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Grandma Loses Her House to a Storm, Buys Abandoned Plane and Makes a Cozy Home Out of It

Ayesha Muhammad
May 28, 2022
03:00 P.M.
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After a massive storm destroyed an elderly woman's house, she was left without a place to live. When she related the incident to one of her family members, they gave her a suggestion, and she instantly decided to act upon it.


They say that home is where the heart is, and many people tend to take these words a little too seriously. Having a comfortable and cozy place to come back to after a long and tiring day is a precious feeling.

People might spend considerable time looking for the perfect place to live based on personal preferences. Some might like keeping things simple and are all for minimalistic living.

View from outside of Boeing 727 fuselage, which has been converted into 3 bedroom home by beautician Jo Ann Ussery. | Source: Getty Images


But there's another category of people who operate on a different frequency. They are the ones who like doing things their way and might love being involved in painting, decorating, or organizing their perfect home.

The story we're sharing today is about a woman who carved her distinct definition of a dream home and extracted pure joy and comfort from the process.


Jo Ann Ussery, from Benoit, Mississippi, never thought her life would change most unexpectedly until it did. In 1994, her lovely home was ruined by a winter storm, and suddenly, she was left without a place to live.


Jo Ann Ussery fills a birdbath outside her converted Boeing 727. | Source: Getty Images

The then-52-year-old hairdresser and beautician began looking for a new mobile home. During this time, a Boeing 727 was moved to Greenwood, Mississippi, where it was to be "parted out" after being stored in Texas for some time.


The grandma lived in her unique and luxurious residence from April 1995 to May 1999.

The plane with serial number 19510 was the first Boeing 727 in Continental Airlines' fleet and was in service for the carrier from May 1968 until September 1993.

Jo Ann Ussery sits on her bed inside her converted Boeing 727. | Source: Getty Images



Jo Ann's brother-in-law, air traffic controller Bob Farrow knew about the 127ft-scrapped plane and suggested she consider purchasing the abandoned airliner. The beautician immediately jumped at the idea and decided to buy the plane without a second thought.

According to Airport Journals, she bought the plane for $2,000 and paid another $4,000 to a removal company to move it to her spot next to a beautiful lake in Benoit. Jo Ann was said to have spent thousands of dollars revamping the retired airliner.

While remodeling most of the home herself, she installed floors, connected electricity wiring, plumbing, and even set up a phone line. She removed the seats to create an 11ft-wide space with 76 windows and ten cockpit windows flooding the fuselage with light.


Jo Ann Ussery relaxes in a hot tub inside her converted Boeing 727. | Source: Getty Images


The hairdresser even salvaged interior parts from other retired 727s to add to her new airplane. Jo Ann said she spent around $24,000 on the renovations, creating a three-bedroom space with a living room, dining room, laundry room, and master bathroom in the cockpit.


The Benoit resident also kept some original features in her new home, including the cockpit control wheels to maintain an aircraft appearance and the rear airstairs, which could be opened using a garage door opener. She once told TODAY:

"It is so comfortable, it's so neat, it's well insulated and convenient, there is nothing bad about it."

Beautician Jo Ann Ussery cooking at home, which is converted Boeing 727 fuselage. | Source: Getty Images



Per Jo Ann, the airliner was 27 years old when she purchased it and had everything one would want in a home, including a telephone, air conditioning, oven, washing machine, and dishwasher. She described the plane as "warm and big."

The older woman noted that her grandkids loved running up and down the plane, and her friends loved to party there. She added that she hoped to buy a Boeing 747 in the future because it came with an upstairs and downstairs area, and she wanted an upstairs bedroom.

Jo Ann named her plush home "Little Trump" after Donald Trump's $16 million 727 corporate jet. It was located in Mississippi and was positioned partially over a lake to make it look like it was taking off.


Jo Ann Ussery steers a boat on a pond outside her converted Boeing 727. | Source: Getty Images

The grandma lived in her unique and luxurious residence from April 1995 to May 1999. A truck was hired to transport the airliner to a different location one day. Jo Ann planned to open the aircraft to the public, but it accidentally fell off the truth and suffered consequential damage.

What are your thoughts after reading this story? Did you like Jo Ann's idea of converting an abandoned plane into a home? If you enjoyed this story, check out another one about an older woman who sold off half her belongings to live in a tiny home.