Skip to main content

A clip of an airport worker “flying” a scrapped Learjet airplane is making the rounds, and it’s the most heartwarming thing I’ve seen in a while.

The Opa-Locka Airport employee is operating a Cat excavator with a grappler attachment to pinch the rear fuselage of the plane. Then, they swirl the jet around in the air. You can’t help but make airplane noises in your head. You can see the cute playtime clip embedded below. 

The video was originally filmed and posted by vice.aviator back in 2020 after their pilot training. They drove around to the backyard of the airport to see a different plane that had been scrapped, a Boeing 707.

Instead, they caught the scrap worker taking a little Learjet on its last “flight.”

The caption fully explains the clip:

“Thought I’d jump on the bandwagon since everyone is reposting my video.. originally posted on my story and then shared by a great friend on @boneyardsafari. After leaving the airport this morning after my flight training, I decided to go and be an AvGeek and go look for the 707 that was recently scrapped. After no luck, I made a u-turn and saw that a Learjet was about to meet its fate. Little did I know, it was going for one last flight… and not the flight I thought! It’s unreal how quick the video went viral. Talk about right place at the right time…”

Opa Locka Airport is a small executive (read: private) airport located in Miami, Florida. It’s also a reliever for Miami International. The airport is run by a small staff 24/7.

Learjets and Boeing 707s are pretty neat planes

A white Learjet business plane driving down a runway in left front profile view
A Learjet business plane | GordZam via iStock

Learjets are small passenger planes designed for business, military, and private civilian use.

Learjet’s founder, William Lear, was also the first person to create a car radio. It was an eight-track that could be installed in a car’s dash. He sold the rights to it to Motorola in 1924. In total, the guy had 150 patents. His airplane company was the first to mass-produce small jets for private use.

Boeing 707s aren’t so common these days, hence vice.aviator’s interest in seeing a retired unit. The 707 was Boeing’s very first jetliner produced by the company’s commercial plane sector. It first flew with Pan Am in 1958. Production ended in 1991, so even the “newest” ones are more than 30 years old at this point.

Source: Britannica