Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Myrtle Beach man working to preserve aviation history

MYRTLE BEACH — This week, Dave Cobb has been one of the chosen few.

The manager of Myrtle Beach Detailing, Cobb is one of 32 detailers nationwide chosen to put a fine-toothed comb to the original Air Force One and the first airplane used to help acclimate astronauts to zero gravity conditions. He was chosen from more than 150 detailers who trained with Renny Doyle, a master detailing connoisseur who owns Attention to Details Ltd., a company that teaches beginners and professionals about detailing cars and airplanes.

Every two or three years, Doyle chooses his best students to work on airplanes at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.

“I have carefully selected my team because there is no room for mistakes in detailing this $100 million airplane,” Doyle said in a news release. “I need people who will accept nothing short of perfection and Dave is one of those people.”

The Air Force One Cobb is working on this week was used by Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon.

It now sits on the museum’s tarmac, exposed to Seattle’s infamously-wet weather. It hasn’t been cleaned in more than two years.

The museum pays nothing for the work, which is supported by the individual detailers and corporate sponsors.

Cobb has been in the detailing business for only a couple of years. For the 12 years before that, he was a salesman at Beach Ford, but took the advantage to change careers when the opportunity presented itself.

“It’s a big job,” he said of the airplane detailing he is doing in Seattle. “It’s a tiring job. But it’s also a rewarding job.”

Cobb, 38 and married with a 5-year-old daughter, said Tuesday he’d been working on the wings of Air Force One and after that, would move to detailing the aluminium in the engines.

Then comes the NASA aircraft.

Detailing work is just what the name says, making sure every inch of the airplane looks like new at the end of the job.

He said he feels like the work in Seattle helps to preserve a part of U.S. aviation history.

Cobb said after he was hired to manage Myrtle Beach Detailing, he trained for about three months to learn the fine points of detailing.

There are a lot of details, he said, that go into detailing.

Cobb said detailing cars in Myrtle Beach is a rewarding job with instant feedback.

“There’s a great sense of accomplishment in taking something that’s really dirty and making it like new,” he said.