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Last updated: Mar 27, 2010
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July 17 2010 picnic launch report (7/17/2010)

On the afternoon of Saturday, July 17th, MASA held a launch at the VFW soccer fields near Elk River in concert with the annual MASA picnic

Thanks to the LCO/RSO volunteers:  Art Gibbens, Jeff Taylor, and Neal Higgins.

There were only seven flights before weather caused cancellation of the launch:

Dave Fergus

Big Bertha - B6-4

Saucer - B6-0

Stomp - C6-5

Estes LSAT - B4-2

Barb Thomson - guest

Quark - 1/2A3-4T

Quark - 1/2A3-4T

Garrett Smith - Guest - Barb Thomson's grandson

Aerobee - A8-5


If you were there, please feel free to send in your thoughts and a description of your flights.  Thanks!

Jeff Taylor writes:

The weather report before the picnic looked like it was going to be extremely hot - one of those days where you go through a gallon of water. But by the time it was over, I saw more than one person wearing a light jacket.

The range was set up in the southwest corner of the field. Only a small handful of rockets were launched before RSO Art called it due to lightning strikes and a large storm closing in. Art's decision turned out to be a good call. After packing things up to take shelter in the picnic shelter a large lightning bolt stretched from west to east right overhead and struck the field in the northeast corner within 150 yeards of where we were. Later, an impromptu inspection of the strike zone showed several large areas where the bolt had lifted large divots from the grass and dug holes through the dirt.

But the weather wasn't about to break up the picnic. Neal fired up his propane corn turbine while Art cooked dogs on Todd's BBQ trailer. There was plenty of great food and door prizes for everyone.

It was great to see Tim and Sue Melody at the launch, even though they left before the picnic. I saw a steady stream of shoppers going into Tim's trailer, and I myself came home with two Mojave green H's, a Redline H, two Redline G's, some RMS D's and a 38MM Forward Seal Disk.

Art Gibbens writes:

I'll add some to Neal's flight card report: There was a family visiting our launch because the grandmother, Barb Thomson, found us on the internet. So she and her grandson Garrett, along with Garrett's mom came out to the launch. Garrett's dad is serving in Iraq right now.

I checked over Garrett's rockets and they all were safe to fly. However, I did tell him he couldn't fly one of his engines - a C5-3 because it was no longer certified. But he had some A's and B's for his Aerobee and Zinger. I showed him and his grandma how to install an igniter using the plastic plugs and shared with them that we use cellulose recovery wadding, not the TP type that comes with the engines.

So grandma got 2 flights up with his Quark and I think Mathias found it both times. Garrett's Aerobee flew great on the A8-5. He was almost ready to fly
the Aerobee again when we had to call the launch due to lightening strikes in the area.

I'll let Dave Fergus chime in about the guests he had flying with him on Saturday.

So sorry we had to leave early this year to attend another function that evening. We went to the musical Titanic being preformed in Burnsville because one of Hannah's friends was in the cast.

Andy Heren writes:

Hey, all MASA members Here's a few reflections regarding the picnic.

1. My first reflection is about my red, white, and blue webbed lawn chair. I am wondering if anyone grabbed it. At once point I considered that I should make sure I don't leave it. Well, I did. If you have it, thank you. I am planning on being at the launch this Sautrday, so if you will be, too, you can bring it then. I can't promise a reward, though.

2. I think the picnic was fun, even though I didn't get to launch any of the rockets I was working so hard to build. I finished some kits that had been laying unpainted and built a few new ones to launch. In case you didn't hear my story, I have been doing so much sanding lately that I sanded down my index finger nail to the quick.

3. I got my new MASA hat. Thanks, Alan; they look great! Have you cashed that check yet? I hope it doesn't bounce. You think I am kidding.

4. Speaking of Alan, you were missed. I have never been to a MASA picnic that you were not at. Good luck on that check.

5. While we saw some awesome lightning at the picnic, I was treated to quite the light show all the way home. While filling up in Woodbury, the sirens went off. I thought I could stay ahead of any storm, I had some rain, but some incredible lightning.

6. I am looking forward to Saturday's launch. I am hoping for good weather.

Thanks again, Carol and all those in charge. Neil and his corn and Art working Todd's grill.

Dave Fergus writes:

Fortunately, I had those rockets mostly prepped before 2, and we got them in the air. The family I had visiting was from Rogers, and they are interested in getting into rocketry. Each of the kids got to push the button. got the rockets cycled for relaunch, but range was closed by then. now I have four rockets prepped and will be up north this weekend. oh well. I gave my guests some kits I had gotten as past door prizes, so if they enjoy building them, we will probably see them again. His name is Brett Springfield, and the kids are
Allison, Rebekah, Caleb and josh. They did enjoy the playground as well. I am glad I found the VFW for us to have our picnic lo those many years ago.....

Hope everyone made it home safe that night, we lost power for 4 hours in myneighborhood

(Alan Estenson)

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