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Last updated: June 29, 2007
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Alan Estenson, Webmaster

June 23 2007 launch report (6/29/2007)

On Saturday, June 23rd, MASA held its fifth launch of the year. This launch was held at the sod farm near Nowthen.

The morning started out overcast and hazy, but the clouds broke up, the sun came out, and it turned into a gorgeous day for flying rockets.  The wind was out of the south and generally light, so the range was set up at the south end of the field for maximum recovery room.  Some "community" pads were set up for general use, and people could also set up their own equipment in a misfire alley configuration.  Despite the beautiful weather, turnout was on the light side.

Thanks to the LCO/RSO volunteers:  Glen Overby, Ted Cochran, and Alan Estenson.

Various contest events were held at this launch by CD Buzz McDermott. (Results below.)

Congratulations to Jeff Taylor on his successful L1 cert flight!

A few of the flights:

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

Buzz McDermott writes:

The MASA June Local Contest only had 5 entrants, but I think all of us who entered had fun with the events. Here are the results:

Predicted Duration
1 Buzz McDermott 80 points
2 Ron Wirth 48

A Streamer Duration
1 Ron Wirth 80
2 Art Gibbens 48
3 Scott Glenn 32
4 Buzz McDermott 16

C BG Duration
1 Buzz McDermott 200
2 Ted Cochran 120
3 Ron Wirth 80

Spot Landing
1 Tech Cochran 40
2 Art Gibbens 24
3 Buzz McDermott 16
4 Ron Wirth 8

Final Results
1 Buzz McDermott 312 points
2 Ron Wirth 216
3 Ted Cochran 160
4 Art Gibbens 72
5 Scott Glenn 32

I want to thank Ron, Scott, Ted and Art for choosing to compete and also all the volunteers who helped time flights. And I would like to add a special thank you to Ted Cochran for locating my BG!!

Art Gibbens writes:

What a great day to fly some rockets - thanx to Alan and Buzz who were there early to set up the launch range and the competition awning/gathering spot, respectively!

When I read Buzz's e-mail saying he'd be running some contests I thought to myself, I think I can do that! So I entered the spot landing contest and the A Streamer Duration.

My first flight of the day was for the spot landing contest and I pulled out my old faithful Satellite Launcher. Unfortunately, about 10 feet off the pad the old Estes C6-5 I had in it CATO-ed, blowing the front closure/clay cap off and totaly crisping the inside of the body tube. As per NAR rules, I was allowed a second flight. I chose another old faithful rocket, my simplified Mercury Redstone I got way back when I was in 8th grade (1972). I chose a B6-4 for this flight and it landed 41 feet 1 inch away from the pre-determined spot. I also filled out a MESS report on the old motor.

I then flew my Maxi-Alpha III, an old Estes D kit I had won in a MASA drawing a long time ago. Some of you may remember that this is the very same rocket I won the Prang of the Year Award for when it imitated a large orange land shark up in Blaine when I tried to stage it from a D to a D rather unsuccessfully. This time I had an Aerotech E30-4 in it to ensure I had enough oomph to get it off the pad with some velocity. This was my first ever composite motored flight and it flew great - actually had a longish delay which allowed it to tip over for a very nice recovery.

Next up was my modified Cosmic Cobra. This is an Estes kit with backward looking fins that I put together to handle 24 mm motors. I lost this rocket the last time I flew at Nowthen and somebody picked it up and then I met Mike for its return back to me. So what do I do, but put an E9-6 back in it figuring I'll be able to track it better this time around. WRONG!!! It went WAAAAAAY up there. We saw the tracking trail and heard the deployment charge fire but lost it. I thought the chute had stuck or something like that and that it must have come in ballistic. Later in the day, Alan picked it up as he was retrieving one of his rockets. Thanx Alan!

Well, I knew that I didn't have a "competition rocket" for the A Streamer Duration, but I did have a rocket that I had built during my college years- must have been about 1981, give or take a year. It was a scratch job, 3 fins and a nose cone with an Estes orange palstic streamer I had laying in my build box. It was a BT-50 rocket I had built to fly C6-7s with and still be able to recover the rocket. So I stuck an A8-5 in it and launched it for a successful flight. Went right back to my Blazer and reloaded to get my second flight in. Put in another A8-5 and this one went a little higher and a little straighter up. I think both flights were about 15 seconds a piece.  I never did ask Buzz what my official scores were.

Now that I was done competing, I flew for fun. Nobody had done a staging rocket yet for the day so I thought I would fly my Blue Arrow, a home brewed rocket on a C6-0 to a C6-7. The booster lit but the sustainer did not. What happened next was pretty weird. The sustainer leveled out, kind of back slid in, kind of spun, kind of see-sawed down for a safe recovery.  In the excitement of the sustainer recovery I failed to see where the booster landed. Glen mentioned that he saw it land near the ditch but I wasn't able to spy it. So I pulled the motor out of the sustainer, stuck it in my Athena and put a C6-5 in the Blue Arrow. Went back to the pad and proceeded to launch them both. The Blue Arrow flew straight and true. The Athena went screaming into the sky proving that the engine was good and at ejection the rocket seperated. I was able to recover the nosecone and parachute but the bodytube/fincan augered into the corn field to the south
and west of the launch site.

Went back to the Blazer and reloaded my Maxi-Alpha III with another E30-4 motor. This time it jumped off the pad and had less of a delay before the ejection charge went off. This resulted in a zipper about 2 inches long that can easily be repaired. It landed safely on the next field to the west.

For my last flight of the day I flew my Cosmic Cobra again, this time on a C11-5 for a great flight, landing safely on the sod just in front of the pads.

Phil flew his Christmas glider, Scrambler, The Patriot, The American, Venture, LSX Satellite Launcher, Sith Infiltrator. The glider took 4 attempts to get off the pad and when it did the ejection charge blew the nose cone off the glider and the engine stayed on-board causing it to nose dive into the ground. His scrambler broke a fin on impact with the ground.  He drag raced himself with two B4-4s with the Venture and The American.

I can't remember any more, so I'm thinking that's all the flights for the Gibbens crew this time out. We left just a few ticks past noon to get back home in time to attend a wedding. Trust all went well as things moved into the afternoon. See you all at the annual picnic in July.

Dwayne Shmel writes:

I flew 8 rockets (at least). The "low light" of the day was an unstable flight of my 2 stage Scratch BT-56. I flew a D12-0/C11-7 combo. The rocket lifted off to about 30' - spun around - and then the second stage CATO'd. Rocket hit ground and burned. I designed this rocket to carry a 4 ounce video nosecone, but flew it with a standard NC-56, my bad.

I flew a 3 rocket drag race all using B6-4 motors. It was 2 X-flyers against a Custom Rockets Redliner [Tiger Shark]. I called it a 3 way tie.

I flew a StormCaster [Camo] on a C6-5 with a very late deployment, and a Fat Boy [YellowJacket] on a D12-5 with straight up ascent. Fat Boy landed about 700' from the pad because chute was a little too large.

I flew and Estes Flash on a B6-4 and wrapped up the day with a Metalizer on a C6-5.

Mark Thell writes:

I was able to escape work at a reasonable time so I hauled!@# up to the field. I went down the dirt road looking for the gang on the north side of the field. I was stunned that no one was there. I looked to the west and barely saw the EZ ups on the south side. YAY  I started things off with my red Big Bertha on a B6-4 equipped with the snazzy looking "Chute by Boe."I LIKE his chutes!!!

Didn't hit the ditch, nice flight.  Next up was my black and white V2 on a D12. again, nice flight, no ditch.
However, my ditch spot landing skills came roaring back with the rest of my flights.  My Sunward( I cannot for the life of me remember the name) "black airplane lookin' thingy" went up for another nice flight on a C11.  Parachute was the only thing to save it from a swampy grave.  Next up was my Estes Vindicator on a C6-5. I saw that Buzz had one also and asked him if he would like to drag race. He , of course, said yes.
We set up on Alan's cool looking new launcher. I asked Alan if it was set up for drag racing and he gave me" the look". Anyhoo, I won the closest to the pad contest that I made up on the spot as my Vindicator never left the pad as one of the clips came off. Buzz won the rest of the contest.

My next attempt was my Tres on 3 C6-5s. Of course we needed to test Alans launch system....  I drag raced my Tres with Jeff Taylor's.  He beat me off the pad, only 2 of my motors ignited.  I like the canted motors, the flight was still stable.  Congrats Jeff.
My last flight of the day was a rematch.  Vindicators on C6-5s  Flight was cool, very nearly a mid air collision, good chutes on both.  Whaddya think Buzz, a tie???

Ken Jarosch writes:

Since I only had time until noon I only brought 5 important rockets. Two egg lofters and three "G" rockets.

I started by working on the egg lofters which killed a lot of time. After 16 flights I am still working on the Elite for best performance. The Elite has a kevlar loop in the body and a kevlar shock cord tied to that loop for streamer attachment. The pod has the 12" chute for separate recovery. This seems the best setup but on the B6-2 flight today the streamer ripped off.

The EggsCaliber was reduced to a single 18" recovery chute to reduced the back pressure. I pulled out the body 12" chute and long rubber shock cord. The C11-3 was only a test today as I have a F21-6 waiting for a calm day for altitude test.

I brought the G rockets to test the Pro Pod and the steel 6' rod. Also I wanted to use up some G motors. The first G rocket was the Mirage on a G35-4w. They decertify this 12/31/07. The rocket took off fairly fast and went to about 1000'+ and the dual chutes deployed nicely. The top section drifted into the next field. The fin can went over the corn and I lost sight of it. Using the top section as a guide I walked to North edge of the corn and spotted the chute just under the sprinkler. A little timing retrieved the rocket with the chute completely wet. The body paint protected the bottom section ok.

Next I put up the "G Force" on a G64-4W for a really great flight to about 800'. The large 54" lime chute really floated but stayed over the launch site until the last minute it landed in the next field.

Never did get to burn some G77r or G79w in my Sumo do to a lack of time.

Jeff Taylor writes:

I would like to thank Ted Cochran, Alan Estenson and Carol Marple for helping me obtain my HPR Level 1 Certification on Saturday.

I built a LOC/Precision LOC IV for this flight, and incorporated a zipperless baffle design inspired by Ted's LOC IV modifications and various zipperless designs I found on the web, including Rocket Team Vatsaas. Other mods included replacing the elastic shock cord with tubular nylon strapping, replacing the launch lug with rail buttons, and additional internal fillets on the fins. I painted the rocket white and airbrushed some fluorescent flames on it, then named it "Miss Fire".

Alan and Ted inspected the rocket to make sure I built it right, and Alan and Carol made sure I assembled the massive H180W-M right (I usually build rockets that are smaller than this motor was).

When it came time for Alan to press the button, the launch was surprisingly loud, surprisingly fast, surprisingly high and surprisingly straight. All I remember seeing was a lot of fire and smoke on the pad. After it arched over, it ejected and the parachute opened perfectly. It landed 0.11 miles from the pad with
no damage what so ever.

I thought that I would be nervous, but I wasn't, and I really believe that was because I had such a wonderful support team of mentors behind me. Thanks again to Ted, Alan and Carol.

After that excitement was done, I launched a Navaho AGM two stage on a C6-0 and C6-5. I thought that it was lost but Eagle Eye Cochran was tracking it so I was able to recover it close to the north end of the field. I also flew my Tres for the first time on 3 C6-5s in a drag race with Mark Thell's Tres. One motor lit on the pad and the other two lit half way up the rail.

Ron Wirth writes:

Saturday was a nice day to launch rockets (not too windy but a little hot by late afternoon). This was the second time that I attend a monthly MASA launch and it was great fun.

For this months launch, there was a NAR local contest for A Streamer Duration, C Boost Glider, Spot Landing, and Predicted Duration. I went for broke and entered all four with mixed results. I started the day with the spot landing contest. I put up my Honest GOON on B4-4 and landed right around 51 from the designated spot. For the streamer duration, I quickly build a small rocket the night before which I ended up naming $2.00. I was very satisfied with flights but wished I had a larger streamer to put in the rocket. The other contests did not go so well. In the predicted duration, I flew my Thrustline Mighty Mick on a D12-5
trying for a longer flight. Unfortunately the nose cone separated from the body for disqualification but I retrieved all parts undamaged. I used an Estes Eagle for the C Boost Glide contest. The kit mostly consists
of plastic and foam. Right after takeoff, half of the foam tail stabilizer snapped off and sent the rocket at a sharp angle (at least it was still moving upward). The glider did separate from the rocket and dove quickly to the ground. I recovered all parts but it could not be easily repaired.

All in all, I managed to get in 13 total flights for the day. There was maiden flights for my Q-Modeling
MRS Stiletto (E9-6, very nice flight), a Thrustline Hank (clustered Bs, nice flight), a Thrustline Scorpion ATGW (D12-5, lost a fin probably at ejection), and a Thrustline Alien Troop Mover (D12-5, nice flight and lost only one of the five aliens).

I would like to thank Buzz McDermott for running the contests and graciously supplying a Semroc Mark II kit to the son of one of my co-workers that came to the launch. His son had built a rocket and was going to
bring it for his first launch only to discover it missing (grandmother probably threw is away during cleaning).

The Details:

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

The totals were:  115  flights, 127 motors.  The cumulative total impulse was 3136 Ns with an average total impulse of  24.7 Ns.  The motor breakdown follows:


# Burned

MicroMaxx 0
















G 5


I 1



(Alan Estenson)

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