Welcome to the SPARC website.

We are a small group that focuses on rockets flying to altitudes of 7000' or more depending on conditions.

Launch dates will be posted here as soon as they become known. If you sign up as a member (form can be downloaded below), you will receive e-mail notification of impending launches and club activities.

Please check back to the site for updates as they become available.

Directions to our launch site can be found here.

Primary Club Contacts

Joe Cooney509-951-3179jcooney805@comcast.net
Marty Weiser509-994-9926martyweiser@ccser.com
Mark Howe509-448-7264mwhowe56@msn.com
Bob Yanecek509-220-7280absworld@cet.com
Please, no calls after 8PM!

June launch dates defined

May 15, 2017

We now have 2 launch dates defined for June. We are now planning a launch on Friday June 2'nd to support Midway Elementary 5'th graders and also a launch on Saturday June 3'rd with Marty Weiser as your launch director. Note that for the Midway launch the general public is welcome to spectate but only Midway elementary students and SPARC members can fly. President bob

Posted by bobble at 8:12 AM | Comments (0)

Dave Glass launch report

May 14, 2017

Yes, a bit of wind, but it was gratifying to see precipitation all around us but not on us. I had three good flights; Li'l Dude on an F20, Crash Test Dummy on an F32T, and Bruce, a Batman-themed rocket, on a G74. The Harrington Water Tower had a great up on an E20, but the wind had it in a downward trajectory after burnout. The air pressure on the large, relatively flat top prevented ejection, and that was that for the tower..... I scored the second-most-exiting flight of the day with Freddie the Freeloader, my boosted dart. After two cato's of H550's, I lit the tried and true (up to this point) I357. For an as-yet-to-be-determined reason the eject charge blew about a second after burnout, stripping the chute and core-sampling the booster. Fortunately the dart had just separated and continued its journey to 1700+ feet, deploying the chute for a gentle landing. First place for exciting flights of course goes to Rob Emanuele, the only rocketeer I know to have both a sparky liftoff AND a sparky landing! (hmmmm, I detect a nickname in the making ;-) ). Rob, let us know how things turn out; despite the jokes we hope it works out OK..... Good turnout, manageable weather, and no GSE glitches that I noticed. Thanks to Alan and all who participated. David (the one who's sorta walking ;-) )

Posted by bobble at 12:49 PM | Comments (0)

David Powers launch report

Because of carousing from winery to winery with a friend from Seattle the night before, I didn't arrive until 11:00 and only got three fights up. However, for a change, all three were perfect flight and except for the long walk recovered all three without hours of searching...maybe I should carouse more often. I started basic to get my feet back on the ground with the Mean Green machine on an E9-8, followed by my Jay Hawk on a G79-10W...during the recovery of which I missed Rob's excitement. My final launch was my 24mm reverse fin, now renamed to the simpler "Backup". I finally got the Rocket Models back to Mark...sorry it took so long. Thank you Alan for a fun launch (and the spirit of Joe for keeping the rain away)... those who launched and inspected rockets. It was good to see everyone and to meet some new enthusiasts. David...the one still walking...so far.

Posted by bobble at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

Alan Roberts Launch report

Well the weather cooperated. Rain showers avoided us and the winds while brisk at times were manageable. We had a great turnout with lots of new faces which I always find exciting. New faces are the lifeblood of a club and I sincerely hope that many of those new faces become old friends as we share the rocketry bug. We had 21 flyers put up 48 rockets using 51 motors (there were no engines other than those in the cars that people arrived in). We covered the spectrum from 1/2 A thru I with a total impulse burned of 4,488 NS (I use average for each motor size). We had 8 L1 certification attempts of which 7 were successful. I believe that those all came from Marty's students. Perhaps one of the "old timers" will know if that is a record number of L1 certification attempts at a SPARC launch? Mark Howe had the most flights with 7 a couple of which involved gliders that performed quite nicely even in the stiff breeze. Rob Emanuele burned the highest collective impulse (again using average motor thrust) with 971.25 NS. Rob also had the longest time aloft on his last flight of the day at around 5 hours. Rob has to give an assist to Avista and their power lines for that feat. I watched it thru the binoculars and have to say that it was quite the flash of light when his rocket hit the power lines. Personally, I finally got my Jolly Logic Chute Release to work properly. The first flight was in a LOC Precision IRIS on a G80 Blue Thunder. Perfect straight boost with deployment of a reefed main at 2,101' AGL apogee. The JL Chute Release un-reefed the main at 600' for a perfect flight and recovery. My second flight with the JL Chute Release with a Binder Design Dragonfly on a H97 Black Jack. This rocket has flown nicely on this motor in the past. Unfortunately this time it weather cocked quite a bit which really reduced the altitude (only 1,100' AGL). This had the secondary effect of making the ejection delay too long for the flight with deployment only slightly above the 500' altitude that the JL Chute Release was set for. It all ended up fine but made for a few tense seconds. In hind sight (we seem to use a lot of that in rocketry) I should have used a faster burning motor for the wind conditions to get the rocket off the rail at a higher velocity. Our next SPARC launch is scheduled for Friday, June 2nd with the Midway Elementary School Kids followed by a full SPARC launch on Saturday, June 3rd. Don't forget that FITS will be over the Memorial Day weekend in Mansfield. Thank you to everyone that came out enjoyed the day of flying. Alan

Posted by bobble at 10:27 AM | Comments (0)

May launch concluded

May 13, 2017

Our May launch is now 'in the books'. We had unexpectedly nice weather compared to the forecast. A relatively large turnout as well. Next launch is Saturday June 3'rd with Marty Weiser as your launch director. President Bob

Posted by bobble at 6:25 PM | Comments (0)

May launch date defined

May 1, 2017

Our next launch is now less than 2 weeks away. Alan Roberts will be your Launch Director for Saturday May 13'th. Set-up begins at 0900. We typically have the range set up and ready for launching by 1000. Range will remain open as long as interest dictates (typically mid to late afternoon). Daily status updates will begin at T-1 week. President bob

Posted by bobble at 8:10 AM | Comments (0)

Joe Cooney Launch report

April 2, 2017

The end of an era, it has been my pleasure to fly with all of you over the last 11 years. My first launch was in November of 2005. Sadly my last launch was today. Weather was fair and most of the day winds were calm. All totaled we had 36 launches, I led with 6 (go figure). Eli B finished with 4 and several of you posted 3 flights. Rob E, flew the highest impulse and the most impulse. I got credit for flying 2 "A" motors on the low end. As is tomorrow my rockets will go to storage and spend the next several months there. By early Monday morning I will be heading east and then south. We will be spending several months in Florida, prior to returning to the area to watch the eclipse in August. Thanks again for the memories, the friendship good times. Hope to see you all again in my travels. Maybe I will get to FITS one of these years. Joe

Posted by bobble at 8:59 AM | Comments (0)

April launch concluded

April 1, 2017

We had decent weather and an excellent turnout (at least I thought so). Not exactly sure when our next launch will be so check back here for any updates. GO ZAGS!!! President bob

Posted by bobble at 3:01 PM | Comments (0)

Joe Cooney Launch report

October 30, 2016

If you read the Weather Report and decided to stay home, with Patchy Fog till 11 am, followed by showers starting around 11 am (60% Chance of Rain). You missed out on some great early morning flying weather. Sunny skies, calm winds, lots of rockets and the Cub Scout pack to boot. Great last launch for me, glad I decided to go all in on it. Flying was great, we had 46 individual flyers, most of them pre teen for sure. Nothing better than a wheat field full of rockets and screaming kids having some fun. Here are the breakdowns: 46 Flyers 84 Flights 87 Motors 5140 ns Total Impulse (Barely "M") A8-3's ruled the day accounting for 25 flights J350 Largest Motor - Joe Cooney 11 Flights - David Glass (Congrats David!) What the He!!, I go level 2, fly the biggest motor on the last two launches and now I cant get past 5 flights for the day. Highlights for me, I raffled off about another 15 rockets and gave away a few extra to boot. I am moving into a 1200 square foot house on the Chesapeake Bay, half of it porch. No place for 300+ rockets. Sad for me, good for those lucky enough to get one of those gems I handed out. Low Lights, in 2009, somewhere in Marty's mind he designed and then built Jack O'Cooney. Flew him that year on a large "I" motor, with a 1 second delay. Next year I flew him on a large "I" motor with a short delay. Too long by a few seconds anyway. Jack crashed in the field and needed major repairs to his head and neck. I upgraded him with a electronics and in 2011 he flew great, electronics went off and the chute opened. Jack drifted down and laded on his feet, this is how I will remember him. A year or two later I flew him again, this time the electronics didn't work. Again he suffered damage to his spine, as he landed pretty flat. Put him back together again but never flew him again, due to low turn out or poor weather. Either way he has been sitting around waiting to fly again. This year I did another upgrade and added some plexiglass to his legs for more stability in flight. Marty supplied me with a J350 a few years back so I decided he was going up on that. The altimeter was checked in my vacuum chamber and seemed to be working fine. I loaded him up and away we went. Everything went as planned. The motor was a bit on the old side and took quite a bit to get it to light. Jacked jumped off the pad under a good boost to several hundred feet, arced over and came at the flightline, no ejection charges going off. Jack crashed just short of the trash pit south of the flightline, totally destroyed. His hip and legs are still there in the pile. From time to time, you can look over there and see his bleached white legs hanging out among the rusty roof panels. Sad end old friend. Fitting in a way, that I finally got the downscale version complete, the fins are an exact replica (courtesy of Uncle Sam's Xerox machine and an 8 hour shift at $25 an hour). Years from now stories will be told about a crazy skeleton flying in the fields around Spokane, Washington. When the days were getting shorter and the temperatures are dropping. Right around Halloween, a skeleton with a pumpkin head and fire burning out his butt, would leap into the air for a short time, distributing candy for kids. Thanks for the memories, not to mention the experience I gained flying him. Take good care of his cousin Bud Weiser. While I might not get to attend many launches with SPARC in the future it has been my pleasure to fly with guys since November 2005.

Posted by bobble at 6:40 AM | Comments (0)

Dave Glass launch report

It was the best of times, it wasn't so great.....a real mixed bag for me personally. Starting with a totally fun flight of "Gorgonzola", actually a girandola (sp.?) or spinning disc on 2 C6-0s. Several suggestions about an E9 powered version. The winter is long; we shall see. The much-anticipated flight of the boosted dart came to a quick end with the blowout of the forward closure of the H550. Aerotech is gonna get some heat from this----wonder if they compensate for pain and suffering? A short delay after an unexpectedly good boost on my newly minted tube-finned "Probe-ation" turned the X-mas -wrap tube into something resembling a stretched Slinky. Stick with commercially-made BTs, kids. A few good flights, but little more than half of what I brought. Highlights were three successful flights of give-away rockets and the great weather (at least until about 2:00). Lowlight was the demise of Jack O'Cooney....sorry Joe and Marty. But all in all, not a bad last launch of the season. Hope to see you all in the Spring if not before!

Posted by bobble at 6:06 AM | Comments (0)