April 19 2003 launch report (4/19/2003)
A Gloomy Atmosphere
On Saturday, April 19, MASA members, facing the looming loss
of the Blaine launch site, gathered for an extra launch there.
It was cool and rainy with fog and low cloud ceilings. The
fields were very soft, wet, and muddy. Nonetheless, more than
a few flights managed to seek the skies.
A few of the flights:
MASA members - please send in your thoughts about the
Stuart Lenz writes:
The gray sky and mist weigh heavy on the sod farm launch,
mirroring the mood of the small crowd of rocket fanatics gathered.
Visibility was less than 1 mile and the cloud ceiling was 700-800
feet at the most. The only pad set up in the first hour was one of
my Micro Maxx pads. Most of the gathered group went off in search
of previous lost rockets in the Eastern Forest, with harvesting
equipment in hands. I started poking holes in the clouds with some
new Micro Maxx Rockets. First off was the Micro S.S. Cassiopeia,
Micro Alien 8, Micro Hyperon, Micro Glider, Micro Mercury Redstone,
and lastly a Micro Bomarc.
Mark then started working up to the actual cloud level,
starting off with an A, finally was just under it with an arcing
flight on a D12-3. Recovery was often in the water or mud. Dave
had a nice flight of his Estes Phoenix with a particularly
memorable recovery from the muddy field. The rocket came out
cleaner that Dave did. I had a nice flight of the small Estes V2
on a D12.-3 that just entered the base of the clouds and landed in
the middle of the mud filled field that make for a particularly
long walk through the mud.
Ellison had a high, straight flight of the spool rocket on a
C6-5 and also launched his Snitch and Big Daddy. Mike only launch
of the day, that I remember was his Stomp Rocket with a C engine.
I had several underpowered flights while trying to stay under the
clouds, but for my last flight of the day, I tried a E9-4 powered
rocket that completely disappeared until we were departing from
the field and located it in the Western Forest. We retired to the
Taco John's to plan for next week.
Mike Erpelding writes:
Well today's launch went pretty well considering the weather.
It rained most of my way down to Blaine, ending somewhere around
Anoka. When I got to the field, it was overcast with a
ceiling around 1000'.
While we were hoping for the fog to lift, several members
decided to go and look for lost rockets in the Nike Eating Forest
of the East. We found back the carcass of one of Glen's
rockets from last year. A Nike... something? The remains consisted
of a parachute and a fin can, containing an RMS casing. Glen was
able to recover them successfully by using his 20' telescoping
fishing pole duct taped to my 20' Gopher Pole. We also recovered a
Sumo nosecone and parachute using the same method.
There was a slight gloom over everyone because of the impending
loss of this beautiful flying field to housing development. The
regular April launch, next Saturday, is being changed to Blaine
instead of Elk River. There might be an informal launch on Friday
There were a few interesting flights
Stuart Lenz flew about a half dozen MM rockets. I missed most
of these since I was in the forest. Stuart also flew a nice
Phoenix rocket. Stuart also had a 3- A8-3 motor cluster rocket
with pod boosters that did a slow horizontal prang due to being
under powered. One of the motors failed to ignite also.
One of the final flights of the day was a orange rocket of
Stuarts that vanished into the ever lowering fog ceiling. We
didn't see it come down anywhere. Fortunately it was spotted in
the Rocket Eating Forest of the West as we were all leaving; which
Stuart then retrieved via Gopher Pole.
Ellison had a nice flight of his spool rocket on a C engine.
Dave Whitaker also flew a Phoenix. Unfortunately it had a
"splash down" landing in standing water in the field
just behind us to the north. Unfortunately Dave had a "
splash down " landing there himself.
Mark Thell had a nice two motor cluster rocket.
I just flew my stomp rocket on a C6-3. I figured that this was
my most waterproof rocket < grin>.
There will be several Level 1 certification attempt flights
next Saturday, including myself. I hope to see everyone there!
Lee Frisvold writes:
The gray sky set the mood for one of our clubs final launches
at the Fricke sod farm. The small crowd of usual suspects gathered
to fly some rockets as the worst day of flying rockets is better
than any day of non flying. My first rocket of the day a skywinder
on a C6-3 did a good job of separating. My second rocket a
Styrofoam fin version of a Wicked Winnie on a B6-4 that went high
and straight just below the cloud line, it had a nice flight w/no
damage. My third flight was a Quest Nike Smoke also on a B6-4, it
had a nice straight flight and a good recovery. Being I'm going
for my L1 next weekend I thought I'd better do a RMS before then
so I launched an estes Eliminator on a 24mm E-11 which went
straight up just into the clouds ejected and came nicely down to
earth. The Eliminator flies very nice on a Areotech E motor.
Instead of rocket eating trees we now have mud eating man areas
as David can attest to. Both he and his rocket will fly another
Full launch tally (in
Adobe Acrobat PDF form, requires version 4 or newer of the Acrobat
The totals were: 28 flights, 30 motors. The
cumulative total impulse was 323 Ns with an average total impulse of
10.8 Ns. The motor breakdown follows: