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Feeling severe newbie dollar pain - need advise

Old 04-11-2005, 04:19 PM
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HillHopper
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Default Feeling severe newbie dollar pain - need advise

I just purchased a Sig Kadet Senior - This after crashing 2 used but expensive trainers. My instructor inspected both before flight including range check, batt check, servo check, and of course structure. My instructor made the 1st flight to check them out and trim as necessary. Neither plan made a complete loop before crash. One buried about 4 in in the ground and the other 60 ft up in a tree. Both had fewer than 10 flights engines, verified, that have substantial damage including a Saito FA65-4stroke that appears to be junk now. The Wings are destroyed as well as major air frame damage. Needless to say when the second plane went in I was ready to give this up. BUT my adult life desire has been to do this since I flew control line planes as a kid. SO I decided to buy an ARF, put in all new gear including batt, servos, receiver, new radio, and try this again. I want to put this plane together the right way and do all the things that should be done to make it as durable as possible for many flights to come. I have read a lot here about dos and don'ts with kit building, repairs and modifications. Could someone please help me by posting or e-mail a list of things I need to do and should do to this ARF. After watching about 700 bucks go to pieces in less than 30 sec of flight each time, I want to spend my extra money in long term prevention this time. AND NO the guys at the field never pin pointed the problem with either plane. Lots of opinions and conjecture but nothing definitive. Both times Trans and Rec batt pack were up to voltage after the crashes. Wasn't much else left intact to check. Both planes would not respone to controls just after take off. I purchased both planes complete with radios and did not interchange anything so NO it wasnt the radio unless both were bad.

ALL help and advise appreciated. At 58 years young I got the time and patience to put this beautiful plane together right.
Old 04-11-2005, 04:37 PM
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Default RE: Feeling severe newbie dollar pain - need advise

HillHopper

I am sorry to hear about the other 2 planes. I have taken the liberty to do a search on RCU using Kadet Senior ARF and have found a few links to help get you started. I personally do not have any experience with the plane but I thought I would try to help. The search returned 300 records.

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_24.../tm.htm#245060

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_62...or/tm.htm#6266

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_24.../tm.htm#249981


Old 04-11-2005, 04:46 PM
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exeter_acres
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Default RE: Feeling severe newbie dollar pain - need advise

Wow...what a frustating start.... Crashes do happen...but they shouldn't happen on the first two flights with an instructor...

Stick with it....

I AM NOT judging anything or anyone.......but is there a way to maybe....ummm...find a different instructor for your next flight without ruffling too many feathers??
Old 04-11-2005, 05:22 PM
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Default RE: Feeling severe newbie dollar pain - need advise

I AM NOT judging anything or anyone.......but is there a way to maybe....ummm...find a different instructor for your next flight without ruffling too many feathers??
My thought exactly. Just who IS this "instructor", and has he ever flown a plane besides your's?

Sorry, but something just doesn't smell right.
Dennis-
Old 04-11-2005, 05:45 PM
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Default RE: Feeling severe newbie dollar pain - need advise

Maybe some simulator time above all else?
Old 04-11-2005, 06:14 PM
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Default RE: Feeling severe newbie dollar pain - need advise

I agree, with a PROPER pre-flight there should be absolutely nothing unexpect about a maiden flight. Might need a little trim here and there, but if you check the balance, all equipment and electronics, check control surfaces, structure integrity, etc... There is NO REASON a plane should be lost... Maybe once in a while a fluke occurence might happen, but DEFINATELY not twice in a row... This definately sounds like your intructor doesn't have any idea what he's doing.
Old 04-11-2005, 07:35 PM
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Default RE: Feeling severe newbie dollar pain - need advise

After the crashes, did you send the radio back to the mfg. for inspection? The boards in the servos and the Rx could have hairline cracks not visible to the naked eye. But when you get vibration and stuff going...well...you crash. [&o]. I'm not trying to be mean here, BTW. I talked to our club prez. last Sunday about crashes and he said, "If you crash then just put the radio gear in a different airplane, your asking for trouble. Like $25-30 to get it inspected ain't a lot. If you crash, its 99% of the time due to pilot error of either their flying or poor maintinence of their equipment. It is hardly ever radio interference. Unless I crash. Then its radio interference."

Hope this helps,
IBrakeForNobody
Old 04-11-2005, 07:57 PM
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HillHopper
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Default RE: Feeling severe newbie dollar pain - need advise

The planes had completely radio, transmitter, and servos. The general concensus was that each plane had a problem that didnt show until in flight. Since both were used it is hard to tell what they had been subjected to. The "in the dirt" plane appeared to have an elevator problem. The "tree plane" appeared to have an aileron problem. BUT doesnt matter at this point. I have new plane, new radio, new flight kit so unless I screw up on installation this should work out ok. The instructor has been around a long time and trained many new pilots so I have to believe it was incredible bad luck with 2 used planes that had good expensive motors but something else like bad servos thus my dollar pain.

NOW I just want to make sure I do all the right things as I assemble this ARF. The manual is straight forward but doesn't mention things like fuel proofing the fire wall or installing a fuel filter. Things like that I hear others talking about. What do I need to do over and above the manual to make this the best I can. I will take my time with this ARF and want to do the "smart things" now so as to avoid the possibility of any future problems. Some say tail dragger is best and convert now. Others say to replace the wire main gear with "glass" gear but leave it a trike. My field is rough grass with small landing area thats half way level.
Old 04-11-2005, 09:44 PM
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Default RE: Feeling severe newbie dollar pain - need advise

I'm getting the idea that the "instructor" wasn't the one flying the plane. It really sounds as if you are going at this alone. Are you telling us that your instructor crashed your plane? Twice? If so, I'd get a new instructor--I don't care whose feelings I hurt, it's my money he's wasting! However, I have a feeling that you aren't telling the whole truth.
Old 04-11-2005, 10:13 PM
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smedsky
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Default RE: Feeling severe newbie dollar pain - need advise

IMO a tail dragger is more squirly and adds two or thee negative things that can happen that won't with a tricycle gear. The tri gear may add a little drag and may not be quite as cool but who cares. Getting it off the ground is the main intent. I wouldn't worry about fancy LG either it just drives up the cost of an oops. You didn't say what model radios you had your misfortunes with but if they are name brands that shouldn't be the problem. You mentioned that they were used. If the batterys had been sitting for awhile they can do all kinds of strange things. That is the most likely candidate for causing your problems. Good luck on the new one. It is fun once the knees stop shaking.

PS- If you still have the prior pieces once you learn whats going on they will be good parts to recycle. The radios especially can be sent in to be checked for a very nominal amount and may just need new batterys. The servos and receiver are more that likely fine. Servos will work on any radio if the plugs are changed to match etc.
Old 04-11-2005, 10:29 PM
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HillHopper
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Default RE: Feeling severe newbie dollar pain - need advise

Nope he was flying the plane alone. I have no reason to lie here. I'm looking for help.This was first flight after I bought them. He was checking them out for me. Like I said planes had new engines but receiver, servos, radios were more than several years old.
I only mentioned the fact of 2 crashes out of the starting block to make a point. I want to do everything possible to make sure 2 or 3 years from now a crash doesn't occur because I didnt do something that could have prevented it when I assembled the ARF.
I don't blame anyone but myself for the crashes. The planes were old. Old servos, old receiver, old radio. I should have changed all that stuff with new - 20/20 hind sight. I learned a valuable lesson. This plane will have a crash I'm sure and I hope it isnt as severe BUT if or when that happens I want it to be because of pilot error rather than something I could have prevented.
Maybe I'm on the wrong track here. I hear about fuel proofing, fuel filters, foam tank mounting, stuff like that none of which is mentioned in the manual. I have to rely on experienced builders like you guys to give me sound advice so if none of that stuff is important then great but if I can do better than what Sig recommends then I want to do it.
Old 04-12-2005, 07:38 AM
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Default RE: Feeling severe newbie dollar pain - need advise

I'm not trying to be rude here, so please don't take it the wrong way, but assuming you do have an instructor, and assuming he does know the difference between an airplane and a hole in the ground, then why aren't you asking him for advice on things to do? He can see the plane in person, he doesn't have to guess... He can tell you specifically, "hey, maybe you should thin some epoxy down with alcohol and fuel proof around this area", or "this tail feels a little weak right here, maybe use a piece of angle balsa to sturdy it up", etc...

You can, and obviously will in the end do what you want... BUT... the bottom line, and what everyone has been trying to tell you here is this... If your instructor crashed two of your planes, on their first flights... I don't care how old the equipment was, etc... If he had pre-flighted it CORRECTLY, there is no reason they should have happened.... You mentioned one lost the ailerons so it ended up in a tree.... BULLCRAP... Well, not bullcrap that it didn't happen... But bullcrap that if this guy is a "good instructor" that never would have happened.... A plane, ESPECIALLY a high wing trainer will fly just fine on elevator and rudder alone....

I know, I know... But see... I don't CARE how many people he's taught to fly... That DOESN'T mean he's a good instructor... ANYONE that can fly can teach someone else to do it... That doesn't mean he knows the ins and outs of teaching... It doesn't mean he knows the ins and outs of preflight inspections...

Just out of curiousity... What kinda of preflight inspection did your instructor do before he took your other planes off? Did he tug good and hard on every control surface to make sure it didn't rip out? Did he check all pushrods, clevises, etc.. to make sure they were secure? Servos? Servo arms? Battery voltage? Range check? CG? Try to resist movement of every control surface across the entire throw and make sure servos were okay, not stripped, etc? Make sure the horizonal stabilizer was centered with the fuse? Make sure the wing was centered with the fuse? Make sure the wing/horizontal stab were square with the fuse? each other? Check the fuel tank to make sure the clunk was working properly? Correct length? Pushrods loose and not catching? etc..etc...etc...etc.. I could go on and on... These are ALL things that NEED to be done before the maiden of a plane... I don't even trust myself... I ALWAYS have someone else go over all the items themselves, just to make sure I didn't miss something for some reason... I've been flying planes for 15 years... Know how many crashes I've had? 1.... And that was because I lost track of time. I did a low inverted pass over the field and was going to do a stall turn... Soon as I pointed the nose up I ran out of fuel... No prop wash to kick the tail around, not enough altitude to let it flip, and not enough airspeed to level it back out... In the end it flattened mostly and only ripped the motor off and caused a little firewall damage... The point is that there is no excuse for what happened to your planes under your instructors hands...

What we're all trying to do here is prevent you from having another incident... Yes it's new gear, yes you want to build it right, etc.. but it just isn't going to make any difference from the sounds of things... You need to find a new instructor! We don't want to see you spend all this money on a new plane and gear, only to have him crash it for you again... That would probably leave such a horrible taste in your mouth you'd quit the hobby and give it up for good... There's no excuse for what's happened to you so far... Don't let it happen again....

In the end you will do what you want to do...
Old 04-12-2005, 08:12 AM
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Default RE: Feeling severe newbie dollar pain - need advise

HillHopper,

First of all I said it once and I'll say it again, I am sorry that you lost both planes. That is expensive and hurts in more ways than one. Please do not let it discourage you.

I, for one, have seen things like what happened to you. I had it happen to me. I had a student come up to me with a brand new World Models trainer (SkyRaider MACH I high wing) that was assembled by one of our clubs more respected members who recommended me to this student. To make a long story short I did do a good preflight but not as good as I usually do because of who built it. We taxied out, checked that everything wiggled correctly for the 3rd time, and took off.

I got about 50ft into the air and lost aileron control on a slightly windy/gusty day. Needless to say we took a trash bag out to pickup the pieces after putting the plane through some interesting gyrations with the rudder. After a few minutes of looking it over, it was discovered that the aileron servo block was glued to the covering on the wing and not the wood and the servo screws were completely through the block but only into the wood in the wing but less than a 1/16th inch. Yes we did tug on it but it felt nice and tight. Talk about 3 people feeling stupid.

The points I am trying to make is no matter how much experience an instructor may have it's easy to miss some things. Yes, it's possible that you just got 2 bad planes but if there was enough plane to do an inspection that would help answer what had happened and put all the guesswork to an end. I beleive you mentioned that inspection would not be possible in either case.

I for one am not going to judge the instructors skills or yours for that matter. Crap happens...[:'(] You are simply asking for help on a certain plane and not asking for opinions as to what happened and I respect that. I'll bet your instructor did feel bad about both planes, you just did not mention that part and shouldn't have too as that was not what you original asked.

I think you are doing a fine job of coming on here and asking for help. Please keep that up as there is a ton of great help and resources available and that is what RCUniverse is for. I can tell you this about SIG. The SIG Arf's I have built (2 Four Star's, 2 Something Extras, 1 LT-40 Kadet and am thinking about the Sukhoi), if you follow the instructions you cannot go wrong. I did spend a little more time looking through what I found on the Senior for you and it looks as though not much of anything needs to be done to make it better.

Old 04-12-2005, 08:47 AM
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Default RE: Feeling severe newbie dollar pain - need advise

OK, you have a new ARF, transmitter, receiver, servos, etc.

It would help if you can tell us what plane, engine you have. Some planes, engines have idiosyncracies that are frequently well known, but never mentioned.

1. Assemble the ARF as per instructions. Make sure you use a 30 minute (or longer) epoxy for joining the main wing and any other areas that call for epoxy. FWIW - 30 minute epoxy has about 3 times the strength of 5 minute epoxy - something about the chemical reaction being so short in 5 minute stuff that it doesn't create as strong a chemical bond.

2. After assembly, but before installation of engine and radio equipment, fuel proof the firewall and fuel tank compartment. I suggest EITHER using epoxy thinned about 10% BY VOLUME with acetone OR clear fuel proof dope (AeroGloss is a good brand).

3. After everything has dried, install the engine, radio equipment, pushrods, etc. BEFORE PERMANENTLY FASTENING THE RECEIVER AND BATTERY IN PLACE, check ALL your connections at the servo AND control serface end and make sure they are secure and have the safety retainers on the ends (little blue pieces of fuel line).

4. Now, using the transmitter, move ALL the control surfaces SEVERAL times to make sure they are free and there is no binding anywhere. If you here a servo "buzzing" when the controls are not being touched, chances are you have some binding some where on that servo.

5. If all the control surfaces are free moving (no binding), wrap your receiver in foam, install in the plane and run your antenna to the outside of the plane and attach it. I suggest using a piece of cut off servo arm as a "stop" for where the antenna exits the fuselage. This will prevent any undo strain being placed on the antenna solder joint in the receiver. Typically, the antenna is secured either to the vertical stab or the horizontal stab. This is easily done by using another piece of cut off servo arm. This arm you thread on the end of the antenna. Open the end of a "T" pin slightly and insert the pin in the tip/top of the horizontal/vertical stab. Connect the two together using a rubber band. The rubber band acts as a shock absorber for the antenna wire. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES CUT THE ANTENNA WIRE, let any extra just hand loose.

6. Now wrap the battery in foam and place it inside the fuselage - do not adhere it in place yet, and put the prop and spinner on the engine. Balance the plane to the manual's specification (you balance the plane with an empty fuel tank). I suggest having the plane VERY slightly nose heavy. Shift/move the battery as needed to balance the plane. When the plane balances, secure the battery in place in that location. If for some reason, the plane will not balance by just moving the battery, you will have to add weight to balance the plane. The usual places to add the weight are either on the underside of the horizontal stab next to the fuselage or on the firewall if the plane is tail heavy.

7. When you take the plane to the field do the following BEFORE attempting to fly it.
Make sure ALL the controls are moving in the proper direction.
With the transmitter antenna down, turn the plane on, but do not start the engine. Now take the transmitter and walk away from the plane. You should be able to get AT LEAST 150' from the plane and still have all the controls respond properly with no glitching.

8. Now go back and start the engine. With someone holding the plane securely, repeat the range check you did in step 7. IF EITHER RANGE CHECK FAILS, DO NOT FLY THE PLANE. FIND THE PROBLEM AND FIX IT.

If all of these thing have been done, the plane, barring "pilot error" should fly fine.

I agree with the other responses, that perhaps a new instructor is in order. One of the things a GOOD instructor does is safety check AND range check a plane BEFORE flying it.
Old 04-12-2005, 11:19 AM
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Default RE: Feeling severe newbie dollar pain - need advise

I recently got the Kadet Senior and I'm very happy with it.
I made it into a taildragger, but other than that followed the book. I was very pleased with the two piece wing since I have a small car. I was surprised at how tail heavy it came out, I had to add 16oz of lead to the nose. It flew with an OS40LA that I had on a Superstar that went down due to radio interferance (can't fly with two radios on the same channel at the same time)
It was very easy to put together. It was a little underpowered so I'm upgrading to a ThunderTiger 46.
Old 04-12-2005, 11:34 AM
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HillHopper
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Default RE: Feeling severe newbie dollar pain - need advise

Gee thanks to all you guys for your help and comments. CAMPY and BUBBAGATE I appreciate your information. From the post here I guess we didnt do a real through job of checking out planes that had not flown in several years. And I say we because as a professional driver that MUST do pre-trip safety inspections before the vehicle moves I should have done a better job before I got to the field. Some of the things RUSIRIUS mentioned that should have been done was not, like checking resistance movement on EVERY control surface. Great lesson learned. As far as my instructor he felt so bad about the crashes he offered me one of his to put new gear into to get me flying. BUT if I crash I want it to be my investment not someone elses. You feel bad enough when it's yours.
As far as asking him about the new one I just felt there was to much experience here not to take advantage of it. When I get this project under way I'll ask his opinion to.
Old 04-12-2005, 11:49 AM
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Default RE: Feeling severe newbie dollar pain - need advise

IMO, I very rarely purchase used radio equipment unless it is from someone I know and I know how the equipment was taken care of. I know that you can have trouble with new radio's, but I feel your chances for trouble are reduced exponentially with new equipment. The problem with used radio's is you don't know how many times it has been stuck in the ground or the transmitter dropped, etc. You get the idea. If you are using a club instructor he is probably competent at teaching you. I know our club doesn't ask newbies or bad pilots to be instructors. If you are just having a "friend" teach you, you might consider changing to a club instructor. I've been instructing for almost twenty years and the only problems I've ever had with equipment is generally with used equipment. With as inexpensive that the new trainer, radio, engine combos are, I don't think there is a market for used trainers anymore. Besides, I know my old Kadet was pretty beat by the time I moved on. Good luck to you and many happy landings from here on out.
Old 04-12-2005, 12:43 PM
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Default RE: Feeling severe newbie dollar pain - need advise

Geez, sorry for your crashes. Is this a club you are working with? Have you seen this guy fly many planes? I would seriously be checking into that. I have seen some say they can fly and couldn't. Make sure he knows whats going on. Doesn't sound too sharp really.

I can see one going in, but not two in a row.

Check that all surfaces are mounted good as stated. Make sure everything is straight, no twists in wings, control surfaces work in the correct directions, batteries are all good and cycled and charged. Have a second guy check it out and then go for it. Don't try it yourself without a buddy box.
Old 04-15-2005, 06:06 AM
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Default RE: Feeling severe newbie dollar pain - need advise

I'm pretty new to this flew small elec. last summer, recently bought a hanger 9 arrow trainer have not flown it yet. I have a sturdy birdy 2 w/ osfx.25 and jr set up out of arrow trainer. I,m learning on this sturdy birdy on my own w/ help from the forum , pre flight inspections at l.h.s. I flew it several times minor crashes one up 60 ft in tree made a trip to local air field open to who ever wants to fly. Recived lot's of good advice soloed their as well w/ aproval of the exp. flyers. This plane still fly's working the bugs out of me and any that may be in my set up so when I fly that arrow trainer I have a better chance of not destroying it. the sturdy birdy is cheap and easy to fix is teaching me trimming skills ect. and even looks o.k. can fly w/ .25 .35 .40 .45 it will be good to have arond as a enexpesive test platfourm. p.s. I check my plane before every take off Iv'e found loose eng mount screws, loose stableizer screws loose landing gear control rods binding from shifting around none of wich caused a crash because i caught them and fixed them for me that's part of the challenge. good luck good flying.
Old 04-15-2005, 05:33 PM
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Default RE: Feeling severe newbie dollar pain - need advise

Iccarus, you will like the Arrow. I had one as my first glow plane. I'll bet its easier to fly than the birdy 2. If you follow the directions it came with, the CG balances right on the money. I used an OS .46 AX in mine with standard servos all around. I crashed mine in
a cornfield because of dumb thumbs last year.

Dave...
Old 04-15-2005, 08:18 PM
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Default RE: Feeling severe newbie dollar pain - need advise

Man, Hillhopper, get a different person to train you. I flew at a very public place near a road . Folks were always dropping by with some plane they got for Christmas or that their uncle gave them. I have seen some real junk. And I have flown some real junk for people. If it looks anything like an airplane, IT WILL FLY. Something is very very wrong if this guy crashed two of your planes. Half a loop ? WHat the heck ? An experienced pilot should be able detect flaws serious enough to cause a crash. The preflight check should determine that the radio works and that the controls have been installed correctly. After that , the most warped and twisted and ugliest POS can be flown and landed in the hands of a veteran.
Old 04-15-2005, 09:03 PM
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Default RE: Feeling severe newbie dollar pain - need advise

Even instructors screw up - we're people too.

The Senior is a wonderful plane, big and slow enough to allow lots of time for corrections, and large enough to see when it "wanders". The instructions aren't lacking, but there are things you can do to make it "more better". ie: pin the hinges, use high quality hardware, fuel and/or air filter (if needed), beef-up critical joints ( ), etc, etc.

ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS Preflight. EVERY time. This includes range(motor running too), controls, airframe, battery, servos, and anything else you can possibly check without x-ray. We do the same thing on 1:1 scale, minus the range check of course.

As far as taildragger vs. tricycle, I won't even try to add anything besides it's pretty much up to you. If you like taildraggers, fly taildraggers. same-same with trikes. The only thing it changes is how it behaves on the ground, and it shouldn't be there(on the ground) for long.
The only reason to have landing gear is to keep the belly off the ground.

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