Tripoli Southern Minnesota   Chapter #112

Launch Report - May 27, 2006

launch report

The May TSM launch was a windy day of excitement at the fields of Maple Island. I think the day was best expressed by budding rocketeer Hannah and her friends as they leaned into the wind and tried to figure out how fast it would have to blow to keep them from toppling over. Honestly, I think the wind might have been close to the appropriate speed that day! Being true rocketeers, the motors were prepped and the rockets led to the pads despite the gale, with fervent hopes for safe returns.

Jeff and Craig both took the Level 2 written test and aced it - great job! We expect to see Craig for his Level 2 flight soon. Jeff went for broke and flew his Level 2 certification with Blasty the Rhubarb Rocket. It was a great looking monster on the pad and equally great in flight. Congratulations on a complete Level 2 cert!

In keeping with the wind theme, Andy tried to mimic a scene from the movie “Twister” by flying a black and white cow-styled rocket called “Got Thrust.” Happily no bovines were injured for this launch; after a long recovery, the cow was led back to the rocket scientist’s stable. Andy also flew Murray on a J-135 long burn. Murray had a great flight, reaching 5047 feet. As many of you may recall, Murray has had an interesting rocket career. So far - in his debut flight he disintegrated into many parts that rained down on the TSM range head – he was rebuilt with diligence and care, going on to be featured in “Rockets” magazine. Murray has also found his way to the TSM Web site - as the rocket currently shown on the home page.

Ron took Altitude Junkie out for a flight, but returned from the pad with epoxy problems. His Titan was plagued with similar symptoms at the April launch - hopefully for June we will see a new chapter in the epoxy episodes!

In the low power arena, Ethan flew his Steelers V2.0 after a previous launch took core samples. Fortunately, this time the result was a fine flight to 2000 feet. Chris and Tommy Carlon had an awesome drag race between the Blazing Bomb and the A-Bomb. Craig also flew Packer Graphics, last seen dangling from the power lines in the 2005 season with a somewhat delayed recovery! Hannah's comments on her rocket 'Optima' best summed up the flight as 'Crash & Burn.' Let’s hope she keeps the spirit alive with a successful flight next month! Rounding off the low power flights, Dennis flew his Big Daddy and Dietrich had a couple low power birds that took to the wind, along with Rob, Tod, and Tom.

Carl had one of the highlights of the launch with his "Little Pegasus," flying on a cluster of five I-284 motors - the flight was awesome but his chute experienced damage on deployment and there were fears that Pegasus might lose a wing on its flight back to earth. Luckily the Horse will gallop again! Tom took his Flying Crayon of Death out for a flight; however, the crayon turned into a marker of madness in flight and may be taken back to the pencil box for permanent residence. Warren had a beautiful flight for his Black Brant – great to see after some recent bad luck on the flight line! Back in the high power arena, Rob flew a PML Nimbus to 3300 in the wind. Craig took the Praying Mantis out to the pads and placed it in what I would call a signature angle. The RSO strongly urged Craig to reconsider the crew cut angle off the pad, but faithful to his beliefs the Mantis flew, and call it a miracle, the flight went well!

In total 25 birds flew at the May Launch, all braving a very windy day! Thanks again to everyone who leaned into the wind and helped with setup, tear down, and equipment transportation, Also a big thanks to our faithful Treasurer and Rocket Grill Maven who both tried valiantly to keep their respective equipment from succumbing to the wind. Congratulations again to both Craig and Jeff on perfect scores on the level 2 written test, and a fine flight from Blasty the Rhubarb Rocket! We've started the season off in great form, let’s look to June for another great outing at Maple Island.

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