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Lou Bragg Launch Report
April 18, 2007
SPARC held its second official launch of the season the weekend of the 14th
and 15th. It had its ups and downs.
Saturday the 14th could be summed up in one word: RAIN! All day and most of
the night. The weather guessers were off by about 8 hours on their
predictions so what should have cleared up by 11 or 12 o'clock was still around at the
close of the waiver at 6 pm. However even with constant rain we still got off
37 flights. I have to thank Joe Cooney here for his will to launch in
whatever. He put out his own pad and launch array and went at it. I believe he
logged 17 flights himself. This convinced others and I believe we had 5 fliers
that day. Joe Cooney, Mark Howe, Lou Bragg and Katie's nephews Justin and
Gentry Schumacher. It was mainly a model day with only a few dips into mid power.
Joe flew a myriad of birds including an upscale Deuces Wild, a scratch Mean
Machine, Mini Velociraptor and an Aerotech Mustang. Mark had his usual
collection of OOP kits that flew nicely. I flew my Lil Nuke on a G40 donated by
Brett Simpkins. Thanks much Brett! Justin and Gentry each flew their rockets
until they were so water logged and broken they wouldn't fly anymore. Oh well
time to get new ones! That was about it for Saturday. I bailed around 6 pm and
nearly wrecked my truck during a vicious downpour that had me hyroplaning
until just outside of Wandemere.
I woke up Sunday to partly cloudy skies with the sun just itching to get
through. And boy DID IT EVER! About 10am we were looking up into nearly
cloudless blue skies with very little wind. It was time to fly some big stuff. I
wasted no time prepping Post Office Special to fly on an I211W. I was using
Bob's tower launcher and I must say he has me almost converted! Absolutely
straight ripping boost with deployment handled by the Perfectflite. A main at 500
feet set it down nicely just a few hunred feet into the wheat. Easy recovery
and an altitude of 3311 feet. After that great flight I settled down and
called a flier's meeting. After getting that out of the way it was back to
launching. The racks were nearly full all day. Lots of low, mid and high power
rockets of all sizes were launched. Some noteworthy ones were Brett Simpkins
Nuclear Sledgehammer, Dave Glass' Goddard prototype, Hans Vogel's Fat Boy, Ray
Stoner's Charm on yet another J350W, Bryon Schopps first dual deployment flight
in his Excel Plus with an I161W Great job Bryon! Joe Cooney was at it once
again with some more real neat birds. A 4E cluster rocket that just flew great
every time. His upscale Deuce, an Onyx and many others. Kyle Lantzy and his
family made the trip from Coeur Da lene, Idaho to attempt his Level 1 flight.
Kyle had a PML Phobos that he called Senior Project and flew it on an H128W
for a great cert flight! Gregory Ashworth had a heck of a neck snapping flight
on his GLR Firestorm 54 loaded with an I 435T. He predicted around a 5400
foot flight and I am pretty sure he got all of that and maybe more. Brett
Simpkins had another great flight this time with his Nuclear Stonebreaker on a CTI
K445. At One, the igniter fired and immediately lit the motor and sent that
big bird hurtling into the sky. I am pretty sure he hit 5000 to 6000 feet with
that flight. I flew 3 more times that day. My Lil Nuke on an F40-10W, Post
Office Special again this time on a more agressive I284W to 4432 feet that was
also absoulutely straight out of Bob's tower and the last launch of the w eekend with a G64-10W in Some Spare Parts. All in all a great day to fly rockets.
I must thank those who helped me pull this launch off. Bob, Marty, Ray and
family, Bryon and Debbie and everyone who helped with RSO and LCO and set up
and tear down of the range.
Also big thank to Bill Munds of PSP for making the trek and selling us some
much needed AP.
Hope to see some of you in two weeks!
Posted by bobble at 9:14 AM
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I didn't launch anything but remember some stuff.
Joe Cooney: Rain or shine he launched rockets ALL WEEKEND.
To say it didn't rain Saturday would have to require minute by minute
No way around it, Saturday was wet.
Yet there was a stupendous sunset with good color on all horizons that
Ray Stoner provided shelter (and movies) in his new 31' motor home.
Ann Yanecek won 1'st place in a "Healthy Nacho" contest with her
"Ceviche Nachos" at a contest at "Downriver Grill".
Leftovers were delivered about 30 minutes later and consumed in short
We didn't even open up the trailer.
I'm sure I think I remember 37 flights in a day that was nothing but
rain while the waiver was open.
Free G-40's had no problem finding airframes.
I forget the name but some guy with his 2 kids flew all day.
Talk about drowned rats, yet with a GRIN that made you wonder if it was
really that miserable.
Sunday was a whole different story. An 0300 bladder maintenance event
revealed a starry sky.
By 0700 the sun was shining and by 0900 the range was set up and ready.
Once rockets started launching, I don't think they stopped until time
for the waiver to close (1800).
Can you imagine getting to the pad and then remembering you forgot the
case for your installed motor, The frantic call of "Wait, don't light
it" sure was a crowd pleaser.
Bret Simpkins and Hans Vogel were up from Richland with some really nice
looking rockets. Both are planning L3 certification attempts at
If you count "touching the line", all rockets stayed on-site.
Just in case you ask who; Joe Cooney.
While we're on the subject, Most flights=Joe C, Closest to pad=Joe C,
most clusters=Joe C, First flight=Joe C, most misfires (I think)=Joe C,
He'd a had last fight but our great Launch Director (Lou Bragg) was LCO
and made sure he followed Joe into the wonderful Sunday sky.
It was just after 1830 when I finally departed, guess who was behind
All in all, a great weekend.
Posted by bobble at 9:09 AM
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