Injured plane crash victim identified as pilot’s granddaughter
GYPSUM — A Crawford man’s teenage granddaughter has been identified as the female victim in Friday’s fatal plane crash.
Karl Hipp, 68, was killed and his granddaughter was seriously injured when their small plane, a Rebel experimental aircraft, crashed into the front of a hangar at the Eagle County Regional Airport.
The teen girl’s condition is improving, but she remains in the intensive care unit of a Denver hospital, according to family members.
They were the only two people in the plane, authorities said.
When it was reported a person was injured in the crash, speculation ran rampant that it was Judy Brin, Hipp’s wife and a renowned interior designer who works in Aspen and other resort communities.
Brin said she ran her Aspen business for 25 years.
Hipp listed his occupation as “airport bum” on his LinkedIn page. He was flying his granddaughter to their Crawford home for a few weeks so she could help him with his latest project, Brin said.
They probably stopped in Eagle County for fuel, friends said.
Hipp and Brin moved from Redstone to Crawford, where they built a home and hangars so Hipp could pursue his passion for flying. It was in that hangar that Hipp built the Rebel, friends said.
Hipp was an expert pilot, licensed to fly commercial, multi-engine aircraft. Years ago, Hipp and Brin flew their twin-engine Piper Commanche to Europe.
Hipp owned and operated Karl Hipp Designs Rustic Lamps, and manufactured rustic, wrought-iron table lamps, floor lamps, rawhide lamp shades, forged-iron lamps, wall sconces and chandeliers.
Hipp is listed as a vice president with Comanche Flyer Foundation Inc. in Indiana.
The plane was headed west into heavy gusting winds when it touched down on the runway at about 4:50 p.m. Friday.
Witnesses said after the plane touched down, it caught a gust of wind and went into the air again, banked hard to the left and veered about 1,000 feet south of the runway.
It did not clear the Vail Valley Jet Center’s Hangar No. 4 and hit just above the front doors, punching a large hole in the outside wall.
There was no one in the hangar at the time of the crash.
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