Tripoli Southern Minnesota   Chapter #112

Launch Report - October 28, 2006

launch report

It was a cold blustery day at Maple Island for the last launch of the 2006 season. But, rocketry spirit was true, and folks converged on the fields of Maple Island dressed to battle the elements for a fine day of flying.

Early in the day, Andy tossed 'Murray' into the air with an appropriate coat of Cardinal Red to toast the recent World Series victory with a 2900 foot salute in a fine flight.

Jairo, an up and coming rocketeer, new to the fields of Maple Island, got into the spirit with a flight of his 'Masked Piper' on an F25 motor. It was a fine flight, however, separation between the nosecone and booster meant 'dual recovery'. The Piper did find his way home though and looks to fly again with a little repair.

Andy upped the ante for Nikita with an I-600 this launch compared to the H-999 used at the August launch. The flight was great and the deployment charge gave the bowling ball more altitude as the spectators looked on with amazement. Letís hope Andy walks the altitude ladder and sends Nikita up on a J motor in the spring! Maybe we need to start thinking about backing up the vehicles, it would be a hard thing to explain to the insurance companies - 'Uh my car was hit by a ballistic bowling ball, yup, it was on a rocket, the booster came in fine, but the ball didnít, and well you'd be surprised what a ball can do dropped from any appreciable altitude!'

Booster and nosecone separation seemed to echo from the PA system on launch day, for a handful of rockets were plagued with the mishap. One of Carlís two, night-ready birds found itself partially ballistic with the booster hitting hard and a flight of Warrenís Dart caused a nosecone under chute to be lost. It was last seen drifting southeast into the distance. Warren did recover his Black Brant (which was lost in August) by our helpful rocket hunter and land owner Larry. Warren commented that with the recovered Brant he could use the nosecone for the Dart and all would be well. One flight planned to have nose and booster separation was Deb's Penetrator, which looked great sauntering back to earth under two chutes.

Mike M. took a great looking Nitro-Jen out to the flight line for an attempted certification flight. Sadly, in the cold weather it took the LCO (myself) most of the day to finally put together Nitro-Jen and Nitrogen. Yes, I didnít do that well in chemistry! The Jen part of Mikeís rocket was named after his significant other who was stalwart standing by him in the weather, and braving the elements for a successful level one certification! It was a great flight.

Dennis was also looking to certify after an ill-fated nose cone separation earlier in the season. His Pterodactyl JR on an H180W took to the skies again, and this time it was success for him and the Pterodactyl. Good Job!

Jeff flew his Callisto on a G75. The Callisto still looks great with a wonderful paint job and another fine flight.

As the winds picked up in the afternoon, some of the flights experienced the challenges of high winds. Bob's Executioner almost lived up to the name and took off horizontal. Luckily it was southbound into the wind, as the spectators to the north looked on. The Executioner hugged the ground for a short but breathtaking flight. After the Executioner, Tomís Crayon of Death was ready to fly. Thankfully the Crayon drew a colorful arc in the sky for a nice flight.

Mike P., flew his Nakked Sumo and received a little damage upon landing with the wind pulling the chute. After a little inspection, Mike should be able to get the Sumo dressed again for another flight. He also flew a pyramid named 'King Tutísí, which worked well in the high winds, which must have been due to the stability of the 'Rock' colored paint! Mike should receive the award for 'best hat' at the October launch. In the blustery wind it was coveted by the less than warm Launch Control Officer.

For cluster motor flights, Craig flew his H3 on 3 H128W for an altitude of 1600 feet and Ron flew his Titan II on 2 K550's for a fine flight. The Titan came back with a broken fin, but I am sure Ron's workbench will get the Titan back into the air.

Bob C. flew a nice looking Bullpup on an E30-4T and also readied the low power pads with a covey of 5 apple white saucers, armed with different size motors. The saucers took flight in a drag, race or shall we say a 'coordinated alien invasion' and descended on Maple Island. Luckily, the local militia was there to corral the U.F.O's before any mayhem broke out.

The frozen LCO referred to Abbey's 'Storm Caster' as 'Storm Chaser' most of the afternoon. Regretfully, upon reading the flight card in the warm comfort of home, the LCO apologizes. So, correctly named the 'Storm Caster' took to flight on a D12-3 to a projected altitude of 800 feet, and even with the winds 'chasing' many rockets across the plank, the Storm Caster was sparred that long trek home!

Paul had the 'Big EZI' out for final flight of the season on an I284W. It took Paul awhile to find the EZI, but it was intact with no damage present. Even with the long hike and cold weather, Paul seemed happy to be out at Maple Island for the last launch.

Tom flew his Shredder late in the day on an I195. The Shredder was configured for dual deployment. The main chute popped soon after the shredder left the pad, perhaps 400 feet off the pad. Hopefully we will see the Shredder back in action next season.

Mitch arrived late in the day and took his Long Arm out for a flight; the winds carried the Long Arm well across the plank into the southeast fields. Mitch wasnít the first to walk the plank at the October launch. Many of the flights carried across into the distant fields due to the high winds.

Tait Helgaas flew his Big Daddy, and a rocket without a flight card named '36D squared' closed the October launch on a cold and bluster late October day.

At dayís end, there were approximately 30 flights by brave rocketeers, who battled both wind and cold. Special thanks to Ron for single handedly transporting the plank, which was a friend to many this day. Thanks also to all the folks who arrived early to assemble the launch, and those that stayed late to help cleanup and store all the equipment. As always, thanks to the Rocket Grill Maven and to Sue for helping at the helm.

I hope everyone is mending injured rockets in the off season and designing new ones to take flight in the spring. Thanks for a great flying season!

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