Bruce Campbell: The Man Who Lives in an Airplane in the Woods

Bruce Campbell's Boeing 727-200 home in the woods
Bruce Campbell's Boeing 727-200 home in the woods
Bruce Campbell’s Boeing 727-200 home in Hillsboro, Oregon – Photo:

There are unique living spaces, and then there’s Bruce Campbell’s humble abode. Nestled deep within the expansive forests of Hillsboro, Oregon, resting atop the nettled-strewn ground, sits a massive airliner. No, it’s not just the hollowed-out hull of some twisted fuselage from a bygone crash landing. This airplane is supposed to be there. Well, maybe not supposed to be there, but its presence in the woods is definitely by design.

It’s not easy for a Boeing 727-200 to blend in against most backdrops—outside of an airplane hangar or, of course, the sky. So when you examine aerial photos of this unique residence and see the retired “Olympic Airlines” jet abutting a grove of trees, your first reaction may be shocked. But you won’t hear its owner complaining.

Former engineer Bruce Campbell (not of “Evil Dead” fame) has lived in the retrofitted airplane, which he purchased for $100,000 (plus an additional $100,000 to drag it into the woods and another $15,000 to refurbish), since 1999. Campbell grew up an Air Force brat, which may explain his unusual predilection for living in a typically airtight metal structure.

The interiors are distinctive: it’s an open cabin layout with living arrangements—just for one, Campbell is single with no children—mostly at the rear of the craft. It really is a restoration project. One that he hopes will be a rewarding, lifelong endeavor.

As you might imagine, Campbell is a bit of an odd guy—but he’s got the good humor and storytelling abilities to back it up. In fact, according to Campbell, his home served as the final flight taken by Aristotle Onassis (Jackie O and Ted Kennedy were also on board, escorting the former’s husband’s body back home for his burial in Skorpios, Greece). And if you like that story, he’s got plenty more. Just don’t show up announced.