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M&MinM4M launch report bob_day 1

May 12, 2008

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 May 12, 2008 7:11 AM

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