crew position with three airlines. Despite his professional qualifications, the airlines couldn't see past the color barrier. Eventually, Green mailed an application to Continental Airlines, but didn't mention his heritage. An invitation for personal interviews and a series of tests was promptly mailed back, yet things changed once he met face-to-face with the company screeners. Green decided to sue the airline after it hired less-experienced white pilots. After six long years of litigation, he won. Today, Green is celebrated for helping making it possible for all aspiring aviators to fly much friendlier skies.