Welcome to a work in progress

This blog is dedicated to the restoration and modification of a Glasflügel Standard Libelle H201B, and a tribute to those who have dared to do the same, and to those who are helping with seeing this dream take flight.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rocket Science? or who are these "Bearing Cartels"?

Well after sending the bearings back to Striefeneder for overhaul. I received an email from them stating that the overhauled parts are being held up in the US by UPS. The email seemed so cryptic, so I called the "Bearing Broker" at UPS to find out what was happening to parts and what was the cause of the hold up.

As it turns out, according to the "Bearing Brokers", there are five countries that have been "dumping" bearings on the US, and this is causing a disruption in the US economy... and I thought it was because of outsourcing and not being a producer any longer. Was I ever naive!... Our national economy was being threatened by the dreaded bearing cartels!....

It damn near seamed like it would take an act of Congress to get my order released!. The questions the brokers requested from Striefeneders were drawings, descriptions, and the location the bearings were manufactured. By the time I was involved, they just received the drawings, but it wasn't until my conversation with them on the phone did they realize what the bearings were used for, and that they were for an individual and not a company! They still requested the bearing's place of origin, and at that time, I shot Striefeneder an email request. A short time later, the UPS Bearing Brokers called me with an apology for the delay and informed me that the package will be released with a scheduled delivery the next day!

So, the following day, the box was delivered to my home, and no one was there to sign for it or pay the extortion (explained later in this post) to have it released to us. When I checked the tracking, that's when I found out why it wasn't delivered.. no mention of having to pay a fee from the "Bearing Broker" at UPS the previous day! So I called the UPS depot, and requested them to hold the package at the station for customer pickup.

Five hours later, UPS called and stated they had the box, but by that time, I was just a few minutes from home after driving back from work and over 35 miles away. As my wife left work, I asked her if she would not mind dropping by the UPS depot to pick up the box. There was some hesitation because she wasn't familiar with the location, but she did stop by and picked it up, and that was when the Broker service charges and fees were applied... $24.00 ...

What can I say... the first time I had bearings overhauled, they were shipped back via DHL, and there were no problems. But as a note, check first what kind of duties to expect when shipping anything abroad these days... you might be detained by the "BEARING BROKERS"!

So, worn, unsafe, dirty parts sent to Germany, and new pretty parts shipped back in just under two weeks.

After the amount of money spent to have these parts cleaned and overhauled, the price I paid is worth the peace of mind when it comes to the airworthiness of this plane!

Now, can I get back to sanding the wings!


  1. Hello John

    My name is Jaume and I fly the standard libelle sn 522 in Ocaña (Central Spain). I think you´re doing a big job to get your renewed libelle, and I think it will be worthwhile when you jump into it and begin to thermal as a bird...

    So I encourage you to keep on working til you can enjoy this fantastic plane.

    I´m sorry if my english is not very good.

    I have this blog about our libelle http://libelle67.wordpress.com/, and this is my mail: prats.jaume@gmail.com

    I´m sure you are aware of this group: libellesailplanes.yahoogroups.com

    Kind regards from Majorca and I hope you enjoy your libelle!


  2. Thank you Jaume for your words of encouragement. I know that at times, I feel that I have bitten more than I can chew, but I know, I will finish this project and join the rest of you eagles! ;.)

  3. Lubricants do play an important role for the maintenance of the bearing. It also prolongs its life significantly. babbit bearings

    1. Thank you John, yes, that’s true, that is why it's important to still maintain an aircraft even if you have no intention of flying it for some time.

      This plane was sitting in a hanger in Washington State for two years without care, the lubricants congealed, and hardened. Many of the ball bearings were exposed and started to corrode. Anytime something falls into neglect, you can't expect it to remain in pristine condition. ;-)