March 2014 launch report
On Saturday, March 29th, MASA held its first launch of
This launch was held at the Elk River / Otsego VFW Fields.
A few of the flights:
MASA members - please send in your thoughts about the
Michael Farrell writes:
Agreed! Very low winds and bright sunshine made it very
comfortable on the field. I think that there were just shy
of 50 non-TARC flights, and some unaffiliated park launchers
nearby added a half dozen more. I know that there's at least
one new member from the day.
I got 17 flights in, and
cleared out a lot of 13 and 18 mm engine odds and ends that
had accumulated. The field had a lot of standing melt water
that was slowly thawing throughout the morning, so a lot of
the landings were hard on ice. I snapped a couple fins off,
nothing irreparable. I left an Estes 220 Swift on the field
somewhere; flying them (or Mosquitos or Quarks) is such a
There were a lot of great flights, lots of C6-5's burned
by the Jones. The Isoms and I dragged our Quest Planet
Probes, one of my favorite low power activities, and I sent
a cheapo Estes Rascal up on a D21-7 for my top flight of the
Good to be at it again, that winter was a long break from
Art Gibbens writes:
What a gorgeous day for
flying rockets in MN in
March! Maybe we can
attribute the low turn out
to March madness if you
didn't come out and join us?
As Neal has already alluded
to, the HCA TARC Team came out
to fly and get their qualifying
flights in for this year's
competition. They were able to
get in 5 flights before the end
of the launch - two trial
flights and 3 qualifying
Flight one - perfectly straight,
being about 60 feet too high and too
long coming down.
Flight two - another straight up
flight and the time was only about 4
seconds too long. Unfortunately, the
shunt on the altimeter wiggled off and
did not give us an accurate reading of
the launch altitude.
Third flight - no changes made to the
rocket except to tape the shunt into place,
just reloaded everything and declared it a
qualifying flight. Right off the pad a gust
tipped it over and it went no where near
high enough and also a shroud line broke and
that chute twisted up. It gave them a score
of over 116 - not good enough to get them to
Fourth flight - lightened the load just a tad
and re-flew. Not quite high enough and the time
aloft was insufficient, and got a score of 43+ -
again not a low enough score to go to finals.
This flight also resulted in a broken fin to
body tube joint when it landed on an ice patch.
This was mended with super glue for the next
Fifth and final flight - more lightening of the
load and a time that fell in the target range of 48
to 50 seconds. Unfortunately it was 22 feet short of
825 feet high for a score of 22. Now we're getting
there. But the team was out of time and qualifying
This year's competition requires the teams to add
together the two lowest score from the three
qualifying flights - so HCA got a 65+ score, which
won't be close if things go like they have the last
couple of years. I'd guess the cut off for this year
will be under 40, and maybe even under 35 - but you
You all should also know that on this past Wednesday
afternoon after school when we met for Rocket Club at
HCA the rocket had no fins or launch lug on it and the
fins were unfinished. The shock cord was not attached to
the sustainer and the vents for the altimeter were not
drilled. So they busted for two days after school to get
it in shape enough to fly. It's been an unusually tough
and busy time for the HCA rocketeers this year.
Hopefully next year we'll be able to get in some trial
flying before having to qualify on only one day's worth of
flights. It's a young team and everyone will be back for
next year - hopefully better things to come.
If you weren't there, you missed a great day to get out and
Neal Higgins writes:
Thanks everyone who came out today to enjoy the beautiful
weather and fly the first 45 flights of the year for MASA.
Kudos to Jennifer Jones on being the 1st MASA flight of the
year and to Wilder Parks for closing out our 1st launch with
a beautiful flight of your QCC Explorer.
who helped with range setup and tear down. Thanks Michael
for the jump start of my van so I could go home. It turned
out this was the original battery in my 2008 Caravan.
I only flew micromaxx rockets today. The first was a 2
stage Fliskits Doubles followed by a MACME Shrew (micro acme
spitfire) and finally on the 2nd try a Fliskits Micro Deuces
Wild (both motors lit).
Congratulations to the TARC team on your flights and good
luck to those flying in Apple Valley tomorrow. May your
weather be as great as we had today.
Jon Isom writes:
What a day to launch! Sunny, warm for March and no wind.
Started with a few builds completed this winter - Semroc
Explorer and Custom Rockets Ion Pulsar. Both nice flights with
the Ion Pulsar landing vertical in the softening snow. Launched
the Executioner on a E9-8 which was a little long on the delay
and ripped the chute off of the shroud lines when deployed. The
rocket tumbled very nicely to the ground with no damage except a
small zipper. The parachute drifted off somewhere. Also had a
chute deployment issue on a Big Daddy but again tumbled safely
down without damage except for the chute. Planet Probe drag
race, Baby Bertha and Blue Ninja rounded out the day.
Lots of other fun to see fly the other flights as well - TARC
qualifiers, tiny rockets, square rockets, lighthouses.
Full launch tally (PDF)
The totals were: x flights with x motors burned.
The motor breakdown follows: