CGS Hawk Desgner/Builder Chuck Slusarczyk Passes

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jedi

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Sept 9, 2022 FYI - I received the following message from Chucks wife Nancy.

……. I want to let you know that my darling sweet Chuck past peacefully into God's arms this morning. After 3 years in the nursing home he recently took a serious nosedive about 6 days ago. He was comfortable in hospice and passed very peacefully. We spent the past 6 days keeping vigil at his side talking to him visiting recounting stories. His obituary will be visible online starting tomorrow.

Follow on information from Nancy:

Thank you and yes please post on HBA. His obit will be online today with a far more detailed obit on the website for the funeral home. He passed very peacefully, surrounded by family his final days.
Here's the plan:
Nosek-McCreery Funeral home
8150 Brecksville Rd
440-526-6050
Visitation Mon, Oct 3rd, from 4-8p.m.
Mass on Tues, Oct 4th 10 a.m. meet at church
St. Basil The Great in Brecksville, then
Cemetery, and luncheon after.

RIP Chuck.

Please use this forum to post your memories and stories in honor of Chucks fine character. Yes, those of you who knew Chuck, his music, stories and his Muzzle Loader home made Moon Shine will surely agree that he was a fine, interesting and amusing “character “ and a darn good aircraft designer.
 
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Wanttaja

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There's an old term that refers perfectly to Chuck: "Raconteur". It means a person who can tell skillfully tell amusing stories. And that was Chuck all the way.

My favorite story he told was when he flew an ultralight across (Lake Michigan?) in the very early days of the sport. He was flying powered a hang glider, where the pilot dangled from the wing overhead.

He took off, headed for the opposite shore, then realized he had to urinate. He tried to work it out, but since his "equipment" pointed forward, he couldn't see any way he could do it in flight without drenching the front of his flight suit.

He squirmed around, trying to find a way to accomplish it...then the news helicopters showed up to film the flight.

He eventually landed safely, and all the news folks pounced on him to get an interview for the 6 o'clock news. But Chuck had to GO. All the interviews of him were in motion, with Chuck rapidly heading for the nearest rest room while the answering the reporter's questions.....

Ron Wanttaja
 

Topaz

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Oh my, what a loss. I never met the man, personally, but from any number of appearances and interviews (the US version of 'Junkyard Wars' comes to mind), Chuck was clearly the best kind of aviation "Character." Every time he was on the screen, you couldn't help but smile.

And, of course, the CGS Hawk was the poster-child of "serious" ultralight aviation for many years.

Deep condolences to Chuck's family, friends, and many, many fans, myself included.
 

Victor Bravo

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A larger than life personality, a truly nice guy, and an old-school free flight model builder of the highest order. Chuck was a distinguished member of "The Cleveland Clowns", one of the greatest and most record-setting model clubs from 'back in the day'. I had the good fortune of meeting him when he came to LA to do a TV show. I was a participant on the old RAH Usenet newsgroup with Ron W and a couple of other guys here, during the famous antics that involved Chuck, several other guys, and stealing fried chicken from the one and only "Captain Zoom". I also was aware of what Chuck had gone through because of Capt. Doom and because of a bad "takedown journalism" news story that darn near bankrupted him. But after all that, his legacy is that he helped create a new type of flying, and created one of the best and safest of the ultralight type aircraft. RIP Chuck!
 

jedi

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My favorite story he told was when he flew an ultralight across (Lake Michigan?) in the very early days of the sport. He was flying powered a hang glider, where the pilot dangled from the wing overhead.
Lake Erie. Point Pelee National Park, Ontario Canada to Sandusky Ohio to commerate a Glen Curtiss flight of August 31, 1910.

Thanks to the Glen Curtiss Museum for the original date. I am guessing Chucks flight was the 75 anniversary in 1985 or possibly in 1980 the 70th anniversary. The flight was made in an Easy Riser.

Chuck invented and patented the PSRU for ultralights but chose to not defend the patent so that it could be available to all Ultralight pilots. In Chucks words, The PSRU was necessary to overcome his "gravitational disadvantage". When he arrived at an ultralight fly in with his PSRU on a hot summer day he was the only pilot that was able to fly that day and received orders from a majority of the attending Easy Riser pilots.
 
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Bill-Higdon

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A larger than life personality, a truly nice guy, and an old-school free flight model builder of the highest order. Chuck was a distinguished member of "The Cleveland Clowns", one of the greatest and most record-setting model clubs from 'back in the day'. I had the good fortune of meeting him when he came to LA to do a TV show. I was a participant on the old RAH Usenet newsgroup with Ron W and a couple of other guys here, during the famous antics that involved Chuck, several other guys, and stealing fried chicken from the one and only "Captain Zoom". I also was aware of what Chuck had gone through because of Capt. Doom and because of a bad "takedown journalism" news story that darn near bankrupted him. But after all that, his legacy is that he helped create a new type of flying, and created one of the best and safest of the ultralight type aircraft. RIP Chuck!
You forgot the "ole Muzzleloader"
 

Wanttaja

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I never got the chance to try it. This is probably why I still have a liver.
I tried it at one of the Pinkneyville fly-ins. IIRC, it was blackberry brandy. Not much of a drinker, just took a couple of sips. Quite enough for me.

Apparently it was deceptive; those with more of an affinity for alcohol felt it was harmless. Story goes there was an aviation writer at Sun-N-Fun who got hoodwinked. He woke up the next morning in a cot...on the runway.

Had a similar case at Pinkneyville...participants might remember the "Urban Legend." Bob imbibed, early in the day, and got knocked back on his rear. Ended up in a cot, waving off all the other attendees, all through the day. One of our group was an EMT, and checked him occasionally. Bob was eventually able to crawl out of the cot late that evening, and we all celebrated the "resurrection."

VB mentioned the fried chicken caper. Chuck proudly assumed the moniker, "El Pollo Loco" (the crazy chicken) after that, and put the appropriate nose art on one of his Hawks.
el pollo loco lores2.jpg

Vaya con dios, El Pollo Loco....

Ron Wanttaja
 

Jay Dub

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RIP Chuck. Lots of good memories in the early to mid 90's. My buddy and I spent many a Saturday morning at Chuck's "office" in Middlefield, OH, and he would tell us many stories, some seemed a bit tall, but he was a good storyteller that could keep you laughing. We lived about 45 minutes away. My buddy and I both built the early Arrow single models but the model quickly morphed after we built ours. They were great flying machines indeed. We both taught ourselves how to fly. After having about 450 hours in my Hawk, I went on to become a professional bush pilot, getting my commercial license and flying in the Andes mountains and Amazon basin jungles of South America for 7 years. Chuck would always say the Hawk instilled confidence and that it did. It is a very forgiving design that kept me alive when doing stupid things.

Muzzleloader was probably a proprietary secret that I got in on through my buddy. To say Chuck was a character was an understatement. Muzzleloader never tasted the same twice for a good reason but I'll keep the 11 herbs and spices a secret haha.

I went a couple of times to the CGS Hawk Fly-in there in Middlefield and what a hoot when Chuck got to sharing stories around the campfire. It was well worth the admission price (I don't even think there was an admission price come to think of it haha).

Chuck could share conspiracy theories but I learned a lot from him. I've mostly learned the difference between a conspiracy theory and the news is....about 6 months to a year. A lot of things that he shared was a bit whacko at the time but then within a year you would learn it was true.

If you wanted to keep a conversation going just mention guns or gun control and strap on your seatbelt as you were going on a ride for another hour or two.

You couldn't help but love the jolly guy. Sorry to hear he ended up in a home for the last 3 years. I know there comes a time sometimes where a home is the best place but one none of us would ever choose it if we didn't have to.

Spoczywaj w pokoju, mój przyjacielu. Chuck would understand.
 

PagoBay

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RIP Chuck. -- Spoczywaj w pokoju, mój przyjacielu.
Polish = Rest in Peace, My Friend.
Nice.

Some years ago, I tried hard to get a friend to build a CGS Hawk Arrow II with me. He was building his business and was over occupied. Years later we chose a different aircraft. Lots to like and love about the CGS design.
 

Jay Dub

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Hey Jedi, that's a great photo of Chuck as that smile was his trademark usually mixed with a funny comment about something random haha. He'd sure heckle me if he knew I was building a Klob now. That's what he called them since the Firestars looked familiar to the Hawk but came after Chuck's design was on the market. I hear the Klobs are good flyers but I'm not thinking it will be as nice as my Hawk was. Chuck was as much genius as he was comedian.
 

Victor Bravo

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There are a few really clever things about the Kolb (Klob) Firestar, but I will bet any amount of money that the Hawks flew 10X better. I say that having never flown a Hawk, but only from knowing Chuck and knowing one or two of the Kolb's handling issues.

(JDub if you are building a Kolb please trust me and do not even think about using the piano hinges on the ailerons. Use 3 or 4 "eye bolt" hinges on each side, you will thank me for this advice. A couple of degrees of washout in the last two or three main wing ribs is probably very well worth it. The Kolb has a very sharp stall for an UL, that surprises a lot of people. If you already built the wings with no twist then don't install the VG's on the inboard 3 feet of ech wing but definitely use them on the rest of the wing.)
 
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