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Glider Pilots Set to Converge on Big Spring, Expect Ideal Weather

There is only one resident of the town of Lucin, Utah--Ido Zdarsky, owner of the airport and a Czechoslovakian native who built his own engine-powered hang glider in 1984 to escape the communist country. An aeronautical engineering student when he left his homeland, Zdarsky has been manufacturing propellers for small planes in America for 20 years. He said when he escaped he was worried about being shot down, and he while he still has nightmares about it, the risk was worth the reward. The glider he used to fly over the Iron Curtain was sold to a West Berlin museum, and Zdarsky has never been back. He first moved to California, which is where he started his propeller business, IVOPROP. “It’s just a small company that makes these propellers so crazy people can fly,” he says. But then he left California looking for a place with few inhabitants, and heard about the airport in Lucin being for sale. He bought it and is now working on a prototype airplane/helicopter. He now works only in research and development for his company and says he enjoys the solitude of Lucin. “I used to like to go in the desert in a helicopter ... and land in places where probably nobody has been for 50 years,” he says.

September 16, 2009

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