NARCON Sport Launch - 03/15/2008

The 2008 NARCON sport launch was a beacon to summon folks with true rocketry hearts. Those rocketeers braved the elements at Maple Island to fly some birds on a ‘balmy’ Minnesota spring day.

The Launch started off with a nice looking X-15 by Dakota Hanson. Its first flight speared the ground with deployment issues, however, the wet ground was kind to X-15 and it found its way to the pad again.

Elsewhere in the low power flights, Andrew Allas had an Alpha that enjoyed a nice flight on a C6-5 but was hard to track after deployment and folks thought it might be sacrificed to the rocketry gods, but in a stroke of real good luck, Andrew returned to the range head with the Alpha. I think he might have lost his shoe temporarily to the gods, however they returned his shoe, his rocket, and a muddy Andrew back the to range head.

One rocket that did go missing was Carl's Arreaux, flown on a G40 white lightning. The Arreaux took off and soon lost tracking by the folks at the range head. Last sighted, it was north and perhaps a little east of the range head. Hopefully, the Arreaux might turn up by the April launch.

John Cieslak certified Level 1 in a great flight of his Mole-1 on a H123W to 2000 feet. A very fine looking flight! Congratulations!

Karen Ingmundson gave John a little competition in a flight by her Canadian Arrow on a D12 with a recovery very close to the road - which was welcomed by all flyers who didn’t have to sample too much of the wet fields.

David Graper certified Level 2 with his Diablo 5.5 on a J180 to 2700 feet in a fine flight. Based on the recovery conditions, David and his Diablo were very brave in the L2 attempt and it all worked out great! David also flew his 38 Special on a H-123W in another great flight with close to road recovery.

Neal Higgins had what I would call the coolest looking rocket out at the NARCON sport launch. He had a rocket called the Vulcan X29B which looked darn cool and had an equally impressive paint scheme. After some struggling with some technical difficulties on the pad, the Vulcan did take to the air but its rear deployed chutes didn’t fire as expected for a gentle recovery and the Vulcan came in hot in a very untimely end. For the effort that went into the Vulcan it seemed very unfair, Hopefully Neal will not be swayed by the unfortunate end of the Vulcan and another might rise from the ashes! Neal also had his Moya and his Tiny Pterodactyl out for flights that went much better than the Vulcan.

Scott Emkovik had his Mini BBX out for a flight on a H-165 to an expected altitude to 2000 feet. I believe the BBX needed some fin repair - hopefully any damage will be resolved for the BBX to return again to Maple Island.

Andy had a couple fights as well at the sport launch. His 'Changed' on a G64 took a tumble recover with a broken fin that can be fixed. His Paid Assassin flew on a H-128 in a nice flight. His Ariel looked great in this shot on takeoff. Before the day was over, Andy did take the trophy home for 'Yup My rocket took a one hopper off of Dennis' SUV', luckily the luggage rails on the SUV buffered the bounce and everything worked out. Whew!

Dennis had three rockets out to the launch. Starting with the lowest power was his Polaris on a B6-4, touchingly named after a reference in the launch reminder. The Polaris found itself with a tangled chute, but looks to fly again. Raising the power level, Dennis launched his Hawks Hobby Super Sprite on a D12-5 in a nice flight with a landing close to the road. Highest in power was the Lil' Blue Nuke that Dennis flew on a F20. I believe the Nuke started very slowly off the pad and found itself a ballistic missile landing next to the road. A big thanks goes out to Dennis for his help with the amenities! The tent and the heaters he brought were very much welcomed by the cold but determined rocketeers.

Another thanks goes out to Jerry for his help as well with the launch, and complimenting his help was a great flight of his Iris on a G38. Jerry also had a great flight with his Bullseye on a H238 to 1900. Winding down the Launch, Jerry also flew his Areo Dart on a F23 in yet another fine flight.

As always, Thanks go out to everyone who helped set up and tear down the range. Also thanks to Sue and Lauri who manned the range head with foods and flight cards. It was a fun launch on a cold March day made a success by some great help! Hope to see everyone back in hopefully some warmer weather in April!