Wheatchex 2001 Launch Report
June 30, 2001What an excellent time we had at WheatChex 2001!
For those of you new to the SPARC launches, WheatChex was aptly named for the wheat field in which we launch. This years theme for the 2 day campout launch was 2001:Wheat Odyssey
Friday night started a few rolling in to camp for a desired early morning Saturday start. Winds were gusty and tents took awhile (and a few extra people) to set up. At 6 am I got up to a fairly nice morning and met two arrivals from Portland. Nothing like a welcoming committee for them that sported bed head and a glazed "I want coffee look"!
By 9am we had people churning up the dust pulling in and ready to launch. It was about an hour later that the first flight and biggest treat was launched. Arcon by Kent Newman on an L1175 got all our adrenaline going and set the mood for some more fantastic flights.
Bob Yanecek wanted his red dot to signify his level 1 on his nametag and named his rocket flight, "I want a Red Dot". Mr. Yanecek, congratulations, you did receive your red dot! Tony Oliver, one of our visitors from Portland, also received his level I cert on his rocket "Terrier" flown on an H-128W. Last but not least was our own VP of the club, Marty Weiser, who was successful on his level II attempt with Caliber-X on a J350-L. Congratulations to all of you and your successes!
Some of our more odd flights of the weekend that both tickled and amazed us were Dave Glass' Toot Toot Tootsie goodbye, and Marty Weiser's beefed up Fat Boy that was launched on an H73-6. Toot Toot Tootsie proved that tootsie roll banks are meant to sit on a shelf and not fly, while Marty's Fat Boy was impressive up until the point it zippered and stripped when the chute ejected. We had the very few random lawn darts, typical number of chuffing engines and the few last minute chute ejections that kept us on our feet and full of adrenaline. We also were treated to a rocket Bill Turlington built over 20 years ago that came out of retirement just for this launch.
There were a total of 180 launches over both days, about 7 night launched rockets, and at least 100 persons on site during both days. Everyone who registered received raffle tickets and prizes were handed out almost hourly over both days. A kids raffle was also offered and most every child in attendance left with something. Many thanks to all of our sponsors but especially Ursula and Scott Binder who donated prizes and were on site.
Our farthest visitors were from Salt Lake, but we had visitors from Seattle, Portland, Hayden Lake, Sandpoint and various locations closer to Spokane. We also had feathered friends onsite that delighted all: Oslo, Bob Yaneceks Yellow Naped Amazon; Zushi, Bret and Tracy Conant's Congo African Grey; and Squidge and Lupe the Conant's Red-Bellied parrots.
All in all it was a very successful launch even with the medium/high wind gusts that kept hitting us on Sunday. When the rain started to spit we hurried the last few liftoffs and broke down the range in record time.
Thanks to all who helped make this a successful weekend and for those who didn't make it- -We hope to see you next year!
Launch Breakdown: A-19 E-3 I-12 B-24 F-13 J-3 80 flights logged in on Saturday C-43 G-27 K-1 100 flights Logged in for Sunday D-16 H-18 L-1
Written by Tracy Conant