National Free Flight Society

SEN 2982

  1. Lee Hines
  2. Four beloved skyscrapers have now passed in this last month
  3. Dave Acton
  4. Wind blew Dual Club event to November

Lee Hines

It is with much sadness that we report the passing of Lee Hines, the Southern California glider man, National Champ, World Champs Team Member,….  Lee was one of the Icons of Free Flight.  He had many classic glider  designs  including the Sweepette HLG, the Mean Machine and Big Al F1As and great understanding on what it takes to make them all fly .  He was generous to help and give advice on the building, setup and flying.  Even though he was most well known for gliders he started off flying AMA gas and flew his last contest, the SCAT Annual just a short time ago with an E-36.  Lee had an encyclopedic knowledge of championship results, important FF events and the critical factors that made the difference between winning and losing. Lee kept up because of his friends world wide and the various sources of FF lore. Everyone has their Lee story and mine is that at a SCAT club meeting over 20 years ago we were all chatting what’s going with the CIAM and another club member mentions a rule change proposal.  Horror of Horrors, Lee did not know of this, he asked how did you know that ? The reply was Oh , it was in the email.  Next day Lee went out and got an internet connection and email logon. A group of young flyers  gave him the nick name  “Leaper” a sign of respect  and acknowledgment of his contribution.and help he gave them. A name that he appreciated.  When mobility issues meant he could no longer tow or throw his beloved gliders Lee would still come to the field to fly and chat. We appreciated and I’m sure so did Lee those friends who helped him come out and fly with us.  We will always remember him.


Four beloved skyscrapers have now passed in this last month

From:Andrew Barron

Dear Free Flight Friends,

It is a sad time for the Brooklyn Skyscraper Free Flight club.  Tom Juell
has informed us that our long-time beloved club leader Dave Acton passed
away yesterday (Sunday).  Hopefully there will be more information to pass
along soon.  This is in addition to the recent information of the passing
of Bobby Geyer, Bob Lipori, and Bob Gutai.  Alan Abriss informs that the
passing of these four is all the last month.  Furthermore, we lost Krine
(Red) Laffler back in January.  That is five fliers from the Northeast this
year who have joined the ever rising thermal.  We will miss them all.

Ironically, the same day Dave passed, we had a large number of current
Skyscrapers gathered at our flying field, busily working to maintain and
improve it for the future of Free Flight in our region.



From: Aram Schlosberg

Skyscraper president, David Acton, passed away on May 1st, he took over the presidency of the Brooklyn Skyscrapers from Joe Wagner in the nineties. Dave organized the club’s annual dinners and manned the CD table at most of the Wawaywada meets. He was the glue holding the club together.

Dave and Bob Langelius were flying buddies. They traveled together to the Nats in Muncie IN, and Dave always helped setup the pool for the ROW crowd. Dave was a master builder, flying RC, U-control, free flight and indoor. He mentored people into recreational free flight flying at Wawaywanda and during the winter flew indoor at the Teaneck Armory in NJ.

Dave was a master auto mechanic which was how he earned his living he also repaired and maintained the clubs golf carts that we used on the field. He gave away models to newbies.

Over the last few years Dave struggled with COPD, with hospital and rehabilitation bouts. He actually called me on the morning of May 1st to find out what was happening at the field’s work day.
A true free fighter and a gentleman.

Wind blew Dual Club event to November

From:Don Bartick

As the Contest Director for the Dual-clubs FF Bonanza held normally in May at Lost Hills, we have been blown out the last 2 out of 3 years. Last year we had to cancel the contest the first day because of unflyable winds and the whole weekend was forecasted the same. The contest was postponed to Mid-November where we had a successful run while cohabitating with the Patterson FAI event.  The Dual-clubs has transitioned to November.

The weather at Lost Hills is incredibly hot during June, July and August. The older crowd can’t put up with heat. That’s why we don’t schedule contests during that period. May used to be reasonable temperature wise, but now winds prevail and makes scheduling contest problematic at best. That is why now no contests are scheduled between the San Valeers and the USFFC. Even the San Valeers contest had durations of unflyable winds. Then we have November with the Tule Fog. Let’s face it, outdoor FF is a challenge to fly competitively. Indoor FF sure has its merit, but you can’t find a local venue.
Oh well, such is life.

Don Bartick