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We Will Miss Miroslaw Zakowany

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  • We Will Miss Miroslaw Zakowany

    We will miss Miroslaw! Over the Christmas holidays 'Merrick', as a pedestrian, was struck by a car and succumbed to his injuries. I sure will miss his smiling face and enthusiastic nature. Rest easy my friend. Thermals forever! My condolences to his family for their tragic loss.

  • #2
    I will miss you my friend, especially in the kitchen at Winamac where we shared a lot of laughter! Godspeed.
    We send our best wishes and prayers to his Family and Friends.
    Jeremy, Janet, Anna and Ben


    • #3
      Miroslaw was more than an "average guy" I will sorely miss his smiling face and over his top hospitality at the aerotow in Winimac. It's a heartbreaking loss for everyone who knew him. Mirek would go far out of his way to make sure you were taken care of during the event.

      It would be nice if we could all share a story of just one of your remembrances of him.

      The story I hold close to my heart is when we attended the Winimac areotow in 2016, I was in the middle of my "weight reduction" process, of course Mirek being a great cook had some of the best foods prepared for the event. When he learned I was watching carefully what I ate, he went go to the store, bought and prepare a special lower cal meal just for me. Not just once either.

      The next year I attended again and was able to enjoy the fine meals he provided a bit more freely, but still, he would always have a salad there and he knew I loved corn on the cob, so every dinner time, he had corn on the cob for me, even if it wasn't being served for dinner that night. He would come over and say "Leeeeen, here for you, I geeet thisss for you fresh, fresh corn......

      I'll miss you my friend, thank you for taking care of me and all the fun times we had flying your Swift.....

      God speed and good thermals to you.

      Len Buffinton
      Team Horizon Hobby


      • #4
        Mirek attended our very first Sled Works aerotow in 2013 in Minnesota. We had never seen him before but were almost immediately amazed at his beautiful scale gliders that he had built. He had a thing about "the Fox" and brought two along for the trip. One was "Pinocchio" a large maroon fuselage with white wings that was gorgeous. The other was a smaller Fox that at the beginning of each flight, Mirek would attach two large smoke bombs, one on each wingtip, and using a blow torch, would light them both. He would then run to the pilots station after ignition and yell to the tow pilot "Go Go Go!"

        During the tow, Mirek would make the best of the dual smoke trails and all the while, tell the tow pilot what he wanted to him to do. "Fly faster, fly flatter, slow down.... now turn turn turn!.". He would almost beat the tow pilot down and on more than once occasion, had to run to "the Fox" to make sure the still burning smoke bombs didn't ignite the dry grass!

        What Mirek is remembered here locally more than anything, was from that 2013 event. I towed him up with a beautiful scale ship (the name escapes me but I thought it was an old scale polish glider, Kevin still has the tail). When he released, Mirek yelled loudly, "Now I go for speed!" I wasn't able to see the carnage as I had a tow plane to land but I did hear the large explosion of the plane blowing up in the air. I did see the fuselage, now like a bomb headed straight for earth, hit the corn field across the road at mach speed! The second wing fluttered down slowly, all the while floating further and further away from the pits. Mirek never missed a beat. After we recovered the remains, he just kept saying, "Now I build one bigger. No problem."

        I was able to see Mirek in his element at the Winamac aerotow this summer. He was always on his feet with keeping the show going. His lunches and dinners were amazing and as Len said, he always had fresh corn on the cob with every dinner, cooked on the grill. Jeremy, Mirek and Stephane were such good hosts. I was blown away on the "awards" day when he brought in a group of lovely young ladies to stand with each award recipient, each dressed to the nines. He made the event so wonderful. I was completely impressed with Mirek as a host as well as a pilot. His involvement in this hobby was obviously a passion for him.

        As a fellow club member said the other night after hearing of Mireks passing, "May the smoke on his wingtips never fade". Very appropriate. Rest in peace Mirek.



        • #5
          I had the good fortune to meet Miroslaw only once at an aerotow in Cumberland MD in 2016. I had already admired his workmanship in the model he had brought and had managed to get a shot of him with it and some in flight shots. When I saw him a little later with his camera out taking pictures, it was just the ice breaker I needed to go over and introduce myself. Like so many I have met at aerotows, Miroslaw had his share of skills and knowledge. I remember talking photography with him and technique. I also remember him talking about how he liked taking pictures of people - faces. As he showed me some of his work in the camera and later on as a friend on Facebook I could see it definitely was one of his talents. I really enjoyed his work from a photographers perspective as well as a modeler and tried to learn from his photos. He was excellent at what he did. I was looking forward to meeting him again. I will just have wait a little longer.....

          Rest in peace Miroslaw. Condolences to your family and friends.

          Jeff D
          Attached Files


          • #6
            So my story is from last years Winamac event, David and I were standing at the rear of his Yak, holding the tail in check, making sure both gas and turbine engines were running before David flew it! Just as I was getting out of the way, Mirek lit his smoke bombs and the one on the right blew up, leaving some nice welts in my left leg! At the time all he said was Cheap Chinese S__t not seeing my leg! He proceeded to take pictures of the plane as David was flying it around. Once all done with the photography he saw me getting my leg cleaned up by Luisa and Caroline and he was absolutely distraught, he wanted to help, to do something and I told him I would be OK and my lawyer would be in touch with him.....jokingly. He insisted to pay for my brand new shorts that got peppered by the blast, he would just not leave me alone as he felt such responsibility for what had happened!
            As I left the event he was still very sorry for my injury and he would check in to see how it was healing several times in the proceeding weeks. I will miss him and our great times cooking at Winamac, a great person to call a friend.



            • #7
              Two years ago at Winamac Mirek was attending to his Czapala scale sailplane, the one with the feathers painted on the wings. He says to me 'Mike... you need to build bigger gliders... the smaller ones... they don't fly so good'. Mirek wasn't being rude at all but trying to tell me that bigger flies better and it does! He then leaned over to try and pick up his Czapala and it is a heavy beast if you've ever examined it! As he was lifting it he groaned loudly and struggled with balancing it. I asked if he needed help and he said he was okay. As he was starting to transport his Czapala I said 'Mirek!... look...' and I picked up my 'small' glider one handed with nary a struggle. He started laughing knowing the joke was on him!


              • #8
                I would say that we lost a huge promoter of aerotowing in midwest, he will leave a big empty spot in our community for sure and especially in my circle of friends

                I met Miroslaw and Vladimir in 2012 at JR aerotow at the time, both came with a beautiful IS-4 Jastrabz a very confidential sailplane that I had never seen before, I have been quite impressed with the finish and of the kindness of these two personages

                Since then me met regularly at every local aerotow and organized some towing day here and there for the fun to be together.

                Miroslaw has always drove himself to bigger and faster sailplanes, a way to live in full screen his American dream. He grew his hangar at a fast pace (IS-4, blanik, fox, swift, czapla) every year he was gaining 3ft winspan!. 2016 has been the year of his quest : the BIG 6m FOX. I have never seen him as happy and proud in his life as when he gave the transmitter to Len, for him to test his plane, you could see that it was an honor for him, especially during HIS aerotow, the WINAMAC out of site Aerotow!!!

                May him flying quietly with the angels

                Sans titre by steffruelle, sur Flickr
                Horizon Hobby Team Member


                • #9
                  The Good Die Young ?? or something like that. As everyone has already noted, he was incredibly self less and devoted to everyone around him. I am so happy to have been around him, not nearly as much as many of you, but still enough to "get it" that he was all about. Yes, I still have the tail of that beautiful scale ship he had built and I actually was watching the tow when the glider exploded at painful even for me to see...what Tim didn't mention was that it took about an hour in muddy corn fields to recover the various pieces of that plane once it all came down. guys came back with mud up to their knee caps...Ironically almost in the same place I lost my tow plane last year in a fly away !!!


                  • #10
                    What a nice and decent man. Spoczywaj w pokoju.

                    Some memories from our trip to the 2012 International Vintage Sailplane Meeting at Elmira..

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                    Team PowerBox Systems Americas ............You can't buy happiness. But, you can buy a sailplane and that's pretty darn close.


                    • #11
                      Mirek agreed that this was the last picture ever taken of his ship "Jastrzab" (Polish for Hawk). This was at the Sled Works aerotow 2013. Kevin still has the tail.
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                      • #12
                        I couldn't bear to see the entire sailplane put into the dumpster so I saved the tail and fuselage aft of was very well build..knuckle hinging sad to see it blow up in the air.