MASA's final launch for 2004 was scheduled for the 20th at the
Buffalo / Rockford fields.
This launch marked a first for MASA - our first ever launch with
an official HPR waiver! (to 4000 ft)
I arrived at the Rockford field at 750 am to start setting up
the equipment. I put one stake at the end of the road and then
measured out 300 feet and put another one.
I called the control desk at MSP promptly at 8 am (one hour
before flying- special provision #2 in the waiver) to open the
waiver. This went extremely easy. We were right there in her book.
I also got a cloud ceiling report. The pilots were reporting the
cloud bottoms at 2100 feet.
I continued to put in stakes every 300 feet to determine where
to set up the controller. The wind was out of the WNW which
I measured with my meter that varied as low as 6 mph gusting to 12
mph. The gauge mainly stayed at 8 or 9 mph. As I made my way out
into the field I saw my first disappointment of the day. Someone
is building a house in the woods very close to the power lines.
After today there will be no more waivered flights at this
site. It will be almost impossible to find a spot 1500 feet from
all occupied structures for HPR.
I set up six pads in a circle for the contest range just past
my 900 foot from the road stake. I put the range this far out so
the C streamer duration entries would land on the field. Next I
ran out 750 feet of my 12-3 UF cord for the HPR range. I decieed
to set up just one pad a little past the rushes. I figured I would
just carry one pad out with me when I would use it later.
I finished setting up around 930 am. I then took a little
break. Glen Overby arrived a little before 10. For a while
there I thought that I would be the only one there. Around 1030 a
guest from St. Cloud arrived with his son. They didn't bring any
rockets to fly, but read about the launch and the contest on the
website, and just wanted to watch and see what our club was like.
He said that he use to fly with a group at a 300 acre field near
Owatonna before recently moving to St. Cloud.
Glen went to his car to prep some rockets and they went to
their car because they were getting cold.
Our guests walked back out to see me launch my Halloween rocket
on a D12-5. Turn out was so bad that we decided not to fill out
flight cards. Our young guest was kind enough to volunteer to
recover my rocket for me.
Jim Myers and his kids arrived somewhere around this time.
Next I prepped my new PML Explorer with a Cessaroni Pro 38
G69-12A. I looked up how long of a delay I should use on the
computer earlier; but only found Aerotech motors. They all used
long delays around 10 seconds. I used my Cessaroni adjustment tool
to - 3 sec., to make a 9 second delay. I angled it into the wind
after getting it ready on the pad. I had tested my new upgrade
last night to make sure that it would work on the field. Even with
1500 feet of 12-3 UF connected, I still got instant ignition with
copperheads. Of course there only have the clip leads from the
relay box between them and the second battery.
Everyone watched me launch my Explorer; since no one had seen a
Pro 38 launch before. It was a nice flight although it
didn't go as high as I thought it would. The 9 second delay proved
to be about 5 seconds too long for a spectacular 2-300 foot
It looked to me like it landed on the green field. I went
to look for it. While I was gone our guests left. I hope that they
weren't too disappointed in our club after making that long drive.
I had trouble finding it back because it didn't land where I
thought it did. I would like to thank Jim, Heather, Justine, and
Eric Myers as well as Glen for helping find my rocket! It landed
near a field road that runs through the middle of that green
field, about 300 feet farther West than I thought.
The wind would die down to a light breeze every now and then.
Too bad no one was prepped and ready to take advantage of these
I'll let everyone else describe their launches.
We also got a chance to meet Loren's neighbor, who owns that
field to the West. He was out hunting, so I decided not to fly my
Sumo; that I had just finished prepping on a G40-4W; which I
received as a replacement from Aerotech in the mail this week. I
didn't want to make too much noise.
Not long after that, around 2 pm, we started packing everything
Thanks to everyone who showed up and gave me a hand packing
everything away. We left the field around 235 pm.
Not even one rocket was lost today. Jim only had one rocket
break a fin when it hit a rock.
I don't know why people didn't come to the launch; but they
missed a good day for flying. Anyone with a rocket over 3.3 pounds
will just have to wait and see if I can get a waiver at Frickes.
Full launch tally (in Adobe Acrobat PDF form, requires version 4
or newer of the Acrobat reader)
The totals were: x flights, x motors. The cumulative
total impulse was x Ns with an average total impulse of x Ns.
The motor breakdown follows: