03 September 2012

Davie Hooker fly and braai at Ziggynanda

BBM and Facebook have tended to supersede the blog because of the immediacy of reporting but this was special exception for us. Dave heads in to hospital today for some major surgery and asked his mate Alfred for a special day's flying on Saturday, ahead of the op. Of course, like the advert says, Alfred talked to his mates and they talked to their mates and we ended up with a good mob up Ziggynanda on Saturday afternoon. 

Messages had been coming from far and wide, starting with Simon, Wessie and Bruce in the Cape, through to Shaun in Pretoria, Rob Rowe in KZN and this final very special one for Dave, from Mike Abramson:

Hi Dave, Russ, Rob, Old friends
Brings back many fond memories 
many, many hours building - late at night in his garage
sunburst solarfilm - he is the master
my first bad finger cut with a scalple, & he cyno'd it shut
remember Oros, the sagitta eaters, middle phase 1.5, etc etc
and of course, his dry humour
Please pass our best wishes to Dave Hooker. 
Mike & Julie

What follows is a rogues gallery of those enjoyed some magic sloping and chatting to ole Dave.

More from Russ regarding the Dave Hooker Fly and Braai:

What promised to be a great day, delivered 100%,  despite cool cloudy conditions, there was more than enough lift available for the die hards, who made the trip to Hooker's, Fly and Braai!

Dave H was in his element! He sat on the tailgate of Alfred's bakkie and flew his beloved Radian Pro, for what seemed ages. Man if Dave couldn’t break the wings on Saturday, they bent, flexed and I swear he nearly got the wing tips to touch! Lots of excitement was provided by all, from re-maidens that went all wrong, tx being "launched", and Sd'ing, landing out, landing down and breakages.

It really was nice to see Grant, Paul Boswara, and Brad Conlon again, and I am sure with what they saw, it is only a matter of time before they arrive at Winston with something to fly. Paul's questions along the lines of, "this 2.4 thingy, is it ok and how do I make a Shongololo strong and ballast it", proves that once a Sloper, always a sloper!

Stan was dying to maiden his Minivec, but had his fair share of drama, and sanity prevailed while trying to get the range sorted. With all his walking and range checking, I joked that with Futaba, you "walk less and Fly more".

Dave, what can I say except, till you have flown a Flight Pro Swift, you are losing out! The orange bullet tore up the sky like it had a rocket up its “ask your mother for sixpence”. I said Dave wasn't going to be able to wipe that smile off his face for a week. He also proved that Swifts really don't need guidance when landing! And they survive and come back unscathed. Rumour has it that Dave went to church twice on Sunday!

Dean have great fun with his Swift and Luna, another Flight Pro model which has huge potential. He also has a winch that has my right arm, 8 inches longer than my left after launching myself of the side of ZN. The amount of kak down the front of the slope is amazing, makes Springfield look like a Hospital Theatre!

Luke impressed no end with the Rare Bear, which should be renamed Barney in its purple drab, man it goes like stink, his Radiant was impressive to say the least, and a serious contender in Open at the end of the month. The Nelson clan arrived and both Sy and Ry put the Weaver through its paces showing that it has some serious aerobatic ability. Mark had his Minivec up and showed a lot more confidence compared to when he flew it at the Toss event in January.  

We rounded off the day with a Braai and I can assure you, there was a lot of chatting, all good, and all too soon, it was time to head on home.

Dave Hooker is a legend, we are hoping for the best, one thing is for certain, he will be in good hands at Albert Luthuli.

Dave had a very negative outlook last time we were at ZN, but after Saturday, and seeing how much he is loved by all, should give him the strength to fight back, and get out on the hill soon.
Till then, Mr H, hang in there, we are counting on you.

Russ Conradt

Russ suckering us all good with the hand launch transmitter ;-)

East Coast slopers just chilling and chatting, Mark Phillips with Dave Hooker, sitting on the afore-mentioned tailgate.

Russ's view of the East Coast Rockers :-)

Most of the mob who braved the chilly afternoon.

Men of the hour, Dave Hooker and good friend Alfred
Dave Hooker and young Jade Persson, son of Frank.

Rudi Smook and Mig - thanks for the shelter Rudi!

Mark Phillips and Dean Halley.

Lionel Smith and Rudi

Saudi Arabia's Johan de Lange and classic Ellipse 1, down from Pietermaritzburg.

Adriaan, also down from Pietermaritzburg.

Sean Oellermann.

Dave's legendary "Sagitta Eater"!

Dean Halley and Luke Johnson.

Fearless ECSS leader and braai man Russ Conradt, a fraction before he terrified most of us by hurling the dummy transmitter instead of the JW60!

Luke Johnson, Paul Boswarva and Brad Conlon.

Stan Haussman and Mark Phillips.

Stan with with the as yet un-maidened Minivec.
Paul Young, Russ Conradt and Glen Pyle - special thanks to Paul and Glen for making the trip.