The Story Behind Mike Basta’s Father’s Tow Line Glider

PICTURED AT RIGHT is Mike Basta preparing to launch his Jader 60 Tow Line Glider at the 2019 Marion Free Flight Contest. Mike is our Vice president and one of the founding members of HAFFA.

When Mike decided to build this Tow line glider in the late 80s, there happened to be a number of reasons he decided on this particular glider over other designs of the 1950s.

You see—his father years ago had built the same exact model and but his dad’s model had an interesting quirk built in that would be rather hard to replicate today.

This peculiar trait is revealed in the story below.

Here’s a short story that Mike shared with me recently.

Here’s most likely a fair representation of what the parrot might have looked like on his father’s Jader 60 Tow Line Glider’s right wing.
The parrot advertisement shown above is circa 1953.

Story written by Jeff Nisley
Mike revealed to me that he was inspired in the late 80’s to build the Jader 60 Tow Line Glider because of the fond memories he had associated with his father, Matt Basta, winning third place at the Nationals (NATS) in 1953 with his Jader 60 Tow Line Glider. Mike at the time was a teenager and his sole job was to release it into the wind when the prospect of thermals was “just right.” But here’s where it gets interesting…

Mike remembers his fathers plane this way: “It had a blue fuselage and orange for the wing and tail…” But this plane had an additional distinctive feature. He then went on…”and then there was also a Parrot on the right side of the wing. I said “Oh—please go on…” He then explained that his father wanted “More Color” so somehow he obtained a decal of an advertisement picturing a parrot by a Gin company at the time called Corby’s and proceeded to cut off the “SAY CORBY’S portion of the decal with a pair of sissors. Having done that he then applied it to the right side of the wing of his Jader 60.

During this time period Mike didn’t know where or how his father came up with this amazing parrot decal and frankly he didn’t give it much thought…

Mike finished his tale by adding this:

“It looked rather nice because the parrot took up quite a bit of Real Estate.”

Postscript to this story:
If by chance you happened to click on the Corby’s link above in the story you would have discovered the company is alive and well with a really interesting and modern website IMO. You can view more vintage Corby’s advertisement items for fun if you Google the words “Vintage Corby’s.”

At the time, Mike never knew the source of the parrot decal and even that it was a portion of a larger advertisement decal. Years later when going through his fathers modeling stuff, he discovered the real story and pieced together how the parrot graphic came to be on his dad’s glider. It turns out that Mike had inadvertently stumbled upon a second, unaltered and uncut Corby’s Parrot Decal —thereby solving the mystery.

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