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M&MinM4M Launch report Joe Cooney

May 13, 2008

I was able to start my flying on Thursday, joining Bob along with Whitworth College. Never wanting to pass up a good day of flying even if the weather is less than perfect. Overcast & Windy would be a good description, I managed to get 6 flights in, thanks to Bob for lending me his 12v launch system. I launched everything from an E9 to G80 and a few in between. Saturday was about the same, overcast & windy. I got to the field late due to my daughters Soccer game in the morning. The day Started as Thursday ended with a G40, this time in the Orange Tango Jam. Next up was the maiden flight of my Goblin clone (E9-8). Great boost streamer melted resulting in the first Broken fin of the day for me. After racing Mark with the Golden Scouts, I chose to push the limits of my 29mm Fat Boy aptly named "Heaven Help the Fool", to a G40-10W. Had a great boost with a good recovery, I will definitely fly it again with this motor. If conditions are good and motor available I would like to see what it would do on an H128. Next up was my Storm Caster named "Smokestack Lightning", flown on an E9-8, it also marked the first time I had to walk across Wild Rose to recover a rocket, I could tell from a way off that it was still blowing across the ground. I had a few failures on Saturday mostly attributed to me. The first was my Modified LOC Viper, a two motor cluster I had trouble getting either motors to light. The rocket would fall off the wood stand-off in the wind, thus shorting out the igniters. I should have used a better stand-off but kept repositioning the block of wood. Finally the wood stayed in place and one motor lit. Definitely not enough thrust on one E9, especially dragging the igniter leads up the rod. I got all of about 25 feet of altitude before gravity took over and the rocket landed a short distance away motor still burning. Short recovery I think that qualified for my Closest to the pad flight. Shakedown Street was next (4 motor cluster LOC Starburst) I got all 4 motors lit for a good boost and recovery. I also suffered an aft closure failure trying to fly my Mean Machine on an E18-7W. I got about about a foot on the rod before it settled back down, no joy. Decided on a smaller chute for my three motor cluster Betty & Dupree. Should've used a bigger chute, knocked a fin clean off, easy repair, but lesson learned. I made a new best friend, walking back and forth to the pad from my truck I crossed paths with a young child flying his foam rocket. He must of easily had twenty flights on it, before the fin broke off. Then he recorded several more with just two fins. I stopped by talked to his dad and grandfather and offered them up a cheap Ready to Fly (RTF) rocket. They broke it free form the package Brandon promptly named it the Golden Boy and the rocket was prepped fro flight. I offered them some B6-4's I had laying around. Brandon wore that little rocket out, I am not sure how many flights he had with it, but I am sure he slept well with all the walking he did recovering it. Watching him with the self launch button was well worth it for me. Brandon welcome to model rocketry hope to see you on another flying day. Honorable mention for Greg, a man after my own heart. Greg frequently had two birds on each rack. Way to go Greg, I would have bet you logged more flights than I did on Saturday. Some time around 6pm after everybody left and the winds died down, the sun broke through the clouds. Perfect weather for the Orange Tango Jam on a G64-4. The wind picked back up for my last flight of the night, lost sight of the rocket never heard the ejection charge looked like I was down one rocket. I packed up went home got the dogs and headed back to the field to see if I might stumble across it. Found it just short of Wild Rose and just off the road in to the launch site. Sunday I was thinking I could get in a flight or two, same weather fewer people. I packed the Orange Tango Jam & 2 G80's and hit the road. I was expecting to have to travel back for another soccer game in the afternoon. Should have brought the Durango still packed with all my equipment. I showed up to Bob & Lou Prepping Rockets while Marty & Chico roamed the fields. I prepped my rocket and waited for Lou, I had a nice low flight with good recovery. Due to the winds I quickly and haphazardly wrapped the chute and shoved it in the rocket for the walk back. Getting the call that there would be no more soccer games that day I decided I would launch the rocket again. Some time had passed since returning so I completely forgot about how I packed the chute and stuck the second G80 in her and walked out to the pad. Another low flight this time the chute was a wad of fabric. The chute finally deployed after the rocket bounced several feet in the air. More damage to my ego than rocket although the body tube will need some repairs. All in all a good three days of flying. Final Tallys 12 Rockets Flew a Total of 28 Flights -- (Maybe 27 as one never left the rod) 15 Different Motors for a Total of 38 Motors Burned (Actually 37 -- One cluster was not a cluster) (1)1/2A; (1) A; (1) B; (1) C; (1) D; (20) E's (18 E9's); (3) F's; (9) G's Total Impulse 1587ns -- (Approx K185W) Thursday -- 348ns Saturday -- 1050ns (Approx J570 - Most Impulse I have Flown in One Day) Sunday -- 188ns Can't wait to see all of you June 6, 7 & 8, for Wheatchex. I have already put in a good word for favorable weather with no winds, clear sky's and warmer temps.

Posted by bobble at 7:22 AM | Comments (0)

M&MinM4M launch report Marty day 2

May 12, 2008

The traditional offering of doughnuts to the rocket gods managed to hold off the rain and allow recovering off all rockets with at most minimal damage. However, it could not stop the wind – 10 to 15 mph all day. I showed up at 9:20 and Greg Ashworth was just getting ready to hit the road – big trailer, light truck, strong winds – allow extra time going back to Seattle. I spent the next couple of hours hanging out with Ray and Kris in the upgrade as Bob, Lou and Katie, and finally Joe pulled in. We put up a total of 9 flights to go with the 80+ Mark told me were flown on Sat. Joe flew the highest average impulse day of his life (2 G80s) and possibly a record low number of flights. Bob may have flown his lowest average impulse day (a B and a C), but managed to get proper dual deployment of a streamer and a chute on the B flight. Lou and Katie took honors with the most flights (3) and most impulse (a C and two Is) – the C was a rung on the alphabet ladder. I managed to tick off the E and F rungs of the alphabet ladder in mosquitoes – the E weather cocked a great deal and I spent well over an hour looking upwind rather than downwind where it landed. It was good to get out and fly a few rockets with friends in spite of the wind. Marty

Posted by bobble at 7:24 AM | Comments (0)

M&MinM4M launch report bob_day 2

Thanks to all who showed up for Mothers Day. We upped our 2008 membership by 2. Me and Marty plus Ray, Lou, and Joe pretty much describes today’s launch. Gregory Ashworth took off before I arrived so he could take his time getting back over the pass (He’s from Colville but attending school in Seattle). 3 flights for Lou, 2 each for Me, Marty, & Joe. Ray just watched while Marty put up (and lost) his ‘E-rung’ Mosquito. After searching an hour or more in the wrong direction, Joe found it in the other direction. Marty then climbed up to the F-rung recovering in the far NE corner of the field. Emmerson (our landowner) took pity and drove Marty and Chico (a tail wagging companion) back to camp. Lou was undaunted by the cold cloudy windy conditions and flew a nice pair of I’s (Dual deploy via I-284 and motor eject in a 4” bird via I-211) along with tagging the C-rung of his alphabet ladder. While I acknowledge Joe Cooney was there, I have some suspicions. This Joe only had 1 rocket and 2 motors. Definitely not the Joe I No ;-) I flew my 18mm bird twice. First on a C6-7 w/ streamer only recovery, then on a B6-4 for a successful parachute/streamer combination. Everyone stuck around for tear down which may be a first for us. Good company always takes the sting out of crummy weather. Next up FITS! Presibobdent

Posted by bobble at 7:21 AM | Comments (0)

M&MinM4M launch report Mark day 1

Greetings all, I was the Launch Director for the first day of the 2-day Mothers' Day weekend SPARC launch. Here's my recap and flight statistics for day 1 of this 2 day event. I'm sure Marty (the LD for the second day) will post his report later... STATISTICS: 14 different fliers put a total of 83 rockets into the air on Saturday, 05/10. First flight of the day was made by Matthew Myhren using an A8-5 in an Estes FireStreak at 10:50AM Last flight of the day was made by Joe Cooney using a G80-10 in an Aerotech Mustang nicknamed "Mustang Sally" around 6:40PM. Low powered flights (A-D) numbered 44 Mid powered flights (E-G) numbered 35 High powered flights (H and above) numbered 4 Number of engines/motors used was 96 Number of clustered flights was 6 Number of Staged flights was 2 Number of certification flights was 1. Joel Phillips successfully attained his Jr L1 cert by flying a Small Endeavor on an H123-10W...congrats! Number of Dual Deployment flights was 2 (Jeff Halstead and Ray Stoner) Smallest motor flown: 1/2A3-2T (Greg Ashworth & Mark Howe) Largest motor flown: J350 (Jeff Halstead) Most popular motor: E9-6 (used 14 times) Most flights: 20 (Joe Cooney) 2nd Most flights: 15 (Greg Ashworth) 3rd most flights: 12 (Mark Howe) 4th most flights: 09 (Kurt Schroeder RECAP: I arrived at the site around 8:40AM. Bob had dropped the GSE trailer off the night before because Ray Stoner had brought his motor home and spent the night. Greg Ashworth was also on-site when I arrived. Dave Glass showed up about 10min later, and we bantered about until around 9:45 when we finally decided to start setting up the range. The turnout was not as high as our previous launch, and the flying pace was a bit more laid back. Krys Davidson handled the waiver/wrist band duties for the day, and the first bird hit the air at ~10:50. I brought 25 different rockets prepped and ready to go. Bad news...I only launched a dozen. Good news...I have 13 already prepped for SPARCs Wheat-Chex launch next month! As usual, Joe Cooney had the most flight for the day. I drag raced with him three different times, the winner always won because of a "fault" on the losing side. We drag raced a pair of Semroc Repro/Retro "Golden Scouts" on 1/2A6-2's. Somehow Joes rocket spit the motor...one win for me. It was the first flight for both of the scout models. Next we drag raced a pair of Estes Maniac's (one original, one clone) on D12-5's. Joe won fair and square when my nosecone & parachute separated from the body tube and floated away...I did manage to retrieve the fuselage. The last drag race we did pitted my CHAD staged mean Machine (D12-0/D12-5) against Joes Mean machine clone (with boattail) on an E18-7W. Joe's RMS motor suffered an aft closure failure...at least he had a short recovery...I ended up walking almost to the road north of our site to retrieve my bird. Joel Phillips flew nothing but Mid and High Power. He had a composite cluster of two E18-7W's in one bird, a Comanache-3 staged bird (D12-0/C6-0/C6-7), His high power Jr L1 certification flight on a H123-10W, and even put up a G71-10R. I believe he should win an award for having all three pieces of his Comanche land the closest I have ever seen to each other for this type of rocket! Dave Glass had 3 flights on the day (I thought he had more, but could only find 3 flight cards), He flew his "Red Flintstone" on a cluster of three D12-5's (the first clustered flight of the day), his "Mad Maxine" on an E15-4, and his "ARS #2" on a G75-J. Unfortunately, due to LCO operator error (me...) his ARS #2, which is a 2/3rd scale model of rocket first produced in 1931, was an unwilling participant in a drag race with (I believe) Kurt Schroeder's Eliminator or Excalibur. I performed LCO duties for most of the day, but that's no excuse for fouling up the launch sequence on Dave's rocket. It was supposed to be pulled from the stack at the last minute, but I forgot to flip the switch back to "off". Since Dave used a composite motor, Kurt's BP based rocket took off...and a split second later Dave's roared to life. I'm now "2 for 2" in making an LCO error over our past two launches...something I hope will change (for the better!). I'm not sure if Greg Ashworth is participating in the "alphabet ladder" contest, but if he isn't he should be. He nabbed all the categories from 1/2A thru E on Saturday. Out of his 15 flights, seven of them were made by his "Sky Hawker" and six by his "Puma". It seemed like every time I turned around one and/or the other was on the rack ready for launch. Out of my dozen flights I only had two problems. My maniac (mentioned above) lost its' nose/chute, and my Estes Rubicon broke two of its' six flimsy plastic fins on landing (a re-occurring theme with this rocket). The crowd seemed to enjoy my "Rock-It", "Pop-Fly" and "Porta-Potty" rockets. Most of my gliders were grounded due to the winds, and the only one I did manage to put up (an Edmonds Deltie) resulted in the glider tangling with the booster pod shock cord. A few people only managed to put up single rocket (Bob Yanecek used a G40-10, Jeff Halstead used a J350, and Greg Allen used an I154-J in a nicely built BullPup). Greg also had a nice "flight" with the kite he brought along. First time I've ever seen a kite that recommends a body harness to fly it! The Jopsons managed to put up two flights, even though Rob had his leg in a cast. We had three new people attend from the Post Falls area. A Grandfather, Father and Son combo. After watching a number of flights, Joe Cooney let the son fly one of his rockets a number of times. The little boy was really excited and loved to push the self-launch button...did a little dance just prior to pushing the button. As they were getting ready to go home they went to return Joe's rocket and he said "Keep it"! (Gotta love that man...) Well, I've rambled on long enough...it I don't hit "send" soon Marty will probably beat me with Sunday's report!!! Hope to see a bunch of people at the Memorial Day Weekend FITS launch in Mansfield, and back here in Spokane on June 7th & 8th for the SPARC Wheat-Chex launch. Best regards, Mark W. Howe

Posted by bobble at 7:15 AM | Comments (0)

M&MinM4M launch report bob_day 1

Turnout was light for day 1 SPARC’s “Marty and Mark in May for Mothers Day” launch. Rob Jopson showed up without his spleen and extra pins in his leg from a downhill skiing accident a few weeks ago. While he was limited in mobility due to crutches, his dad was along shouldering duties like loading and recovering rockets allowing Rob to get in several flights. Dave Glass too was in ‘limp mode’ after a ladder accident in early February. Though Dave didn’t have a dedicated assistant, he had no problem getting some able bodied individual to recover his rockets. Mark Howe was launch director for day 1 and, while he did a good job, he continues to need practice at LCO duties. Last month he accidentally launched Jeff Halstead’s rocket out of order. This time around, Dave Glass got the ‘honors’ when his rocket headed skyward in a drag race with the intended launch vehicle. Joel Phillips successfully tagged JR L1 with a nice flight followed by several model and mid power flights during the day. He put up a Comanche 3 with both boosters recovering side by side and the sustainer returning within 50 yards of the pad after flying nearly out of sight. Jeff Halstead had a fantastic paint job on his new 54mm bird. This time around he was a little more aggressive going with a J350 push resulting in a good boost and nominal recovery other than a long walk due to increased winds higher up. Joe Cooney was busy flying (nothing new there). His normally perfect flying record took a hit when he only got one motor in a cluster to light resulting in barely enough thrust to clear the launch rod after which the rocket tipped over and hit the ground a few yards away with the motor still burning. Gregory Ashworth came out for a shake down trip with his new rocket trailer. It’s 12 feet long with a custom built rolling dolly that cradles his L3 bird along with 2 others plus tool storage below. The trailer is long enough to allow a cot and/or table inside along with the rocket dolly. He plans to get in a first flight on his L3 bird at FITS with hopes to certify at LDRS later this summer. I only got in one flight with my 29mm GTV via G40-10. I attempted to put both a streamer and chute on for recovery but the streamer stripped at apogee making for a normal chute recovery that included a long walk due to the breezy conditions during that part of the day. By late afternoon, the winds were dying down but so was the activity. Since we had company at home, I was on a short leash and had to head home a bit after 3. I didn’t feel too bad as the forecast called for rain but this morning skies are clear (but it’s windy) and the rain appears to be staying well North of us. I hope to get back out to the site for some activity later this morning and see how Marty Weiser does with his half of this 2-day event. Presibobdent

Posted by bobble at 7:11 AM | Comments (0)

Whitworth launch report

May 9, 2008

Whitworth College has a physics program that includes a course in rockets. The course is only offered once every two years and last time they picked fall which resulted in a November launch date. Conditions on that November day were slightly above miserable with breeze, clouds, and snow making up the weather. So, this time around, they picked spring with a May launch date. All I can say is it did not snow. I woke up to clear skies and calm conditions which slowly morphed into sporadic (but energetic) squalls. I arrived at the launch site a little after 2:30 and found dust devils dancing through the freshly planted field. By 3 the class had arrived and it was raining, windy, and cold. As with the November event there was at least one student in shorts. I guess college physics students are only just so smart. With the multiple weather systems moving through the area, there was no such thing as wind direction. It came from the South, then East, then North, followed by South again, before a quick burst from the West ensured that each flight recovered in a different direction. Anyway, they had a LOC Weasel and an Aerotech Mirage along with a box of motors and a single record only altimeter. Each bird was scheduled to fly 4 times (G40T, G40W, G80T, & G80W). With low clouds and blowing rain, they opted to fly the Mirage first and, other than a pair of tangled chutes (a common theme for the Mirage flights) they got the bird up and down. These guys (and 1 gal) were pretty efficient as the Weasel was prepped and ready as soon as the flight data had been downloaded and the altimeter switched over. No complicated avionics bay but instead a friction fit sled that just slid down in under the N/C allowing a very quick switch option. The first flight of the Weasel required looking for a hole in the clouds (which we found (and hit)) but by its 3’rd flight the skies were clear and almost cloudless. By a little after 5, all flights were complete and another squall was heading in as we headed out. The Weasel had some cosmetic damage (paint only) and the Mirage finally cracked a fin due to a hard landing but I would say they succeeded in collecting enough data to keep them busy for a day or three. Joe Cooney heard that we were launching and came out to ensure there were no lulls in the launch activity. Of course that means double digits on the number of flights he got in. Big, little, short, fat, long, skinny, clusters …… you know, typical Joe. Dave Glass had promised to show up but I got a last minute call saying that mowing the lawn prevented his attendance. If you see him this weekend, make sure and ask for an explanation of priorities ;-) I know his reasoning but I want as many folks as possible to put him on the spot. I flew my ETV on an E9-8 for a ‘typical’ squirrelly boost. Only one more day until our M&MinM4M launch where my goal is to get in at least one straight boost. I’m off my ladder until FITS so I’ll be focusing on the lower rungs that I’ve slipped on so far. Battery charging sequence is complete. The field that was fallow lastime around the sun is now planted. Conditions are dusty and soft (not happy walking). Current fallow field will need a bit of work before it’s anywhere close to the manicured lawn we launched at in April. Portions of the field that were planted last fall are nice and green but only a few inches tall so no problem regarding recovery visibility. Presibobdent

Posted by bobble at 7:52 AM | Comments (0)

Final Flight - Joe Egan

May 8, 2008

By Mark "Bunny" Bundick

Writing an obituary is the worst job an NAR President can have.

The NAR's lead counsel, Joe Egan, one of the nation’s top nuclear attorneys and a fellow rocketeer, died May 7, 2008, of gastro-esophageal cancer. He was 53 years old, and leaves behind wife Patricia, daughter Jennifer, and son Warren.

The son of turkey farmer Dick Egan and his wife Lucy from Melrose, Joe made his way to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earning three degrees, in physics, nuclear engineering, and technology & policy. He was also captain of MIT's varsity track team and an accomplished concert pianist. After working in the control room of a nuclear power plant and consulting on policy issues for the United Nations and other organizations, he attended law school at Columbia University, where he graduated with honors and went on to practice nuclear law.

Joe walked into the NAR Board meeting in Phoenix in 1992 in response to a call for a volunteer lawyer for the NAR. He proclaimed "I think you have a problem with the FAA and I think I can help." Working then for Shaw Pittman in Washington, D.C, legal counsel to many US airlines, he secure nearly a quarter million dollars of pro-bono work that resulted in changes to Federal Air Regulation Part 101 to permit notification launches. Many NAR sections and TARC launch makes use of the rule changes Joe secured every year. In 1999, Joe came back to us to lead the legal effort to stop the unnecessary and illegal regulation of APCP motors by the BATFE, an effort that he developed the strategy for and led up until his untimely death.

Since the litigation began, Joe and I worked closely together. I came to know him, and respect his legal skills. Any lawyer who can pass the bar exam can read and understand the law. A good lawyer can figure out how the law applies to and can be turned to the advantage of his client. But a great lawyer can do both those things and explain it to his client in English. Joe Egan was a great lawyer.

But more than that, NAR members need to remember that, before he was a lawyer, Joe was trained as an engineer, and that rocketry was a hobby from his youth. Whenever we got together for dinner prior to a court hearing, before we settled into the business at hand, there was always time to talk about rockets. Having your lawyer share the knowledge of your activity, to say nothing of the passion of its practice, is an uncommon, unique experience. It’s those rocketry times, more than anything else, that I’ll treasure from my time with Joe.

Joe often spoke of the party he would host when we win our litigation. He and I agreed to share a toast there to the effort, both its success and the rightness of our cause. That I will not be able to share that toast with him is a most bitter disappointment. His passing leave me, and I hope you, the average NAR member, even more committed to completing the work Joe started for us.

Members who wish to express their condolences to the Egan family should direct cards and letters to:

Mrs. Patricia Egan
750 Fourth Street South
Naples, FL 34102

Pay forward. Aim high.


Posted by terry at 7:16 PM | Comments (0)