So, the other day, while I was toolin’ around Portland, I looked at my trusty dusty RoadsideAmerica.com app – and what should I see, but an entry titled “Jetliner Home in the Woods”. I decided to contact Bruce to see if he’d mind my dropping by to check his digs out, and he very gracefully responded, happy to oblige.
Bruce Campbell is a wonderfully gregarious and joyful 62 year old Electrical Engineer (BSEE) who is currently continuing work on his dream house – an old Boeing 727 200 Olympic Air jetliner that’s been parked in a forest in Oregon for over ten years. His website is http://http://airplanehome.com – and he answers almost all the questions that I could ever want to ask about him with a very elaborate, detailed FAQ.
Interesting fact – apparently this is the jet that carried JFK’s coffin on its home flight. There is also currently an active honeybee hive in one of the nacelles, which I thought was just beyond cool. The airplane itself is in a small field with pine and walnut trees at the edges. He has this fantastic idea of retasking old airplanes and outfitting them as viable mobile homes, which is delightful. The wings function as a deck to enjoy the outside surroundings.
Towards the end of the visit, three deer (two bucks and what appeared to be their mother) ventured into the field and started to eat the grass. I watched them from the windows of the airplane as they grazed; grinning and taking pictures. As we entered the plane a squirrel was running around on the left engine. Very surreal and cool.
I was lucky to be able to catch him visiting with a neighbor, another engineer – and listen to them talk shop about the project, which was really fascinating. He’s a very gentle, kind man, and cares very much for the environment and the world that he will leave behind someday. He has a great spirit, and a wonderful sense of adventure and connectedness with everything around him. I’m really happy that I had the chance to meet him.