Monday, October 10, 2011

Want to buy an airliner?

For the right price, a 41-year-old 747 parked in Roswell could be anyone's.The retired airliner is being auctioned off to the highest bidder, starting next week. It's served many purposes over the years, but it looks like its purpose now is scrap metal.

Whoever purchases it can use it's scrap metal for pretty much whatever they want.

"Customers we have with Government Liquidation do all kinds of unique things with government property that they purchase, one lady bought a smaller aircraft than this, I believe it was a 707, and turned it into a house," explained Earl Sandstrom, scrap warehouse specialist for Government Liquidation.

The plane now belongs to the Department of Defense. Before that, it shuttled passengers across the country.

"It was actually a passenger aircraft for United Airlines, then it was sold to Pan Am, used as a passenger aircraft, then in 2000 it was brought right here to Roswell and converted to a cargo aircraft for, as it says on it, Polar Air," Sandstrom said.

Since then, the Air Force has used it for training but the plane has been gutted of it's parts and is ready to be sold for scrap.

"The opening bid is $150, we start all our bids on our internet auctions at $150," Sandstrom said. "We're hoping to get maybe $100,000 or so."

Sandstrom said the most valuable parts of this plane would be the aircraft aluminum.

"There's so much of it," he said. "It's approximately 160,000 lbs. that we estimate that's aircraft aluminum, and aluminum is bringing a pretty decent price nowadays," Sandstrom said.

"This is government recycling, you know the money except for what we charge of course will go back into the government coffers, be re-utilized, save us a few tax dollars," Sandstrom explained.

And you never know where remnants of the 747 will turn up.

"A lot of the stuff that was blown up in the Terminator movie, wrecks on the interstate 40, those were all ex-government PC equipment that they purchased from us," said Sandstrom.

Whoever buys the plane will have two weeks to work with a contractor in Roswell to tear it apart.

The tear down has to be witnessed by personnel from the Department of Defense to make sure it can never fly again.

Bidding begins Monday, October 10th and goes through Wednesday.

(Gabrielle Burkhart - KRQE 13 News Roswell, New Mexico)

1 comment:

getjets said...

Doesn't make sense.....if that much aluminum....seems that puppy would have been gone a long time ago.....
the bone yard....SUCH A SAD PLACE....:((((((