Mike Mecham is a fixture in aviation journalism. He is retiring after 26 years with Aviation Week.
We’ve known Mike only for a few of these 26 years. He’s a cantankerous curmudgeon infamous for his monopolizing press events as if he was doing a one-on-one, totally oblivious to two dozen other journalists waiting their turn to question the subject, and having a jaundiced view of just about everything.
And that’s what made him so likeable in spite of himself.
At Boeing’s media dinner at the end of Day One of the pre-Paris Air Show briefing, Boeing’s Commercial Corp Com arose to wish him well, tell some stories and give him an airplane. True to form, Cranky Mikey remarked he hoped it wasn’t a 787 with batteries. (It was a 747-8 model.)
Mike was virtually joined at the hip with Guy Norris, another AvWeek journalist. No matter what the event, Guy and Mike appeared together. This constant companionship inevitably inspired ribald commentary. We have to believe Guy will go through withdrawal.
We asked Mike as we were boarding our respective buses off the Boeing property at the end of Day 2 what he planned to do in retirement. Mike plans to eschew aviation and commune with nature. We shudder to think how Mother Nature will greet this news; she and her creations will never be the same.
AirInsight has this 3 1/2 minute video with Mike, who gives his unvarnished views of the industry.
We wish Mike all the best.
In Boeing News:
Boeing showed us some technological advances in building the 777, another step in the Lean process begun in 2005. King 5 TV has this story: 777 wing painting. The Seattle Times also has a report.
We don’t have much to add to these two reports, so we’ll leave this topic here.