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M&MinM4M launch report Mark day 1

May 12, 2008

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 May 12, 2008 7:15 AM

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