Firstly, I’d like to welcome any new or prospective members to the Golden Eagles. We are an organization founded in the early ‘70s by some senior pilots at Continental Airlines, to provide a venue in retirement to stay in contact and maintain camaraderie with fellow crew members, which in many cases are our closest friends and extended “family”. One can hardly have a much closer relationship than those we shared a confined cockpit or aluminum tube with for hours.
To those long term members and especially you who have carried the torch before in the care and maintenance of the Golden Eagles, my “hat” remains perpetually off to you for getting us here and providing the leadership and sacrifice required to “keep the blue side up”.
I was personally unaware of the organization early in my career, but was introduced to it by a couple of senior “sim partners” one year while attending training in Houston. I had not reached the 50 years of age requirement, but I joined as soon as I did. I hate to recall how many years ago that was, but I have been rewarded with the opportunity to stay in touch with “buddies” from all over the country. In recent years, our membership has become open to any retired pilot of the now merged United Airlines, or anyone else with an interest or “nexus” to our industry.
All of us faced economic, labor relation, technical and other “challenges” during our careers. Although the Covid "lock downs" are mostly behind us, active employees continue to face many of the same hardships that just seem to go with the job, so it appears the profession and industry will remain one of tremendous satisfaction in an environment of endless uncertainty. The Golden Eagles, however, is a “safe zone” without any political, labor or other “orientation”. We simply exist to remember the good times and foster opportunities for new ones. To that end we have Local Area Chapters that meet for social purposes, have a central administrative board that provides information updates, a digital magazine, website and other services. We also facilitate periodic “reunions” as conditions permit. In addition, our group has had some success on occasion assisting members’ interactions with the “company”.
I hope you will take some time to look through the various features of the website. It contains what we hope is a “virtual museum” of memorabilia, photos, past editions of the Golden Contrails magazine, occasionally featuring some interesting “I done it” stories, Quarterly Updates, contact and photo rosters and more. Some, but not all of this requires the membership password to access due to private information in some areas.
We are governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, and welcome your input or suggestions for how we may improve the membership experience. Since email addresses and other contact information can change, please refer to the Board of Directors link under the HOME tab at the top of the website for our current data.
As we take much of our tradition from the mariners of old, I wish you “Fair Winds and Following Seas” in your retirement or years remaining as an active employee.
Captain - Retired
President, The Golden Eagles