Anyone who's pursued their dream about becoming a pilot likes to spend as much time as possible in their airplanes. Well, there's a man in Ashland City who gets to spend a whole lot of time in years because, well he lives in it. Tammi Arender takes us to the home of Red Lane where the landing gear is always down.
If you're not expecting to see the DC-8 jet liner nestled in the woods of Cheatham County you can really be taken aback. It's almost like coming up on a crash scene except this plane is intact and the pilot is alive and well.
"All I had to do is to take out thereafter and move in the place. You who don't have to do anything as far as the inside is just all there."
Red Lane a former airplane mechanic and now an accomplished songwriter calls this jet "Home Sweet Home".
Red actually found this DC-8 in Smyrna. Of all places it was one of only two places in the country that worked on DC-8 at that time and to get this plane to Cheatham County it had to be cut into pieces. As matter of fact this tail section was so tall it had cut it off and had to be laid horizontally. Also it took five flatbed trucks to get each of these pieces to Nashville from Smyrna traveling at a maximum of 25 five miles per hour and just during over 9 hours. It took almost 28 days to get the plane in all totality to Ashland City.
"When I got to Smyrna this airplane was sitting down there, they were taking apart and I asked them what they would do with the airplane because I saw a house with no maintenance and the guy who run the place out there he said, "As what you need it, you need an airplane". Everybody laughed. Two weeks later I bought it."
It is now safe to move about the cabin. Red furnished the fuselage the way you would anyhow. He built a full kitchen and a real bathroom, all fasten seat belts signs had been removed so you are free to eat, sleep and play your guitar in the aircraft slashed house
"You can beat, things surround about what we love, you know even so nothing but a couch, a chair or something in a house that you live, when you get there and you close the door- you're home."
Red has left some non-traditional decor intact. Not many homes tell you where you can find your life vests and you certainly won't have to fight over a window or aisle seats since the 177 seats were taken out. Red dream of living in an airplane took flight years ago when he and John Wayne's pilot were introduced.
"His pilot, and a friend of mine, Hank Cochran, songwriter got together and I found out that I wanted to get one of those. I wanted own a house that flew."
Once he got his house that flew he continued to write songs he sent dozens of cuts by Merle Haggard, George Strait, George Joes, Wright Charles and many more. One of his biggest songs to soar to the top of the charts with John Conlee - "Miss Emily's picture", which actually had a big impact on my life in 1981.
My head is in the clouds now but Red is usually in the clouds, he and his aviating neighbors have even put on air shows for the relatives and friends and their residential respective complete with the runaway. You either have to be invited to this gated community or live here in Auburn airplane. But if you are invited the directions are difficult:
"Come to the Turn Left I'm the first airplane on the right."
Well the DC-8 gives Red ample living space. He is also enclosing an area under the belly of the plane. This area is still under construction. He's using the landing gear as the center of the room and building around it. Red asked a songwriting friend Tommy Smith to build a very unusual fireplace for this area. Doesn't really have anything to do with flying but it does have something to do with fire and ice. The fireplace is surrounded by two waterfalls but you certainly can't forget that you're directly underneath a jet liner. It's that constant closeness to the DC-8 that keeps Red happy because it reminds him of his favorite thing to do and that's flying.
"It's kind like fly around, on a motorcycle, about 5,000 feet. And you got in the cabin, the scarf, the whole view."
"You look like Snoopy!"
"Hey boy! It's a fun view"
Red is one of only five people in the world who lives in a jet. As far as he knows he is the only one in the US. For him it's about living the "American Dream" with wings.
"I have never ever woke up in this place wishing that I was somewhere else, never