This American Airlines MD-80 captain was once an NHL player

As a teenager in Canada, American Airlines MD-80 Capt. Al Secord decided that he wanted to be a pilot. 

But before he started working at American, Secord had another career. He played for 12 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Philadelphia Flyers. A left-winger, Secord played most of the time with the Blackhawks during two stints - from 1980 to 1987 and 1989-90. (Little know fact: I grew up in Chicago, and somewhere I have a hockey stick signed by all the members of the 89-90 team.)

Secord played 766 games, amassing 273 goals and 222 assists. 

When Secord retired in 1996, he wasn't sure he could make the switch.  "I never thought at my age I would get hired by a major airline," he said. But at age 40, he was hired by American. 

Now 57 and living near Fort Worth, Texas, Secord still receives three to four pieces of fan mail per week. But he said passengers usually don't know realize he is a former NHL player. If they do, it's often on flights to and from Chicago. 

"The recognition factor is not that high," he said.  

American did a short YouTube video on Secord. Watch it below. 


Don't want to miss anything? Follow me on Facebook for all the latest aviation news.