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Can you believe this guy?

This guy is publicly blaming QQ and Dave for him crashing 2 of his planes on the electric line at Nall.
Quote from Fred Culbertson AKA "Condor060" on RCU and RCG:

"Mr. Quique and Mr. Ribbe were showing off their new Flex Innovations aircraft while hovering on the electric flight line without spotters. They caused the crash of two of our FMS show aircraft on two separate occasions two hours apart.

They have ignored our continued request to discuss options to replace the downed aircraft to the point where we finally filed formal complaints with the AMA.

If you were on the electric flight line and witnessed either of these events you are encouraged to post your thoughts.

**removed to keep the post objective**

Below is a formal copy of the complaint filed with the AMA. My question is, if they are willing to treat fellow show team members like this on the flight line, why would anyone expect them to act different if they purchased a new Flex Innovations aircraft from them?

I guess its buyer beware.

Mrs. Ilona Maine
Safety and Member Benefits Director
Academy of Model Aeronautics

From: Fred Culbertson
CEO Condor Aerial
Monroe, NC

Gavin Woodruff
Rincon, GA

Dear Mrs. Maine,

My name is Fred Culbertson. I have been an AMA member for 35 years (on and off) and this is the first time in all my years I felt the need to contact the AMA about a safety or negligence issue regarding another AMA member. I currently own a company (www.CondorAerial.com) which provides drones to federal law enforcement so as you might conclude I have a lot of years invested in the RC community.

Additionally I am a sponsored pilot for Hitec and Dymond USA. During the Joe Nall events over the years my show team provides a daily warbird formation flights on the electric line. It is usually in the afternoon when we are all finished working on vendor row. It is sometimes 4 aircraft and at times up to 8. These aircraft are FMS 1700mm Mustangs/P-47s/Corsairs covered in flite metal with unique on board sound systems to replicate the engine and machine gun sounds of that era. They are all custom aircraft with many hours invested.

My complaint involves two current AMA members (Mr. Quique Somenzini and Mr. David Ribbe) Both individuals have acquired many accolades to their credit including multiple world champion recognition and currently own a company called Flex Innovations. (www.Flexinnovations.com) They have combined their efforts to market a new electric aircraft made for professional 3D events. You can review their individual accomplishments here.http://www.flexinnovations.com/index.php/about-us

On Thursday afternoon (May 14th around 5pm) the Dymond USA/Diamond Hobby/FMS team pilots and I brought 5 mustangs to the electric flight line to do our formation flight. We waited about 20 minutes until we could get the field for the flight. Once in the air we made 3 low passes in formation. Our next pass would be to land.

As you may (or may not know) the Joe Nall electric flight line is strictly pattern only. 3D flights are prohibited and every pilot is required to have a spotter during flight. I have flown on this flight line for many years and rules for this event are very clear.

As the formation team was on the downwind leg of the flight Mr. David Ribbe (without any verbal take off warning to the other pilots) put his new Flex Innovations plane in the air and began to hover and complete other 3D maneuvers over the runway in front of his pilot station. I didn’t know who it was so I asked the team to make a high pass over the hovering plane so we could get him to move the aircraft so we could land.

After many calls out for landing from me and others the hovering plane continued to do harriers and other low maneuvers. As I was watching Mr. Ribbes plane (as well as the team flight) I was walking closer to get Mr. Ribbes attention. Between the confusion of watching his plane coming closer to the team, yelling out we are trying to land, noting the position of Mr. Ribbes plane in conjunction with the formation, and the flight of 5 identical mustangs switching positions I lost my show mustang in the chaos. It was a total loss.

I have 3 years and well over 300 flights on this aircraft performing at numerous RC events.

I walked over to Mr. Ribbe at his pilot station (where he stood alone without a spotter) and in a pretty angry voice told him to move his plane so the team could land. My guys were out of battery so they had to take their chances landing under Mr. Ribbe. Even as I am pointing out to him the formation trying to land (which is now rolling under Mr. Ribbes plane) he doesn’t see the problem.

When I confronted Mr. Ribbe about his flight during our passes he said he never heard anyone yelling for a landing and if he saw one of our planes landing he would have moved. I pointed out that when I came up to him on the flight line they were landing underneath him and he never moved. I asked him why he was hovering on the electric flight line in the first place and he said it was accepted this year. When I asked him why he didn’t have a spotter he said we just have to agree to disagree.

In my opinion there is no way Mr. Ribbe was able to walk to the flight line without seeing the formation flight or the people watching the show. Furthermore, to launch a hovering aircraft in the middle of the runway during our flight is unreasonable at best. The fact that he had no spotter and was unable to hear us yelling landing is not an excuse and poor judgment. He was just looking to cash in on the crowd we attracted to the flight line at a cost of everyone’s safety risk.

After my discussion with Mr. Ribbe I thought it would be better if this was addressed outside the event so I didn’t approach him again. Chris Champion and I were flying for Hitec at the time and Diamond Hobbies and FMS had their own pilots with aircraft in this formation. They all have come to the same conclusion.

Two hours later on the very same flight line my team takes off for another formation flight. After two passes Mr. Quique launches another Flex Innovations aircraft and begins hovering over the runway. Again, without a spotter or calling for a takeoff. The team was yelling to move the hovering aircraft but their request were again ignored. This time it resulted in a collision of Mr. Woodruffs P-51 Mustang and Mr. Quique’s Flex Innovations aircraft and another total destruction of one of our FMS show planes. Mr. Quique landed his plane with minor damage.

**comments removed to keep post objective**

I sent Mr. Ribbe and Mr. Quique two emails asking them to discuss the incident over the last two weeks and they refuse to even acknowledge our request.

My cost on the plane, FMS 1700mm Mustang $439, speed controller, $150, battery, $125, sound system and speakers $245 totals $959. This does not include the 70 + hours installing flite metal. I am not sure as to Mr. Woodruffs total loss but you can at least count on the replacement of another FMS warbird for $439. I don’t know about his speed controller and battery.

I will be more than happy to provide you with pictures of the plane and equipment. The battery shorted out burning the sound card and speed controller. I had to put a larger speed controller in the plane because we advanced the blade pitch and the stock speed controller that came with the plane can’t handle the extra amp draw on the motor.

I spoke with Mr. Mike Gregory who is the CD for the Joe Nall event. He confirmed the fact that 3D flying on the electric line is in direct violation of the rules set forth by the event and flying without spotters is prohibited. He also asked that I give him a written statement as to the situation which I provided. Mr. Gregory was most apologetic and called a meeting with the directors of Joe Nall about the two accidents. He also knew of the two accidents involving Mr. Ribbe and Mr. Quique prior to my phone call as other pilots were complaining as well. He said next year he plans on having more air bosses on the line with very strict rules of how the electric flight line will be run and the behavior of Mr. Quique and Mr. Ribbe is unacceptable.

Since Mr. Ribbe and Mr. Quique are ignoring our request for discussion it is more apparent they feel above the situation and are above reproach. I notified them both we were going to file a complaint with AMA which obviously is of no concern to them as they continue to ignore our repeated request to discuss the situation. This type of self-serving behavior from experienced national champions at the largest RC event on the east coast in front of a host of spectators is inexcusable and negligent and unfortunately sets the standard for other AMA members.

Fred Culbertson
Gavin Woodruff

CC Mr. Mike Gregory
Joe Nall CD"

Some balls eh?
Last edited:


well we have one side of the story..........its very compelling that they were at fault for flying 3D on the electric line that is prohibited. Can't pass any judgment though without the other side of the story.

Again........another reason Nall isn't for me, even as a spectator. Too many people thinking they are gods gift to the RC world (both big names and no names in this category).


Flight style is the choice of the pilot per the Joe Nall web site, doesn't he look ignorant if some one actually looks into this claim. I know I should have been kicked off the line for going to play with my 42 slick if 3d was prohibited. Wow that is all


640cc Uber Pimp
No 3D flying at the electric line? Sounds kinda crazy when most planes out there for electric BFN and foamies and not really even meant to fly in circles.

Where was your spotter to warn you that there was someone in the way and you should take action? Spotters are there to watch OTHER aircraft, not yours, and if you have to break formation than that is what happens. To deliberately fly into someone elses plane or crash a plane when your spotter should have kept you fully aware of what is going on and the pilots common sense should have told him to take action to avoid a crisis such as this.

Furthermore what are you hoping to accomplish by posting this whole epistle here for the world to see? Looks like an unfortunate accident and you all are at least partially to blame.


640cc Uber Pimp
Terry the way I read it, the person posting this is not the guy looking for cash. He just reposted it here from somewhere else.


640cc Uber Pimp
Terry the way I read it, the person posting this is not the guy looking for cash. He just reposted it here from somewhere else.

Sorry, I skimmed a little as it's way too much to read.

The threads on both links are being closed stating that they are taking action to resolve this situation, that is probably the best thing that could happen to this thread as well.


640cc Uber Pimp
It's funny how peoples perception of something like this can be swayed by their previous experiences and interactions with the parties involved. When I read one of the names involved, I took the complainers side instantly. My prior interactions with that individual have me holding a grudge for over 20 years. The other guy I've never meet, but have a ton of respect for his accomplishments.

If I would have never met either person I'm sure my opinion of the situation would be totally different. Bias is a funny thing.