You can probably count the instances a Boeing 747 airliner lands in Tulsa; it’s not very often.
A few days ago, however, a Lufthansa 747 made Tulsa its final destination and there may be others to follow, according to Andrew Simmons with Lufthansa Technik.
“That's why we call it the second life project 'cause they want to take these parts, re-service them and put them on other aircraft," he said.
"They" in this case is Lufthansa Technik Component Services. They repair and re-certify aircraft components for Lufthansa and other airlines too.
When a plane goes out of service, they fly it here and Simmons and his crew take it apart.
"This one here, 24 years in service - since 1991. Millions of passengers, millions of miles," he said.
It’s the 35th aircraft that they've worked on…that’s nicer than saying scrapped.
Simmons said when you’re in the cockpit you’re almost thirty feet in the air - it's like flying a three-story building from an upstairs window.
He said there's an art to taking one of them apart.
"Outside engines come off first, then the inside engines," he said.
They don't save everything, only what they know they can reuse at Lufthansa or what there is a definite market for elsewhere.
He said the whole thing is about a ten-week process.
Over the years, he's fallen in love with the aging airliners; and even more than that, he loves giving a second life to as much of them as he can.
Simmons and his crew will disassemble another 747 when it comes to Tulsa next month.