Behncke’s remarks struck a responsive chord, particularly among the pilots of the smaller airlines. As W. J. Fry of Pacific Seaboard Airlines (which later became Chicago & Southern and then Delta) put it in the December 1934 issue of The Air Line Pilot:
In airline piloting, there has been a great deal of undue criticism and friction between pilots working for different companies. Recently a pilot made the remark to me that the pilots of one company could not work for another company because they were not capable. This pilot had no reason to run down these pilots. Some of us seem to have the idea that we are a little bit better than any other pilot because we hap pen to be working for a certain company or flying a certain plane.
This is entirely wrong. We will accomplish a great deal more and have a finer and stronger organization in ALPA if each pilot will work with and help other pilots, rather than create a lot of petty jealousy among ourselves.
Until 1938, copilots had the privilege of paying ALPA dues and not much else. After that, they received half a vote, but they could not serve as chairmen of either local or master executive councils, and there could not be more than one copilot on any ALPA standing committee. The discriminatory policy went back to the dawn of commercial aviation, when captains looked upon copilots as interlopers out to steal their jobs. By the end of World War II, the copilot was obviously not merely an apprentice, but a necessary member of the crew. Indeed, on some airlines, stagnant promotion lists made the career copilot a possibility.
-Flying the Line