A Vegas Man Stole A Plane, Smoked A Joint And Drank Beer In The Air, Then Landed Outside Of ‘Bat Country’ Barstow

Beer plane

The spirit of Hunter S. Thompson is alive and well in the deserts surrounding Las Vegas, Nevada.

While writing this story, the iconic opening lines of Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas are running through my mind on repeat.

“We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.”

This is where I’ll get on my high horse and say that while the movie was pretty good, if you haven’t read the 1971 novel by Raoul Duke, I mean Hunter S. Thompson, than you need to stop what you’re doing, light one up, and go for a ride. It’s a masterpiece that’s equal parts depravity and deep social commentary that will keep you flipping pages until the end, when you’re left begging for more.

That being said, it seems someone in Vegas decided to really push the limits on the whole what happens there stays there stuff, completing one of the most badass (and wildly illegal) moves in recent history that’s eerily reminiscent of the founder of Gonzo journalism.

According to FOX5, last Saturday, as the world sat in a mid-holiday stupor, a man committed one of the best burglaries known to man when they took a fixed-wing single-engine plane from the North Las Vegas airport and went skyward, flying for over 100 miles until he (crash) landed east of Barstow, California.

When officers first approached the downed craft, they were unaware that the plane was stolen but reports soon came in from the Las Vegas police and he was taken into custody and identified as 40 year old Damian Zukaitis.

But the plane wasn’t the only thing flying high through that sunny midafternoon sky.

An inspection of the airplane turned up a bunch of beer cans and bottles, along with a half smoked joint laying on the floor.

Just to sum it up, this dude stole a plane he didn’t really know how to fly, got it airborne, crushed a few beers, smoked a joint, and made a somewhat decent landing right outside of a town that people only know because Hunter S. Thompson drove through it flying high one time? I can’t condone the actions but man do I respect the effort.

Zukaitis will be extradited back to Las Vegas, where he is charged with possessing a stolen aircraft and transporting stolen property over state lines, and other charges are still pending.

It’s pretty clear that he’s going to be spending quite a bit of time behind bars for his little stunt, but hey, if you’re going to go down, you might as well go down big. Can’t blame him for grounding the plane there either. It is bat country after all…

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock