Hopes for a successful glider flight most definitely dashed — but all is not lost

These last two years (plus) have not been kind to our organization, HAFFA, let alone the entire population of the world due to COVID’s physical and social impact.

Now here we are at the end of 2021. It’s a time for reflection and renewal. It’s also a time to think about what’s to come in 2022 and hopefully a time to think positive.

As I hand off the reins of being the president of the Heart of America Free Flight Association a.k.a. HAFFA these past few years to Mike Basta—I want to leave everyone a positive message. Modelers always find a way to keep flying! We’re always adapting and modifying our aircraft whether indoors or out….it’s what keeps us going….to better our craft! So get to building and flying! Dig out that kit that has been gathering dust and clean off that building board. Even if you only get two sticks of wood glued together….it’s a start. Get those wings patched up and repaired. Spring will be here before you know it and we’ll be flying outdoors again. In the mean time attend an indoor flying event and come fly with us (HAFFA Indoor Flying Sessions). We have a carefully cared for fleet of P-18 model airplanes (9 total) for you to launch yourself (with the help of HAFFA Members) in a Stars and Aviators Take Flight Mass Launch ready to go !!!!! 😀

SWITCHING GEARS . . .

So with the help of Jeff Nisley we now have a dedicated YouTube Channel for HAFFA. He recently located a video he filmed in 2019 and uploaded it to our new channel of Mike and I attempting to launch Mike’s Jader 60 Tow Line Glider at the Marion Free Flight Contest that year.

This is the video Nisley filmed at the 2019 HAFFA Marion Free Flight Contest

You might be thinking that this is would be the end of the road for Mike’s unlucky hapless Jader 60 Tow Line Glider . . . . But NAH——You would be wrong!

This is a photo of mike with his beautiful Jader 60 Tow Line Glider on Saturday Oct 5th 2019.
The ill-fated flight took place the following day.

As we said in the title of this Post—all is not lost!
You see, Mike took the crash of his glider with a grain of salt—made sure he had picked up all of the pieces—and by the next year was flying it again at the 2020 Marion Contest! Mike explained that in this case beyond the obvious gluing of the broken pieces back together and recovering the damaged tissue, he took the time to strengthen the leading edge and main spar of the wing by making grooves in the balsa large enough so that he could install carbon fiber rods that he epoxied in.

Turns out Mike is no stranger to fixing broken model aircraft. “I’ve probably fixed more planes than I have ever built” He told Jeff Nisley in a recent conversation.

Legend has it that from a relatively young age, Mike retrieved abandoned crashed model airplanes from the trash receptacles at his local air field and then took them home to repair to flight readiness—so this is just par for the course. “The key is to be fortunate enough to have all of the pieces.” Basta points out. He then adds “Some glue, new tissue where needed, and a liberal dose of TLC—and there you are !!!!! 🙂 It’s all part of the hobby.

As we cautiously venture into 2022 with our fingers crossed . . . . we—along with the rest of the world—undoubtedly will pick up the pieces and hopefully go forward.

I would like to wish all of you a Happy New Year and looking forward to 2022!
Thermals,

Jeff Renz

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