Owner offers abandoned plane to YouTuber for free if he can start it

  • A YouTuber discovered an abandoned plane at his local airport
  • The owner had left it there for over 20 years
  • He offered it to the YouTuber on one seemingly simple condition: he had to get the engine to start

Published on Jul 05, 2024 at 6:57 PM (UTC+4)
by Andie Reeves

Last updated on Jul 06, 2024 at 5:14 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

A YouTuber was offered an abandoned plane worth upwards of $200,000 for free, with one small catch.

He had to get the engine to start.

Sounds simple enough, but this particular plane had been parked for about 20 years.

And after years spent outside with its windows and doors open, this deal nearly didn’t go through.

READ MORE: Airbus A320 becomes extraordinary luxury home in stunning conversion

Discovering the abandoned plane

Jason Morrison is known for his YouTube channel Rebuild Rescue, where he rebuilds boats, cars and aircraft that need rescuing.

He was at his local airport taking flying lessons when airport staff mentioned an abandoned plane on the property.

No one knew how long it had been left outside to fend for itself against the elements.

The YouTuber went to check out the plane and, after realizing it was a Cessna 401A, had to know more.

While some buy abandoned planes to convert into quirky Airbnbs or even cars, Morrison wanted to get this one flying again.

The 1968 model can cost between $100,000 and $200,000, and was known for being both reliable and luxurious.

Morrison managed to track down the owner to get the full story.

Incredibly, the owner had decided that fixing up the plane was more trouble than it was worth, and offered it to Morrison.

All the YouTuber had to do was get it running, and he could fly it out of the airport as its new owner.

The great bird house rebuild

The Cessna had been left outside for so many years that it had earned the nickname ‘the bird house’.

It was clear that birds had inhabited every inch of the plane, from the engines to the seats.

“It smells like a chicken house in here,” Morrison said the first time he entered.

Once a relatively glamorous six-seater, the leather interior was now ruined from bird droppings and water damage.

The 401 is equipped with turbocharged Continental engines, making it ideal for long distance flights and high altitudes.

These engines had become massive birds nests over the past few years.

Morrison and his crew got to work checking everything from the spark plugs to the fuel filters, replacing or refurbishing as necessary.

Just before he tried the engines, he called a friend for moral support, none other than the guy who is converting Elvis’s private jet into an RV.

Incredibly, the left side sprang to life, the propeller spinning perfectly.

This was enough for the owner, who handed over the keys to the Cessna.

The plane is far from airworthy, though, and two years and 76 videos later, Morrison is still fixing it up.

Any money he saved on the plane he’s certainly made up for on mechanic bills.

# Tags - Airplanes, DIY


Andie Reeves

Andie is a content writer from South Africa with a background in broadcasting and journalism. Starting her career in the glossy pages of Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire, Andie has a broad portfolio, covering everything from sustainability solutions to celebrity car collections. When not at her laptop Andie can be found sewing, recording her podcast, taking board games too seriously or road-tripping in her bright green Kia.