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Midway Elementary launch report

June 12, 2012

You just have to love a back-up date. Friday was Midway Elementary schools primary launch date and the forecast was far from optimal so the decision was made to slip to Monday, the designated back-up date. While conditions were flyable on Friday they were also cold and breezy. Monday on the other hand was picture perfect with clear skies, warm temps, and a very light breeze. A total of 7 SPARC members showed up to both help with Midway and to get some flying in themselves too. Given the rainout of SPARC’s regularly scheduled launch on Saturday, this was a chance for folks to get in one last local launch before fire season shuts us down. In addition to the club members, there was a nice contingent of parents/grandparents supporting their kids and even a dead cow was on hand albeit slightly downrange and (thankfully) downwind. Once it was located, I think the cow got more company than anyone else who was there ;-) It was no surprise that Joe Cooney launched twice before the students even showed up. We set up the A and B pads for Midway, then a set out a variety of D pads for club members. This represents the 9’th year of working with Midway which consisted of 3 in-class rocket related lectures culminating in this end of the school year launch. As a result they are quite familiar with the range and protocol so operation was turned over to them allowing SPARC members to prep and fly. The students all started with a stock Alpha then had the option of ‘kit bashing’ if desired by stretching, going minimum diameter, and/or incorporating custom fins. Club members matched Midway rack for rack throughout the launch. I think only 1 rocket remains MIA and 2 foundlings were recovered. Anyone lose a red Comanche 3 upper stage recently? It had a gold’ish streamer and was fully deployed though one fin cracked. We glued the fin back on and contemplated ‘losing’ the rocket again but instead brought the rocket home with hopes of re-uniting it with its owner. The second foundling was a bigger surprise and will be tough for the owner to identify/claim. This is a red Dr Rocket 29-180 case that appears to have been out for quite some time. Unless you have the serial number recorded or can provide some clue as to where it was lost (including how the heck it got were it was), the motor will go to the person who found it. There’s not a lot of different ways to say ‘Thank-you’ but the Midway students each made a nice thank-you card to both SPARC and our wonderful landowner. While the words were similar, the artwork on each card was very unique, creative, and thoughtful. This concludes our early season and we will now stand down until after fire danger has passed. The next scheduled launch is Saturday September 29’th with David Powers doing LD duties. Bob Yanecek SPARC president

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