To all: be safe – like this turkey!
I have three announcements regarding the Hall of Fame voting.
1. Many of us are just now receiving our Nov-Dec FAC Newsletters. This makes finishing the Hall of Fame voting by Dec.1st of this year virtually impossible.
Therefore, voting for the 2020 Hall of Fame inductees is extended to Dec. 15th!
2. I failed to include one of the submitted nominees on the list published in the FACNL: Fran Ptaszkiewicz.
Please take a look at THIS REVISED LIST of nominees as you consider your votes.
3. Some of you are on the ball, and have already submitted your votes!
Where this is the case and you want to support Fran’s nomination, you may vote for a third candidate if you choose.
Please send your votes to Don Deloach at:
Thanks, and Happy Thanksgiving!
Jim was a member of the Cleveland Free Flight Society and was a gregarious guy – always smiling and joking and having a great time. He’s one of the last of that old CFFS crew that helped me at the beginning of my modeling. Here’s what Rich Weber sent out earlier in the week.
Greetings fellow Free Flighters,
Once again it is my sad duty to report the loss of another Stork Squadron member. Jim Hyka went west last Thursday.
Jim was an active member of the Cleveland Free Flight Society from it’s earliest days. You could count on him to be in attendance at nearly every club function, always willing to lend a hand. He became Russ Brown’s “wing man” at the contests in later years, helping out with hauling all the equipment and paraphernalia required to run the show. He especially enjoyed the Saturday club building sessions, and rarely missed one. He was a frequent participant in the FAC Nats at Geneseo over the years, and a proud recipient of the Blue Max. Jim’s smile lit up his whole face. I’m going to miss him and that smile a lot.
Use the good wood.
Here is a link to his obituary: https://www.hinefh.com/obituary/james-hyka
Tena was always at Vic’s side flying his airplanes.
Here is the obituary:
Get on your Bad Bleriot and Ride!
Thanks to Lyman Hatz (on Facebook)!
Never Ready Eddie Novak has compiled and submitted the results for this most unusual “Nats” That was brought on by the nation-wide COVID pandemic. In case you don’t remember, we were to hold the FAC Nats this July, but cancelled that and opted for a mail-in Postal contest with eight events. Contestants were encouraged to fly on their own and submit time via POSTCARD ONLY. The winners would be selected at random. This surely cut down on participants as it appears people would rather drive hundreds of miles than mail in a postcard – haaww!! Regardless, here is a note from NRE that accompanied the results:
Congratulations to the lucky eight winners. The winning post card was “drawn from the hat in
each event”. As you can see there was a good turnout in all of the events. There were also
some mysterious entrants, can you pick them out? The variety of the types of cards was
amazing, from recycled old cards to homemade cards to index cards, true FAC imagination.
Comments were “hand wound and flown in the back yard”, “small motor and low turns so I
wouldn’t lose it”, and of course “eat tofu”.
FLYING ACES CLUB SALUTE to ALL!
Thanks to the devoted mini-CDs for receiving all the entries. Eddie notes elsewhere that all entries were put into a “hat” and the youngest attendee at one of their local Connecticut contests drew the winners. The results prove several things to be true: 1) you can’t keep Tom Hallman and Wally Farrell down, 2) Chambermaids will win, and 3) people can get their first kanone anytime, anyplace!
Here are the results (more comments below the results):
Hi-Start Scale Glider: Ed Pelatowski, CT
JetCat: Tom Hallman, PA
FAC Peanut: Bruce Foster, NJ
Simplified Scale: Wally Farrell, VA
2-Bit plus 1: Dan Driscoll, FL
Dime Scale: Franklin Venturini, CT (First Kanone!)
No-Cal: James Martin, GA
National Air Races: GEORGE Skelly, MA (clerical error pointed out by William Skelly)
Remember, High Flight Time didn’t mean you won – these were random selections. There ARE some rather spectacular times in there: Linda Wrisley in California, submitting 48 seconds with a Lockheed StarJet JetCat (its a canard!), she also put in 333 seconds on a Supreme Traveler 2-Bit! Doug Beardsworth bravely submitted 4 seconds on a U-2 JetCat – and he also entered his COVID 8″ NoCal Rare Bear for 6 seconds! I am going to need to have a sit-down with my flying pal, Ron – a Bonzo doesn’t qualify for the NAR (~sigh~). Regarding Wally and Tom winning, don’t be bitter – Hung shines on all of us sometimes; he just shines on them a lot more!
Well done, everyone!
We received this from Rich Weber last evening:
Stork Squadron – the End of an Era
Greetings fellow Free Flighters,
It is with a heavy heart that I bring you the news that Russ Brown has gone west. I received a note from his granddaughter late yesterday informing me that Russ passed peacefully, with members of his family by his side.
It is not too much to say that Russ was the backbone of the old Cleveland Free Flight Society for many years. He was the fellow who made all of the flying field arrangements with the folks at LCCC, got the AMA sanctions, submitted the contest dates to Model Aviation for posting on the calendar, did the FAC Scale judging, tabulated the scores, made up the contest forms, sent in the contest reports, and handled the kanone reports, not to mention hauling tables, chairs, and a big pile of plans to the field and home again in his trusty Saab. He was probably the longest serving of a long line of editors for Crosswinds, and certainly the one with the most distinctive “flat hattin'” style. As an early convert to the FAC style of flying, he brought the local club around to embrace the FAC, too, and created the Stork Squadron as the third official squadron in the national organization. He was a regular volunteer at the FAC Nats and Non Nats over the years, usually serving in the capacity of a Scale judge. Russ was rarely seen on the flying field without his camera in hand, which is a practice that carried over from his days at the Cleveland Air Races in the 60s and 70s. Some of his photos show up in Reed Kinnert’s air racing history books. He was a quiet guy, with a wry sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye, never very comfortable in the spotlight, but he always wore his Blue Max with pride.
Compared to many of you, I came into the CFFS late and got to know Russ after he had essentially stopped modeling. He was the guy at the contest who would always find a way to get the new kid into the game and offer encouragement. And that big pile of plans was a treasure chest for me. I think one of the most remarkable things about Russ was his willingness to lend his incredible aviation history expertise to any and all. It was almost comical when he would overhear me mention some slight interest in an obscure aircraft, and a month or two later, he would drop a large pile of documentation on the type into my lap. Those
were the beginnings of many modeling projects for me.
Due to the current public health emergency, there will not be a wake. I will send along more information as I get it from the family.
Use the good wood!
As Rich says, Russ dedicated himself to the FAC and the CFFS. By the time I found the Cleveland group, Russ had already stopped flying. He stopped at 45 kanones, but he was the CD for every monthly contest. His boxes of free plans were an inspiration to me, too. Who knew there were so many airplanes to build? He gently and quietly encouraged me to build and fly. And he encouraged my plans; he was a tough editor, as he had me rework the Falcon Special II plan for the Crosswinds about five times until it met his (or came close enough to) his standards for the little racer.
I miss those Cleveland contests in the late 80s and early 90s. These were my only contact with Free Flighters and the FAC, and it took me about two hours to get to a contest. So, I had no meetings, no building buddies, nothing – except driving north to Lorain County Community College (LCCC) and flying with Russ Brown, Gordon Roberts, Del Balunek, Dennis Norman, Jim Hyka, and – eventually – Rich Weber. Of course, there were several others, but Russ Brown, the Blue Fox, was the leader and a mentor to me.
I received this contest report this morning – an historic report for sure:
Maxecuters Scramble, September 24th, 2020; Rose-James Field, Unionville, VA
Attached is the Kanone Report from the (so far) one and only Maxecuter’s contest of 2020. Even given the appalling paucity of Maxecuter events lately, this would not normally be of particular interest.
…It should be noted that on a cool day in late September, on a damp Virginia cow field ripe with fresh pies, gopher holes and disinterested bovines, ’neath cloudy skies with a just hint of drift, Wally Farrell scraped out two meager wins against a depleted field of contestants and has thus, through a lifetime of hard work, attention to detail and clean living, at last overtaken the late, great Gordon Roberts as the FAC Ace of Aces.
For a man so accustomed to regular competition, it was clear that the pressure of the moment was weighing heavily on Wally during the meet; a slight film of rust had formed on the well-oiled machinery of his practice, and the vengeful FF gods were watching his every move. A broken motor strand in the finals of the Golden Age ML kept him from near-certain victory. His Dimers were recalcitrant, his timed events…untimely. A great third flight in Modern Civilian ended with 15 crucial seconds (and the model) stuck in the treetops, costing him a win (and the model). A 30 second, early-DT-aborted Embryo Endurance flight nearly sank him. He wavered; he wobbled; but he did not accept defeat. With his trusty aide-de-camp Julie urging him on, he girded his loins, grit his teeth, and persevered. Is it not fitting that in clawing back to win the Embryo event, he gained his place in Free Flight history with a Kanone in that most humble yet keen of events? For what is Wally Farrell if not humble, and keen?
Being similarly humble, I would be remiss if I didn’t call attention to my crucial role in advancing this man’s grand achievement. Over the years, had it not been for my willingness to wind just a little less; to go just a little less hard in the paint; to launch my models like a hamstrung T-Rex; to be, in short, a glad stepping stone to his ambition, that he might enjoy more fully the fruits of his labors, then who knows where he would be today? Eh? Broken? Dispirited? Perhaps even destitute. But this is not the case.
Let the full, throaty roars of the FAC community rain down upon him!
WALLY FARRELL: FAC ACE OF ACES!!
PS in all seriousness—WHAT AN ACCOMPLISHMENT!!! It boggles the mind.
The 2020 Barron Field Air Races is ON! Tom Hallman and Mark Houck are hosting the contest on October 3rd and 4th, but with some minor changes. Here is what Tom and Mark have sent out:
In light of Covid-19, we’re having duplicate contests on Saturday and Sunday, so that you can pick your best day, and treat it like a day trip, and avoid an over-night stay. These will be two complete contests. Starting and ending on the same day.
For those who want to be there both days, hotels are open and camping is permitted on the field.
***Please note, depending on the ever changing Covid-19 impact, things could change, so we’ll make every attempt to keep you updated as the contest date nears.***
We ask that you practice social distancing and wear masks when in close proximity to other flyers. Bring your own pen or pencil for entering scores. Hand sanitizer and wipes will be available at GHQ, but certainly bring your own.
To honor our late flying friend John Houck, we’ll have a special tribute both days by flying a few of John’s models. Ships that we’ve all come to know, love, and…fear!! I’ll miss his enthusiasm and dedication to free-flight.
Hopefully the Weather Gods will give us a beautiful event, along with future days of great weather. It’s all about flying, time with friends, and taking in this special hobby that we all share & love.
Please share this with friends who might be considering Wawa this year.
Check the FLYER HERE!