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     I was very sorry to read the note from Peter, DB20S,
reporting that Leo Labutin, UA3CR, died on Sept. 12.

     Back in the late 70's Leo wrote a series of articles
in the Soviet magazine RADIO concerning experiments
with a linear transponder on the roof of a Moscow apartment
building.  Reading between the lines it was clear that
a group in Russia was working on an amateru satellite project.
Over the next decade I sent him copies of many of my articles and
reports via Box 88 and watched the birth of the RS program.

     Then, in early November 1988 I received a call from
Martha saying that Leo had obtained permission to attend
the AMSAT Annual Space Symposium that was being held in
Atlanta and could I pick him up when his Aeroflot flight
landed at Dulles Airport.  Needless to say, I responded yes
and even though it was the first time I met Leo it
was like seeing an old friend.

     We spent a day and a half at my place and then flew
to Atlanta for the conference where the first MIR - US
amateur QSO was completed from the hotel parking lot.  Leo had made
the first QSO with MIR from his home a few days earlier.
Actually, the midnight phone call from our hotel room to
Star City the night before the QSO was more exciting than
the contact itself.

     Over the years I saw Leo of several other occasions.
I'll never forget having Lunch with him and Geof Perry
at the annual AMSAT meeting at the University of Surrey
in about 1990.  In case Perry's name doesn't ring a bell
I should mention that when he was teaching High School
physics he, and his students, monitored secret Soviet
space programs and became the leading western source for
information on what was happening.  It was the first
time Leo and Perry had met and old speculations were
traded and confirmed at a mind boggling rate.

     At another Surrey conference, a year or so later,
Leo gave me some printed circuit boards that were
engineering test backups for RS-1.  My job was to take
them back to the states.  Of course, this trip involved
a couple of flights on the continent.  I'll leave my
response to the airport security question -- did anyone
give you anything to take on this flight? -- to your

     We're going to miss you Leo.  DSW de K2ubc

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