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Presidents launch report

May 15, 2011

I suppose one could debate whether today’s weather was better or worse than Mothers Day when we cancelled but we did launch all day under mostly sunny skies with significant breezes and a few rain drops.
It was good to see a fresh launch director face in Alan Roberts who split LD duty with Marty Weiser, thanks to both of you! I got multiple reminders of stuff you should never forget: Sunscreen, lip balm, and a hat (I’ll pay for those dearly tonight when I hop in a hot shower). Binoculars and GPS, I swear there was a lecture at NARCON that specifically addressed these crucial items. Even with the breezy conditions, Rob Emanuele showed up ready for an L1 certification attempt. Flight was near picture perfect with good recovery so Rob followed up with a second flight. While multiple eyes got a good line on touchdown, the initial recovery effort was unsuccessful. Joe Cooney too, had a good line on a rocket that just couldn’t be found. Marty had a red H-210 something or other that he attempted to light multiple times in his ‘mamma racoon’. It sat and hissed-n-chuffed a couple times. He finally burned enough of the propellant that he wasn’t comfortable in continuing with that effort. Dave Powers succeeded in locating but not recovering a rocket in a tree (I remember that from NARCON too ;-). As the winds finally increased to the point launching was futile, we shut down the range. Several of us couldn’t resist knowing there were rockets out there with good visual lines so we split into two teams and headed out. Marty went above and beyond LD duty when he located and retrieved Rob Emanuele’s rocket from a bog just a few hundred feet further out than the initial search. Lesson learned, trust your line and keep walking. Joe Cooney’s rocket was discovered 1 degree off ‘the line’. This was most probably due to the line being defined where the rocket disappeared over a rise and well before touchdown. We walked past the rocket 3 or 4 times, crossed a creek over and back 2 times, went out over ¾ of a mile, then finally found the rocket less than a half mile out. Lesson learned, don’t walk past the dang thing when walking your trusted line. Thanks to everyone who helped pack up the range while some of us were out searching. Next launch has expanded to a 2-day event. Friday June 10’th will be in support of Midway Elementary 5’th graders who will control the range from 10’ish to 2’ish. During and after that, SPARC’s regular waiver will be active for anyone interested in participating. Range will be set up with just model pads then 1 or 2 ‘away’ cells that we’ll use throughout the day. Saturday June 11’th will be SPARC’s scheduled June launch. 5,000’ ceiling without prior approval (downrange direction is weather dependent for high(er) flights). Overnight camping is permitted. President bob

Posted by bobble at May 15, 2011 2:58 PM


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