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Joe Cooney launch report

April 16, 2012

A short launch report for the first launch of the year. I woke up early and packed the car with two boxes of rockets and a few larger ones sitting on the side. My goal was 10 or more flights and I figured I would get out to the launch area early.
I figured I would be the first one there but alas Jim Jopson brought the motor home out the day before. Somewhere amongst the conversations I managed to put three birds in the air. I started with the Lil Raptor on an E9-8 and then to Finders Keepers (BT-80 upscale Baby Bertha) on an E9-4. Both flights landed south of the field. The last one sent up was a scratch built Goonie Bird, designed after the Star Ship Nova from the early 1980's on a D12-3. Somewhere in there Jim was nice enough to make BLT's for breakfast, not a bad way to start the morning. The porta potty guy showed up and relocated the porta potty form Wild Rose to the south end of the field where it was needed. Bob showed up shortly after my last flight and we started to set up the range. With new equipment all located all over the trailer, it was a bit of a search to find everything. By that time the flightline was getting crowded and there were more than enough people setting up, so I snuck away and finished prepping the I161 for my 4" Upscale Baby Bertha named Morning Dew. I also prepped my 1965 Centuri Javelin which I was going to use for a first flight on the equipment. No go on the Javelin, but the Upscale Baby Bertha on an I161 screamed off the rail shortly after 10:00 am and the flying season was underway. The weather was great Sunny and warm for most of the day with calm winds all morning. Two racks later and the Javelin finally got airborne on an 1/2A6, although the the ejection charge seemed more powerful than the motor. Next up was my Mean Machine clone named Pride of Cucamonga on E9-4. A little super glue and my Centuri Thunder Rock clone was ready to fly on an E9-6. Both flights recovered easily. After repairs from the October land shark flight my Two Stage scratch built Rip Roar inspired bird named, Stronger than Dirt was prepped and ready to go. A D12-0 replaced the C11-0 form October failed flight. The Boast was okay, but the rocket separated before the upper stage lit and consequently arced over as gravity took over from thrust and she nosed in just pass the road into the field. Thank God for soft dirt as the rocket survived intact, minus the motor mount that was ejected on impact. That should buff right out though. My last flights were the Alien Space probe on a C5-3, nice boost, though I melted the chute together so it landed a little hard and dislodged one of the landing legs. My last flight was Orange Tango Jam on a H210 Redline motor. Nice bright red flame and away she went. Recovery was to the east as winds had picked up by then. I helped look for a lost rocket and by the time I got back the clouds rolled in. We cleaned up the range and gathered around talking. A very nice first launch, even though it ended a little early. Thanks to the Launch Director, Jeff Halstead for kicking off the 2012 flying season, couldn't have asked for a better day. Joe Cooney

Posted by bobble at April 16, 2012 6:45 AM


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