Many people refer to the 1960s as the “Golden Age of Air Travel”. The seats were spacious, luggage was free, and the service was excellent. Pilots were often looked upon as heroes who travelled the world and handled a giant jet airliner with a cool, calm demeanor. That reputation was well earned. Just like today, airline pilots back in the day completed thousands of hours of training prior to getting hired. Once hired, they completed rigorous simulator training to prepare them for any anomaly. Then they completed their training in the actual jet prior to flying passengers.
While the training tools have changed, the actual training isn’t really that different. Airline pilots today still go through rigorous training. They master aircraft systems and train for myriads of emergencies. One of the main differences between today and this video from 1969 is that pilots today don’t usually train in the actual aircraft they fly. Simulators are so realistic that nearly all of the training can be accomplished without an actual flight. Most new-hire’s first flight is a revenue flight with real passengers.