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Wheatchex report Bob Yanecek

June 9, 2008

Windy, rainy, nice. Friday, Saturday, Sunday. That was WHEATCHEX.
Watching the forecast during the previous week was a nightmare. Midway Elementary needed Friday in order to launch the 80+ rockets they had built over the previous few weeks. Without knowing what else to do, I had everyone gorging on donuts and practicing sun dances. All the mental focus must have made a difference as we only suffered brief drizzle during Midways time at the launch. Unfortunately, instead of rain we got wind. While it wasn’t enough to prevent launching models, many of the larger demo flights were grounded and recovery was a real challenge resulting in many sad faces at departure time. Our fantastic landowner dropped by with his wife for an hour or so enjoying the excitement that the kids generated. Over the course of the weekend several missing Midway rockets were recovered and will be returned this week. Thankfully, I waited until the kids left before attempting an E9-8 push in a 24mm airframe. While the rocket has flown successfully several times before, this time it somersaulted a few times before hitting the ground several seconds before the eject charge went off. I’m not sure what went wrong but the rocket is old and tired so I have no plans to fly it again. Clouds + drizzle at sunset provided multiple fantastic rainbows. Thanks to the fire barrel, we were able to keep from being miserable. Add the Cajun themed pot luck and we certainly weren’t hungry. Saturday morning started pretty good. Clear skies, calm winds, and a beautiful setting crescent moon had me feeling optimistic at 0230 during my overnight bladder maintenance event. Things even looked good when the sun showed up but it was short lived as the forecasted crummy conditions moved in after a couple very early racks of models got in the air. While we thought we had lots of wood, it very soon became evident how wrong we were. Thankfully Joe Cooney had a stash at home and after a quick run (he predicted 45 minutes but it was really 48) we were back in business with the fire. Sometime after the drizzle began in earnest we heard what sounded like cat to the South. A quick search revealed the smallest fawn I’ve ever seen (he (she?) just barely poked up over the 12” high wheat). After a half hour or so the bleating stopped and the fawn disappeared. I resisted the urge to go check on the little critter but continued looking for signs of mom with no luck. By early afternoon I got pulled away due to circumstances beyond my control and didn’t get back on site until 0600 Sunday. The late afternoon weather was decent, mom came back and fed junior before the two wandered off into the woods, multiple rockets took to the air and the fire complimented a great evening. Even though I wasn’t there, it felt like I was due to all the “Man you should have been here” and “let me tell you what you missed” stories that I got all morning Sunday. Saturday night lows dipped just below the freezing mark evidenced by a very light layer of frost which vaporized as soon as a ray of sun touched it. By 0930 there was a steady stream of incoming traffic and regular racks of rocket taking to the air. I flew my Sport 2.5 (2.5” airframe w/ 38mm motor mount) for my first non minimum diameter flight since my L3 cert. The rocket was intended to be a demo flight for Midway but the conditions on Friday eliminated that option. The rocket boosted nicely on an I211 to 3752’ and deployed nominally with touchdown a couple hundred yards north of the pads. Activity finally began slowing down and the last rack call went out. The trailer was loaded up and just a couple cars remained by 5 P.M. when I headed home. All in all, it was an interesting and entertaining weekend. Bob Yanecek

Posted by bobble at June 9, 2008 9:39 AM

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