Except for a tail number, a radar repeater and a name, not much is known about the pilot that executed a hard landing at the Old Airport on Friday, Nov. 24.
San Juan County Sheriff’s Office personnel responded to the area of East Allen Road in San Juan County after residents reported a small plane landing in the sagebrush.
Although no injuries were reported in the landing of the Vans RV-9A, bearing tail number N666BK registered to Vladyslav Karpayev of New Jersey, residents said that the plane destroyed part of a fence adjacent to East Allen Road when the pilot tried to land near the north portion of the old airstrip.
According to witnesses, the pilot attempted the landing in a strong tailwind. Federal Aviation Administration records and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) radio transmission records show the airplane, which is based at Solberg-Hunterdon Airport in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, flew to the Moab area after brief stops at airports in Gunnison, Colo. and Telluride, Colo.
After sheriff’s deputies responded, the pilot taxied his plane back to the runway and took off. His destination is unknown at this time. Before taking off, photos provided to The Times-Independent by witnesses showed clear damage to the wings of the airplane where it reportedly struck the fence.
Bob Collins, a noted aviation journalist and blogger, told The Times-Independent that the hard landing was likely due to wind factors.
“The tailwind is the key element here and accounts for going off the end,” Collins said. “You want to land into the wind.”
The plane, which also operates on an FCC radar repeater of KC2TPD, has been referenced repeatedly in online amateur aviation blogs for drawing designs in the sky using radar cross-sections many miles in size.