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Science

73-year-old pays just $370 a month to live on a jetliner in the Oregon woods

Great for the pocketbook. Great for the environment.

bruce campbell oregon, living in plane, plane home
via Pexels

A jetliner that landed in the woods.

Over the past few years, the rising costs of homes and rent in the U.S. has pushed many to seek alternatives to traditional housing. People have been moving into tiny houses, sharing spaces with “platonic life partners” and living the nomad dream in motorhomes.

Some have even opted to take up permanent residence aboard cruise ships because it can be cheaper than paying rent or a mortgage.

One of the most unique, alternative homes in the US is Bruce Campbell’s in Hillsboro, a suburb of Portland, Oregon. According to CNBC, for over 20 years, the retired engineer has called a Boeing 727 200-passenger jetliner home. It’s a little smaller than the average house at 1,066 square feet, but it’s an open-concept lovers’ fantasy.


The plane has a unique history. It was once owned by Greek-Argentinian shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis and was used to transport his remains after his death in 1975. Onassis was married to former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

The plane has everything Campbell needs to live comfortably. The original sink and bathroom are in perfect working order. He added a makeshift shower, refrigerator and portable washing machine to take care of all his needs.

“It’s a great toy. Trick doors, trick floors. Hatches here, latches there. Cool interior lights. Awesome exterior lights, sleek gleaming appearance, titanium ducts," he said according to Awesome Inventions.

His jetliner home also has retractable stairs so he can climb in and out of his place. Campbell lives in the plane six months a year and spends the rest of his time in Japan.

"I can appreciate that some folks might feel isolated or that it might strike them as an unusual living environment. But for me, it has always felt completely natural,” Campbell told Great Big Story.

Some may find Campbell's living arrangement strange but they can't argue with its affordability. He told CNBC that his monthly expenses are around $370, which includes $220 a month in property taxes and $100 to $250 a month in electricity. Campbell paid $100,000 for the plane initially and it cost $120,000 to make it habitable.

The engines have been removed so the plane will never fly again.

The plane is an affordable place to live and it’s also great for the environment. “Jetliners can, and should, be transformed into wonderful homes—retirement into an aerospace-class castle should be every jetliner's constructive fate. They should never be mindlessly scrapped. Shredding a beautiful and scintillating jetliner is a tragedy, a waste, and a profound failure of human imagination. The time for humanity to recognize this is long, long overdue,” he said according to the CBC.

Campbell has found an innovative and creative way to live well while finding a way to upcycle 70,000 pounds of materials that would have wound up in a landfill. But he’s not done yet. He hopes to start on a second airplane home in Japan which he describes as “a land I love and with people I love. If I can simply regain my youth, everything will be fine.”

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From political science to joining the fight against cancer: How one woman found her passion

An unexpected pivot to project management expanded Krystal Brady's idea of what it means to make a positive impact.

Krystal Brady/PMI

Krystal Brady utilizes her project management skills to help advance cancer research and advocacy.

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Cancer impacts nearly everyone’s life in one way or another, and thankfully, we’re learning more about treatment and prevention every day. Individuals and organizations dedicated to fighting cancer and promising research from scientists are often front and center, but we don’t always see the people working behind the scenes to make the fight possible.

People like Krystal Brady.

While studying political science in college, Brady envisioned her future self in public office. She never dreamed she’d build a successful career in the world of oncology, helping cancer researchers, doctors and advocates continue battling cancer, but more efficiently.

Brady’s journey to oncology began with a seasonal job at a small publishing company, which helped pay for college and awakened her love for managing projects. Now, 15 years later, she’s serving as director of digital experience and strategy at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which she describes as “the perfect place to pair my love of project management and desire to make positive change in the world.”

As a project manager, Brady helps make big ideas for the improvement of diagnosing and treating cancer a reality. She is responsible for driving the critical projects that impact the lives of cancer researchers, doctors, and patients.

“I tell people that my job is part toolbox, part glue,” says Brady. “Being a project manager means being responsible for understanding the details of a project, knowing what tools or resources you need to execute the project, and facilitating the flow of that work to the best outcome possible. That means promoting communication, partnership, and ownership among the team for the project.”

At its heart, Brady’s project management work is about helping people. One of the big projects Brady is currently working on is ASCO’s digital transformation, which includes upgrading systems and applications to help streamline and personalize oncologists’ online experience so they can access the right resources more quickly. Whether you are managing humans or machines, there’s an extraordinary need for workers with the skillset to harness new technology and solve problems.

The digital transformation project also includes preparing for the use of emerging technologies such as generative AI to help them in their research and practices.

“Most importantly, it lays the groundwork for us to make a meaningful impact at the point of care, giving the oncologist and patient the absolute latest recommendations or guidelines for care for that specific patient or case, allowing the doctor to spend more time with their patients and less time on paperwork,” Brady says.

In today’s fast-changing, quickly advancing world, project management is perhaps more valuable than ever. After discovering her love for it, Brady earned her Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification through Project Management Institute (PMI)—the premier professional organization for project managers with chapters all over the world—which she says gave her an edge over other candidates when she applied for her job at ASCO.

“The knowledge I gained in preparing for the PMP exam serves me every day in my role,” Brady says. “What I did not expect and have truly come to value is the PMI network as well – finding like-minded individuals, opportunities for continuous learning, and the ability to volunteer and give back.”

PMI’s growing community – including more than 300 chapters globally – serves as a place for project managers and individuals who use project management skills to learn and grow through events, online resources, and certification programs.

While people often think of project management in the context of corporate careers, all industries and organizations need project managers, making it a great career for those who want to elevate our world through non-profits or other service-oriented fields.

“Project management makes a difference by focusing on efficiency and outcomes, making us all a little better at what we do,” says Brady. “In almost every industry, understanding how to do our work more effectively and efficiently means more value to our customers, and the world at large, at an increased pace.”

Project management is also a stable career path in high demand as shown by PMI research, which found that the global economy will need 25 million more project managers by 2030 and that the median salary for project managers in the US has grown to $120K.

If you’d like to learn more about careers in project management, PMI has resources to help you get started or prove your proficiency, including its entry-level Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification program. For those interested in pursuing a project management career to make a difference, it could be your first step.

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