Almost 30 years after he built his own plane to escape Communist Czechoslovakia, 51-year old Ivo Zdarsky is living in an airplane hangar on 400 acres of Utah desert.
With the nearest grocery store 160 miles away, his home is outfitted with a 90-inch flat screen TV, four-foot-tall speakers, a computer, two mattresses, and an inflatable hot tub that can be flipped upside down and used as a sofa.
The New York Times elaborates:
His home is divided into two 50-by-50-foot areas: one is for his planes, the other is his living space (the bathroom is a separate room). ‘I notice most people have a house which is usually smaller than my room,’ Mr. Zdarsky says. ‘And inside this house is a bunch of little rooms, called bedroom, living room, whatever. If they want to do something on a computer you have to go in one room, you go to eat in another room. I have just one room, and I can watch the TV here, watch the computer here, eat here, and it is not claustrophobic.’
Moreover, the New York Times reporter counted seven impressive weapons casually scattered about the hangar. “I use them on the badgers because they dig in my ground,” he said, “You cannot imagine the damage these badgers do [to the runways].”
Pointing at some ammunition laying on his table, he continued: “That’s what our guys are using in Afghanistan. It’s very effective against badgers. And probably terrorists too.”
But how did Zdarsky end up all alone in the Utah desert? The Daily Mail describes his mad dash to freedom from Czechoslovakia in 1984:
As an aviation engineering student in Prague, Mr Zdarsky was designing airplane propellers and frustrated with the government that wouldn’t allow him to start his own business or voice his opinion.
Having being denied an exit visa, Mr Zdarsky decided to take matters into his own hands and built his own plane; a hang glider with an engine from a car.
On August 1984, he set off at 3am and made good his escape to Vienna where he requested political asylum.
And after he arrived in America in 1997, he found the 400 acres in Utah for the price of $99,000.
“Try doing that in New York,” he said. “It was a pretty good deal because nobody wanted to live here.”
Abandoned in the 1930’s, the area used to be a railroad community. Before Zdarsky, no one had lived there since, but for a small group of retired railroad workers in the 1970’s.
In what the Daily Mail is calling “the ultimate man cave,” Zdarsky has put an estimated $500,000 into his new home, including $50,000 for the steel for the hangar and $100,000 to set up water and electricity.
But unique as his home is, doesn’t he get lonely? “Everyone asks me that,” he replied. “If I get lonely, I can turn on my big TV, or I get in my plane or go see people. Usually it is more the other way, I am in civilization and looking very much forward to escaping here.”