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Last updated: Nov 5, 2005
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October 22 2005 launch report (10/31/2005)

On Saturday, October 22, MASA held its regular launch at the sod farm near Nowthen.

Thanks to the LCO/RSO volunteers:  ?

A few of the flights:

MASA members - please send in your thoughts about the launch! 

Ted Cochran writes:

It was a very nice day out in Nowthen. Hardly any snow  :-)

In the morning it was very clear and calm, but clouds built in later on. And wind--for the third time I decided not to fly my Arcie II. I flew Lil Nuke instead, on an Econojet F20-4W. Nice flight. I managed to drop my Quad Pod on my Phobos whilst getting the pad out of the truck, which cracked the top of the Phobos body tube. No flight today; it will be shorter when next you see it.

I brought Lee Frisvold's H motor, which has been in my magazine for about a zillion years, for his L1 cert attempt. Alas, like a clod, I did NOT bring the delay kit for it. Fortunately, Mike E had a motor he could use. I'll let Lee tell you how it went. I saw it from far, far, away, because I was in the cornfield at the time.

Seems young Mr. Boe had a terrific flight on his Richter Recker, but alas, both top half and bottom half landed in the middle of the corn to the southeast. Near as I can tell, the odds of finding a rocket in mature corn are just about zero unless there is RC or audio beepers inside, so I wasn't optimistic that Caleb would get his Recker back unwrecked or otherwise.

However, I had been wondering about how well a trick I'd read about worked, so I thought I'd try it. Several people had a pretty good line on where the rocket parts were, as long as they could stand at the LCO table. So I borrowed three sections of Mike's rocket recovery pole, and one of his FRS radios, and took a little walk. OK, a long walk--the cornfield is across a ditch, and then the rocket was about a third of the way South and a third of the way East from the Northeast corner. So, I walked out to where I thought I'd be in the neighborhood. The wind was rustling the corn loudly--the Boe family was in there somewhere, but I never saw them and although I shouted a lot and thought I heard people shouting back I could never understand what anyone was saying. The corn was dry and dense, and I had to walk carefully so as not to break any stalks or ears. Every once in a while there was a swampy area that had to be navigated more carefully.

So, when I got to what I thought was the right general area, I extended the pole, and asked Mike for a vector over the radio. I was only halfway there! Eventually I got to where I needed to be, and then I left the stick up over my head while Mike gave me vectors to final approach. I'm not sure who he was getting the directions from, but when he said I was in the right spot, I turned slowly around in place, and the top of the rocket was ten feet away! Then I put the pole up over my head again, and got vectored to the next piece, and again, the directions led me to within ten feet.

So the moral of the story is, put a beeper in your rocket.

OK, but if you didn't, and if your rocket goes down in the corn, get a very good look at where it comes down, and see if you can find someone to go fetch it while you guide them in. It can really work, and the chances of finding it by walking to it yourself are just about zip.

You also have to do it right away--I spent some time looking for other rockets that had been lost earlier this year, but the visibility through the corn was really low, and Mike didn't have as accurate a memory of where they came down. But I think we did the line from the middle of the corn to the edge nearest the range head, if anyone wants to go back and do the other end.

All in all, it was a fun day. Sometimes the rewards come in strange ways....

Glen Overby writes:

"So the moral of the story is, put a beeper in your rocket."

I second that!  I flew my D-Region Tomahawk on a G-77.  It went straight up, and fast!  I knew it was going to drift a long way, and probably into the corn.  I had both an audible beeper and a low-power radio beacon in it (and an altimeter).  I got a sighting from Mike and Ted once (we tried twice) to make sure I hadn't passed it.

There is an irrigation ditch on the south side of the field, and as far as I know you can't walk from where we launch to the road to the south, without getting wet.  My rocket came down on the south side of the ditch.  I was walking the corn rows heading east, trying to find a crossing point when I heard the buzzer.  I turned my radio receiver on, and found that I had a strong radio signal as well.

My buzzer is quite simple: a 3/4" diameter buzzer and a 12v battery holder, both can be found at Radio Shack.  I bent a small lip in front of the buzzer (being careful not to block the audio opening), and another in the back to attach a string to.  Everything is held together with electrical tape.  A small switch allows me to turn it on and off.

Thanks to the Boe family for the ride back.

Lee Frisvold writes:

My day started off with me looking at my L1 rocket and realizing that I have over the last 4yrs  been robbing parts off it to fly other rockets.

As I was working on put the missing parts back on Mike E. called and said that he was at the Nowthen field, the sky was clear and not much wind.

I loaded my van and headed out. I arrived at about 11 and proceeded to get a Estes V-2 (theme of the day for me) ready for launch with a D12-5.

The V-2 flew great with just a little tilting into the wind. Just after I came back to the van after retrieving it, Ted Cochran arrived with my H motor.

I went to started putting the motor together and realized I needed a delay kit that I didn't have. So the great search went on to see if anybody had one but as it turned out nobody did after we looked everywhere. I wasn't too worried as it was about 4 yrs in the making for an attempt for my L1 and if it wasn't until next spring that would be OK. Our president Mike E. came to the rescue with a Cesarino [sic] motor that he was willing to part with (thanks Mike)  It was a I212 and I heard a lot of you'll be in the corn fields for sure comments, which made me more nervous than I already was. Dave W. was my witness for my attempt,
he also helped me put the motor together as I have never put together a Cesarino brand. We did the preflight paperwork and then proceeded to the pad, installed the igniter and then waited which seemed for along time
as someone was having a hard time trying to get his rocket launched due to an igniter issue. They were on there 3rd  attempt. Well the time had came  as Mike E. counted down from 5, I was getting very nervous going thru in my mind all the prep work and wondering if it would go. As soon as Mike E. pushed the button it lit and The Public Enemy V-2 took off just ever so slightly tilting into the wind. The ejection charge went
off at the correct time as it should, the chute came out (sigh of relief) and floated down to earth in the field. All in all a very nice flight. Finally I'm an L1 (smile) Thanks you Dave W for witnessing and assisting, Mike E. for coming thru with a motor and Ted C. for bringing the original motor which I still want but will have a delay kit next time.

My last flight of the day wasn't so good. I just finished a Deuces Wild and was attempting the first flight. Dave W. and I were just talking about what happened when his X-15 went into the water, something about the motor swelling to the point of the rocket becoming a static display for his son. Well from the previous statement you can kind of figure what happened. One motor didn't light but the igniter did burn and the rocket went about 300 ft into the air tilted to one side, then came down in the large run off ditch on the west side. I retrieved it but the engine that burned swelled to the point of not being able to get it out without damage but the other one that didn't light came right out. The rocket can be fixed and will then be launched for the second time.

John Carlson writes:

I had to come out to the launch since I didn't get to go with my cousin to Phoenix for the GHS launch.   My number 1 and number 3 sons came with and we launched 11 rockets including an Estes Exo-Skell, X-Prize Vanguard, Lucky 7, Phoenix, Python, a Quest bright hawk, Sport, X15, Astra, and X-30. And last
but not least a Squirrel Works Freebird.  This time I had my share of parachute wads for recovery devices, other than that it was a great time.  Thanks to all the guys that set up and took everything down, I couldn't
stay more than a couple of hours due to other commitments.

 

The Details:

Full launch tally (in Adobe Acrobat PDF form, requires version 6 or newer of the Acrobat reader)

The totals were:  65 flights, 79 motors.  The cumulative total impulse was 1472 Ns with an average total impulse of 18.6 Ns.  The motor breakdown follows:

Type

# Burned

MicroMaxx 0

1/4A

0

1/2A

3

A

10

B

18

C

21

D

14

E

6

F

5

G

1
H 0

I

1

(Alan Estenson)

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