Video: Why one American Airlines pilot liked to fly the MD-80

Earlier this week, I posted an NBC News story about how American Airlines is slowly retiring its MD-80 fleet. I mentioned how much some pilots love flying the plane because it handles differently than newer models. 

After I posted that story, I found a great video from American's Kent Wein, who in 2013 was leaving the MD-80, on which he was a captain, to fly a Boeing widebody as first officer. But he told viewers he enjoyed flying the older plane. "The much maligned MD-80 has captured a spot in my heart," he said in a description of the video. "Here's why I have fallen in love with this 'old school' workhorse."

In one interesting part of the video, shot in the cockpit, Wein explains how the compass works on the MD-80:

"Without a doubt, the most goofy thing on the airplane is the compass. It's almost as if they built the airplane and at the very end, they finished up and said, 'Ugh, we forgot to put the compass in.' So what they did is they put the compass behind the co-pilot's seat and they gave us mirrors, one for the copilot and one for the captain, to angle just right so that the captain and copilot can check their headings with the mirrors. Really goofy system. But it works. In fact, if you were to look at the compass directly, all the writing is backwards, because it is going to be read in the mirror." 

The video is two years old, so you may have seen it already. But if not, it is worth watching. I found it fascinating. The video has almost 400,000 views.