Captain Michael Gitt Papers - War Department, TM 1-900, Technical Manual, Mathematics for Air Crew Trainees, 2/26/1943

About the Project

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 Airways, 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. 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). Note: Please do not describe the images, photographs, or maps that appear in this project. We are only seeking transcriptions.

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(3 out of 5)

Level 1 --- BEGINNER

Content: all typed
Language: English
Format: letters, diaries, flyers, pamphlets, and one-page documents
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: none required

Level 2

Content: mostly typed, handwritten in print, or otherwise very clearly written/readable
Language: English
Format: memorabilia, advertisements, image captions, telegrams, diaries, letters, notes
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: none required


Content: typed and handwritten materials in cursive or print
Language: English
Format: newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, letters/diaries/notes that may include annotations or margin notes
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: experience reading cursive writing may be useful

Level 4

Content: handwritten materials, primarily in cursive or somewhat difficult to read (predominantly from the 19th and 20th centuries) , audio recordings that are relatively easy to hear/decipher, and scientific materials
Language: English and/or other languages that use Roman script but may require the use of diacritics (French, Spanish, German, Italian, etc.)
Format: audio recordings, letters, diaries, notes and other written materials, projects with templated fields and special instructions
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: some knowledge of non-English Roman-character/script languages and diacritics may be useful, as well as experience reading cursive handwriting. A general knowledge or familiarity with scientific terminology.

Level 5 --- ADVANCED

Content: handwritten materials in cursive (from the 19th century or earlier) or in a non-Roman script language, audio recordings that are difficult to hear or are not in English, specialty materials/projects such as numismatics projects and the Project Phaedra notebooks 
Language: foreign languages that use non-Roman characters (Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Greek/Cyrillic, Native American and Indigenous languages, etc.) and English 
Format: audio recordings, columned data/tables, manuscripts, letters, diaries, notes, currency sheets, coins
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: knowledge of a specific language and access to a keyboard with the characters in that language may be required for certain projects. Experience reading cursive handwriting and familiarity with 19th century (or prior) handwriting and conventions/abbreviations may be useful, as well as knowledge of scientific terminology, astrophysics data, or linguistics.

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