If I may take a moment to pass on some mournful news: Jeff “Rhino” Babineau, the founder of the 209th Virtual Fighter Squadron, “The Delta Hawks” has died from a long illness.
He may not be familiar to most, but he is a distinct part of Falcon History. Since 1994, Jeff with the help of like-minded friends gathered once a month for LAN parties to test fly a little known flight sim known as Falcon 3.0. Their only desire was a “longing for missions where the wingmen actually had skill”. As I understand the story, this evolved to Spectrum Holobyte bringing them on as full fledge Beta Testers. They grew in size, status and technology being the first to use online communications by means of a Shoutcast server. And thanks to co-founder Dan “Crash” Crenshaw, gave us “How to Live and Die in the Virtual Sky”.
For those who do remember Rhino, you know of the wild accounts in the basement of his Stockton, CA home known to all as The Bunker. Catch a glimpse of what that was like in my previous Youtube post above. https://forum.falcon-bms.com/post/367152
In RL, Jeff attained the rank of Captain and served with distinction as a tank commander in the Army National Guard.
He is noted in the exit screen credits, along with other members of The Delta Hawks gang and memorialized among the photos in our Logbook as graphic M_W_3_18.
I don’t know that he had much family outside of his Falcon family, so a simple request from the remaining Delta Hawks is, during any future Falcon LAN party, please honor Rhino’s memory with a pint.
A few of the remaining Delta Hawks. On the left: Maestro & Tango. On the right Godwerb. And in a Zoom call was Shockwave.