TSM April Launch - 04/28/2007

The 2007 TSM flying season started out with a great April Launch. Scouts from Pack 42 in Byron joined the ranks of seasoned flyers in a day filled with excitement at the fields of Maple Island.

Anyone listening in on our FM broadcast while driving by the launch range on Highway 251 might have caught the following:

“….Hopefully we will get the cow in the air ….(mooing in the background)……RSO are we looking good?….let’s put the cow in the air….(mooing in the background)……5,4,3,2,1 (MOOOOO!!!)…”

It reminds me of the “your odds are better here” commercials. Could you see an AFT agent paying a surprise visit to TSM as he walks up to such a scene?

Meanwhile, the Pack 42 Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts launched a multitude of low power birds. Strangely they seemed to arc to the northwest like cruise missiles heading towards the town of Maple Island. Luckily, the low power motors kept them short of the town and surprisingly by day’s end all of the birds were recovered. Some of the scouts also delved into payload rocketry with eggs being lofted in their “Courier” rockets. With names like ‘Flubbernuggets,’ ‘Flibnator,’ and ’Duck!’ they whisked their payload skyward, some returning scrambled and others arriving over easy!

Scout Logan Lubinski, arrived with his MaxTrax rocket enabled with an altimeter. Logan is definitely a future TSM high power prospect!

The best pre-flight comment from the scouts goes to Kevin and his Pope Rocketfists 101 bird who wrote, ‘this thing is going to be sweet!’

John Kimble, a current high power recruit, certified Tripoli level 1 with his PML Ariel propelled by a H180W in a very fine flight. Great job – perhaps Level 2 in June?

Tom Tweit had a rough go of it for the start of the season. His ‘Flying Crayon of Death’ lived up to its name with no deployment and his ‘Tubular’ rocket somersaulted a couple times off the pad before becoming reacquainted with the ground. I do believe his Viper III flew like a champ on three ‘C’ motors to get him out of a flying slump. Let’s hope for better luck at the next launch.

Joining Tom with a perilous flight was Mitch Long and his Strong Arm, sadly his rocket was fitted with motor that was probably past its ‘best when used by…” date. The Strong Arm veered northeast on a low attitude arc and augured in near the east/west access road. Mitch indicated the Strong Arm might not be able to set in a cast. Let’s hope for the best.

Craig had the Praying Mantis out, nicely contrasting with the topsoil still present at the fields. The flight and recovery was a business as usual event in a nice flight for the scouts to see.

Ron had his Q-Leap armed for a two stage flight flying on a J415 staged to another J415. Altitude was predicted at 9500 and the Q-Leap raced off the pad; a nice staging sequence carried it to 9235 feet - another great flight for the scouts to learn from and possibly aspire to attain. Good job!

Richard had his Raven out of its cage and it soared to 7200 feet on an I284W soared before thinking about returning to the coop.

Rounding off some of the other low power flights, Bob had a snazzy looking Sunward Phoenix and a DynaStar Snarky both assembled for maiden flights. Dennis had his Lil’ Blue Nuke and Super Sprite out for some flyin’ and the Kimble family had a DynaStar Payloader and a Rascal ready for flying as well.

Rasing the bar on the low power flights, Warren flew his Delta II on an H-242 to projected attitude of 1400 feet and Andy flew his “Changed” on an H-165 (this was a free Mirage kit from LDRS) along with his BBXtreme.

Mike Praska tried to get his Sumo into the air after an ill-fated Level 1 certification attempt last season. It was late in the day when the Sumo arrived at the pad to hopefully certify. In hopes of a positive flight, the launch control was armed and the button pressed, but almost instantly the Sumo burst into flames with a motor CATO. Mike seems resolute showing no signs of giving up on certifying – so let’s hope he gets a bird back to the Island soon with success in the forecast.

By day’s end, there were 67 flights and a lot of fun at the Maple Island Missile Range! Thanks goes to everyone that helped make the April launch a success. See you all at the next launch!

Maple Island Video Cam
Andy - BBxtreme (3.9 meg)
Andy - Got Thrust? (3.5 meg)
Arreaux (2.9 meg)
Dennis - Litl' Blue Nuke (1.5 meg)
Executioner (2.2 meg)
Bob - Snarky (4.4 meg)
Bob - Sunward Phoenix (2.9 meg)
Tom - Crayon of Death (3.6 meg)
Tom - Totally Tubular (2.2 meg)