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Author Topic: Thank you to Al Rabe and John Brodak  (Read 1996 times)

Offline Steve Thornton

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Thank you to Al Rabe and John Brodak
« on: March 09, 2012, 11:27:07 PM »
For all practical purposes, I am starting all over in CL building and flying after 45 years.  My first project was a Sky Ray 35 tht survived only two days of flying before being brought home as parts in a sack.  I met one of my stunt heroes, Al Rabe, at Dale Gleason's Oct "Fish Fly." We talked for several hours about building and flying stunt, as well as our former careers as airline pilots/instructors. Al suggested that an ARF Oriental may be a fast way to get back to the flying circle, and while learning to fly the basic pattern, I could build an Oriental from plans, to develop building skills.  That became my plan and within a month I had an ARF Oriental and the plans for my full build project.  I built the ARF exactly as the plans directed and added some strength to the wing/fuse joint, and after a month or two was ready to fly at a club event.  The night before the contest/fun fly, after getting the OS mounted, I made one last control test and the lines were frozen solid. I pulled hard and they broke loose, but were still binding when the down line was pulled.  At this point I was terribly disappointed and discouraged.  Tom Niebuhr came by and looked at it on the way to the contest the next day and we decided it was the bellcrank binding on a rib or perhaps the flap horn binding somehow.  Later that day I whined about the problem and told Al and others that I didn't feel confident to tear into the Oriental for the repair, and decided the next week to build a Twister and let the ARF sit by my computer.  A few days later Al called and said, "Steve bring that Oriental over and let's fix it!"  Al Rabe -Yeah THAT Al Rabe-just called me out of the blue and invited me to his home to fix MY ARF. All those articles I read about him and the years of admiring his ingenuity, craftsmanship, and flying, and this offer of help as if I was an old friend.  Rarely have I felt so humbled.  Al surgically removed some wood and found the bellcrank  binding on the first inboard rib, and upon closer inspection, found the cable frayed into a ball with only a single strand holding to the bellcrank.  He took some photos and emailed them to John Brodak explaining the dilemma. several days later I received a reply from John saying that I would be given a $20 credit and the next day received an Oriental Kit in the mail!
I continue to be amazed and humbled not only by the craftsmanship, ingenuity, and skill but by the quality of character so frequently displayed by the people who fly in the CL community.  It is demonstrated and typified by folks like Al Rabe and John Brodak. 
Thank you Al and John,
Steve Thornton AMA 965438
"Most of us won't make it out of this world alive."
Steve Thornton

Offline john e. holliday

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Re: Thank you to Al Rabe and John Brodak
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2012, 08:54:31 AM »
This is typical of most all of the model airplane family.    H^^
John E. "DOC" Holliday
10421 West 56th Terrace
Shawnee, KANSAS  66203
AMA 23530  Have fun as I have and I am still breaking a record.

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