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Last updated: Mar 27, 2010
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October 2012 launch report

On Saturday, October 27, MASA held its regular monthly launch at the sod fields near Nowthen.

Theme:  "If it's weird, fly it!" - Oddrocs and Halloween Rockets

Special Events:

OktoberFAST G motor drag race

Three fliers participated in this annual drag race - Alan Estenson with "WYIARS" on a G80-13, Neal Higgins with a LOC Norad on a G80-10, and Michael Farrell with a LOC Hi-Tech on a G61-10.  Neal and Michael both blasted off the pad on cue.  Alan's rocket spit its igniter, but flew successfully a bit later.

D Altitude Fun Contest (using AltimeterOne or AltimeterTwo)

There were five participants in this fun contest.  You could fly any single-stage rocket on any D motor with any recovery system as many times as you wanted.  Your contest standing would be determined by your highest flight of the day.  Altitude measurements were from an onboard AltimeterOne or AltimeterTwo.

The results are:

  1. Ray King, 2148 ft
  2. Blake Grover, 1372 ft
  3. Espen Fredrick, 1179 ft
  4. Al Grover, 1151 ft
  5. Neal Higgins, 878 ft

Congrats, and thanks to all who participated!

Thanks to everyone who helped set up and tear down the launch range.

Thanks to the RSO/LCO volunteers!  Neal Higgins, Aaron Sheriff, Michael Farrell, and Glen Overby.

Congratulations to Allan Grover.  He flew his Expediter (aka "Crashing Sucks") on a J350 for a successful Level 2 high power certification.

Commiserations to Kris Fredrick.  He flew his "Purple Cow" on a J285 for a Level 2 high power certification attempt.  Unfortunately, the rocket performed a core sample.  :-(

Commiserations to Glen Overby.  He flew his IQSY Tomahawk on a J350 for a Level 2 high power certification attempt.  Unfortunately, the rocket performed a core sample.  :-(

And commiserations to Ron Wirth.  He flew his PML Ariel on a H170 for a Level 1 high power certification attempt.  Unfortunately, the rocket suffered a separation.  :-(

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

Jeff Taylor writes:

Well..... That was interesting.

It seemed like a day of failures with many core samples, CATO's, shattered Quantum tubes....

I had my first high power CATO when an H210 Redline in my LOC IV decided to have an aft seal failure. The motor lit and at about 30 feet up a secondary flame had started spraying out next to the motor. Then the body tubes started to separate at the joint. At maybe 50 feet up the motor cut off. As the rocket started dropping the motor sporadically spit out chuffs of red flame, which continued after touch down. The lower half of the rocket was burned, the aft closure was damaged, and the casing had a large hole burned through it.

That was my only flight of the day.

Michael Farrell writes:

It certainly was an entertaining day - core samples, CATO's, separations, a great I-powered pumpkin (Igor was a no-show), and a field-built salvage scratch rocket glider flight.

I'll be interested to see the stats because it seemed like there was a larger than normal number of mid and high power flights, always a good thing. We actually had flyers waiting for rails at for a while in the afternoon. Congratulations to Alan for his level 2 and for his successful dual deployment. Hard work and a lot of driving pays off.

I got 14 flights in, my highest one-day launch count to date, all in pursuit of my "100-in-2012" goal (fourteen to go). Lots of 1st flights for little stuff I had sitting around, mostly successful, and I got my first flight over 3,000' with my PML Phobos on a H148 Redline. The first couple hours of cold calm in the morning were great for high altitude combined with short walks, and the thin crust of ice on the drainage ditches saved one of my small rockets. Thanks to the Grovers or finding my Alpha III which flew out of sight on a C6-5 and made it more than half a mile downwind on a small streamer; I don't have a good history with getting those back.

Thanks for another great day of fun flying, MASA.

Alan Estenson (in a moment of particular lunacy) wrote the night before the launch:


"Thomethingth wrongth, Marthter?"

"Ah, Igor, there you are. Well, I had decided that 'It's the Great Pumpkin Rocket, Charlie Brown' should retire, so I told everyone that it wouldn't be flying this year. However, tomorrow's the October MASA launch, and I never got around to building that new Halloween rocket. The parts for it are all lying around down in the Lab, but I've been so busy with the final tweaks to that new Doomsday Device..."

"It'th a pity, thir. The kidth do tho look forward to ith."

"You know, Igor, the Great Pumpkin Rocket really just needs a few simple repairs. There's no good reason why it couldn't fly again. Transplant a few parts, a few new screws, and then stitch it up again - good as new. Its spine is still good and strong."

"Yeth, thir, although we do have thpare spineth on iceth."

"Yes, yes, of course. Those ones that you just dug up. Don't worry, I have something else in mind for them."

"Thertainly, Marthter."

"Hmmm, let's get to work on the Great Pumpkin. Clear off the slab, crank up the lightning rod, and, oh yes, plug in the hot glue gun. That thing takes a while to heat up."

"Yeth, thir. What muthic do you wanth on the Lab Hi-Fi?

"Ah, 'Thriller' seems an appropriate tune to carve by."
"The Great Pumpkin Rocket Shall Rise Again!!! Bwuhaha, Mwuhahahaha, Bwahahahahahaha!!!!"

"The evil laughth coming along nithly, Marthter."

"Thanks, I've been practicing in the thower. I mean, shower."

[and "It's the Great Pumpkin Rocket, Charlie Brown" did fly successfully on an I211]

The Details:

Full launch tally (PDF)

The totals were:  122 flights, 133 motors.  The cumulative total impulse was 8173 Ns.  The motor breakdown follows:


# Burned

MicroMaxx 0
















G 7


I 2



(Alan Estenson)

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