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Last updated: Jan 31, 2010
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August 29 2015 picnic launch report

On Saturday, August 29, MASA held a picnic and launch at the Elk River / Otsego VFW Fields. 

A few of the flights:

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

Todd Carpenter writes:

I had a terrific time yesterday.  Good to see and chat with everyone, including the many folks I don't regularly see at launches.  Glad you all could make it!

Thanks to Neal for all the work lugging things over, purchasing, packing, setting up, tearing down, the extra Target run for the grill, and especially the conflagration corn cooking extravaganza.  Great way to do corn!

Given the calm weather, I launched many of my rockets, and participated in FlutterBy, Fric-n-frac, and Death Star drag races.  Thanks to Jennifer and Andy for competing. It was also calm enough for a flawless Saturn V launch.

While I enjoyed launching my own rockets, I also thoroughly enjoyed watched the other rockets, including George's glider (so sorry about your loss!), Andy's Louisville Slugger (or whatever it's called), Art's Earl Grey, Brian's weapon, Jeff's postal non delivery, multiple pyramids and saucers, David's orange jobbie with the delta wings on a huge motor, William's Super Viper, Michael's 32 launches (I think 4 for every 1 of mine.  Sigh.), and many more.  Yeah, it was a good day. There were a LOT of flights, and very very few failures.

William, my son and I are watching the new BattleStar Galactica.  I really liked your Super Viper rocket.  Do you recall where you purchased the kit?  I want one.

Art Gibbens writes:

I second Todd's motion concerning all the effort put out by our fearless leader Neal! He sure did all in his power to ensure a great time was had by all.

I knew before the day even dawned that Renee and I would not be there until after some other functions we needed to be at yesterday. I really think pushing it back a week was the right decision for flying and picnicking later in the day - it was a gorgeous day for both. 

When we arrived I had three reloads I wanted to burn up in two different rockets. First up was Apophos' Revenge, my pyramid that flies on 29 mm motors, so far just Fs and Gs. I had stuck an F52 in it for this first flight and had my first in my lifetime failure of a copperhead not lighting an Aerotech motor. I was flabbergasted - well, not really,  just surprised. Well, thought I, I'll finally try some other ignitors I got when I purchased some casings from Damian Kostron about 10 or so years ago. Another swing and a miss. Ugh. It was now 3:38 pm by Todd's watch so I reloaded the pyramid with the other F52 I had ready and brought out Earl Gray, Hot! on a D15 that I had drilled down the delay on.

First up was Earl and he flew beautifully, just as it approached apogee the lid popped off and both chutes blossomed nicely for a great flight. Then it was time for Apophos' Revenge and this motor lit right off for another great flight. So I went and picked them both up, retuning to the back of my van. This time around on the first motor for the pyramid, I kept the copperhead down a little from touching the tape at the top of the reload grain. Another swing and a miss. Double ugh! Not really wanting to take the reload apart and resand the grain slot on the fourth try I put just a little more "kink" in the end of the ignitor so that it was tightly held between the two sides of the grain. This took some finesse to get it just right. Again, I did not put it in all the way to the top up against the tape, but rather pulled it down some to be in a different place in the slot. Finally, success and the rocket jumped off the pad for another great flight. When I picked it up though I noticed one end of the spool got busted off, but nothing that cannot be fixed. I really like this rocket.

So I got off three flights off using seven ignitors. While probably not any kind of record, I'm sure glad I hadn't prepped any more rockets for the day.

Michael Farrell writes:

Yesterday was terrific fun. Thanks to Neal - he worked his butt off. Also thanks to the grill crew (assembly and cooking) and the corn burner crew.
Special thanks (and apologies) to Jeff and Jenny for the parachute!
I had a very productive day, and kept careful records as usual. My final count -
1 sloppy joe
2 ears of roasted corn
1 hamburger
1 large scoop of wavy potato chips
1 large scoop of tortilla chips
1 frosted cinnamon roll
3 cans of soda
2 bottles of water
? cookies (too many)

Congrats to Stuart and the runners up for their spot landing accomplishments. I didn't come within 100 yards of the flag.

Great to see everyone!

Neal Higgins writes:

I want to thank everyone who helped out through out the day to make the launch go so smoothly.
Thanks also to those that helped out with the picnic and especially:
Jeff Jones for the help with the grill purchase
Chris Feld for assembling the grill.
Chris and Art Gibbens for doing the grilling.
Dave Whitaker for the utensil purchase. ( I can't believe I forgot to check the supplies before the picnic)
Todd Carpenter and Dave Whitaker for help on the corn cooking. (remember if you tell anyone my secret process I will have to kill you)
And thanks everyone for the great food that you all provided.

The winner of the Spot Landing Contest went to Stuart Lenz with a distance of 9' 11" (great job hiding the magnet, I never did find it)

There wasn't anyone in the younger crowd competing or did not get close enough to measure.

Door Prizes went to:

Ledia M. - Cosmic Explorer
Darian Larose - a pack of B6-4 motors
Jace Flansburg - Shooter Two
Jenny Jones - Monarch
Malcom Larose - Cosmic Explorer
Nathan ? - Reflector

Michael Ferrell - Leviathon

Brian Larose - 36"parachute
Stuart Lenz - AsRaam
Art Gibbens - pack of B6-4 motors
Dave Whitaker - Harpoon AGM

Jeff Jones writes:

Jennifer was taking pictures Saturday. We have them posted on my rocketry site They are a bit wonky on the color but a number of nice take-off shots.

The shots from the August launch are at:

The site also has a couple pictures from the June 2015 launch. As well as a few other things. Feel free to look it over. Thanks! Jeff Jones


The Details:

Full launch tally  - see the Google Docs spreadsheet

The totals were:  151 flights with 157 motors burned. The motor breakdown follows:


# Burned













E 16
F 9



(Alan Estenson)

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