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MASSY Awards

Open Contest




"MASSY" Awards

The MASSY awards were created in 1998 by Russ Durkee.  They are chosen and awarded to club members by the MASA president each year at the holiday party in December.  They don't follow any set format or come with any prize money (or shiny statue).  These "just for fun" awards are given to those who have distinguished themselves in some way, for good or for, well, not-so-good.  Usually, there are several categories, and several MASSY's are given out in each category.  [Russ tells me that I should make it clear that, while he invented the awards, I came up with the name. - Alan]

The only consistent award from year-to-year is the "Prang" award.  This award is given to 2 or 3 flights that just didn't go as they should've.  Other awards have included: Amazing Flights, Technical Achievement, Upstanding Rocketeer, Rocketeer of the Year.

While the type and number of MASSY's are up to the President's whims, we can try to influence his choice for the Prang awards!  If you'd like to nominate a flight (and person), send email to

masa [at] mn-rocketry [dot] net

Please include all possible details.  The three qualifications are that it happened to a MASA member, at a MASA launch, and that the "incident" was completely unintentional.

Prang Nominations during the 2009 calendar year (i.e. "evidence")

November launch


October launch


September launch


August launch


July 4 launch

  •  Jim Myers' "Flying Jenny Upscale" on a D12-3
    This rocket did an arcing, low-altitude pass from west to east along the entire flightline, plunged right into the middle of Overby Pond, and THEN ejected its motor pod!  It was literally fished out by Glen using a long pole.

    "Jim Meyers launched a nice Jenny
    And power it had more than plenty
    It flew very straight
    At a height of oh-eight
    Hit the weeds....survivors? Weren't any.

    The pilot did try to correct
    But ultimately had to eject
    Flew into the air
    But he had no prayer
    As Jim's little Jenny got wrecked

    Did I mention that very low pass
    Straight down the flight line, clipping grass?
    It dove into Glen's pond
    Not two inches beyond
    Now Jim has no Jenny, alas." - Ted Cochran

June 27 contest launch

  • Dwayne Shmel's Dual Egglofter
    I'd like to nominate Dwayne Shmel's D engine Dual egg loft duration flight that almost hit Alan's truck. From his flight report: "After some delay on the pad waiting for a break in the wind gusts, the little 18mm AP motor fired and the combo package went up fast and straight - not as high as I had calculated - probably because of the extra weight of the Helicat. The model arced over and started it's decent. C'mon ejection charge - FIRE !!! - please??? - fire?? Nope, the two eggs, plastic Scrambler nose cone, and Helicat body become one large lawn dart. HEADS UP Alan !!! SPLAT, the whole package disintegrated just a few yards from Alan's truck." - Art Gibbens

May launch


April launch


March launch


February launch


January launch



Prang Nominations during the 2008 calendar year (i.e. "evidence")

November 22 launch


October 25 launch


September 27 launch


August 23 launch


July 26 launch


June 28 launch


February 23 launch

  •  Glen Overby's "Mighty Little Booster" on a D12-3
    This rocket separated into upper and lower sections at ejection - with no sign of a chute.  The upper section "lawn" darted into the snow while, simultaneously, the lower section took a nice snow core sample.  Dual fence posts on one flight! - Alan Estenson

  • Mark Thell's "Twin Fin" on a C11-3
    At ejection, the motor spit out the back of the rocket .  The rocket arrowed downward, seemingly headed towards a lawn (snow) dart.  But, with a little "thuk" sound, it bounces off the snow instead! - Alan Estenson


Prang Nominations during the 2007 calendar year (i.e. "evidence")

October 27 launch

  • David Whitaker's "CiCi Express" on a D12-0 staging to D12-7
    "At the last launch at nowthen there was a CCExpress 2 stage that went cruise missile that was very shocking.? But I don't know who's it was." - nominated by John Carlson
    "I was thinking of nominating that flight too. I was walking back to the flight line from the adjacent field after recovering one of my rockets when that flight went off. I remember seeing it flying over the cars and ricocheting off the road before the scraps landed another 50 yards away. " - Jeff Taylor

September 22 launch

  • Ken Jarosch's "Executioner" on an F39-6
    "...or the September launch when Ken Jarosch executed his Executioner when the ejection charge on his F39 failed and buried the rocket deep into the ground." - nominated by Jeff Taylor

August 25 launch

  • David Gensler's "X-Calibur" on a G40-7
    "I don't know if CATO's count, but I remember seeing a very impressive blown forward closure burning on the end of the rod until the rocket just melted." - nominated by Pat Arneson
    "Yeah, the statue of liberty! That has to count for something." - Ted Cochran

July 28 launch

  • John Carlson's "Eiffel Tower" on an E15-4
    "After a "just barely" flight back in June, John tried his converted 3D puzzle again - on a bigger engine this time.  Up - down - lawn dart - eject.  Still needs more power. <grin>" - nominated by Alan Estenson

  • Mark Thell's "Flying Martini Glass of Death" chad-staged on a D12-0 to C11-5
    "Mark kept asking - think this will be stable?  The answer was NO." - nominated by Alan Estenson

July 21 launch

June 23 launch

June 21 launch

June 2 launch

April 28 launch

  • Andy Heren's "2TH DKR" on a C6-3
    "Hmm. I don't know if it is kosher to nominate oneself, but some may remember the "2TH DKR" launch in August when it flew a short distance and missled into the ground near myself and another spectator." - nominated by Andy Heren

  • Jim Myers' "Stage II Thunder" on a D12-0 staging to D12-3
    "Not one, but TWO flying lumberyards ... staged.  Not one, but TWO lawndarts" - nominated by Alan Estenson

Prang Nominations during the 2006 calendar year (i.e. "evidence")

Prang Nominations during the 2005 calendar year (i.e. "evidence")

August 27 launch

  • Dan Keppel's "Spicy Meatball" on a F21-4
    "The most impressive shred that I've seen in a long time!  It was fine on an E9, but it definitely exceeded the speed of balsa on that F21." - nominated by Alan Estenson

  • Joe Schneider's LOC Aura on a D9
    "Joe put up his Aura on a 24mm D9 reload with what proved to be far too long of a delay.  Rocket lawn darted in the soft ground just across the drainage ditch from the launch range.  Then, the ejection charge went off - propelling the RMS casing and its adapter arcing back through the air - back across the drainage ditch!  Very funny to watch although, to be a  great prang, the casing really should have landed in the [smelly green] ditch water.  Joe, I'm sure, is glad that it didn't."


Prang Nominations during the 2003 calendar year (i.e. "evidence")

June 28 launch
(This will teach me to ask for nominations in haiku form)

  • Ted Cochran's "SuperRoc Backslider" on a B6-6
    My Super Rocket
    Went up well; came down too fast
    Now a bent-nosed bird. - Ted Cochran
    Translation:  It spit the engine, and, instead of doing a backsliding glide, plummeted down headfirst.

  • David Whitaker's superroc "Mine's Bigger" on a D12-7
    Rocket sways in breeze.
    Zooms around and out of sight
    Gravel road kill now. - Ted Cochran
    Translation:  This 12 foot (at least) bit of super-bendy-silliness did a big loop before crashing into the parking lot.

  • Ken Corey-Edstrom's Jupiter 2 on a F21
    Saucer's set to fly!
    Lots of flame! The pad fell down!
    Zero altitude. - Ted Cochran

    Lost in Space J2
    harsh lesson in off axis
    I'm still in the club? - Ken Corey-Edstrom & Don Wiebold
    Translation:  This PMC locked on the rod and tipped the entire pad over.

  • Glen Overby's Aerobee 300 on a D12-5
    Glen's sounding rocket
    Chute deploys at apogee
    No long walk--long drive. - Ted Cochran
    Translation:  Not only did Glen's rocket land on the other side of the highway, but also on the other side of the acoustic wall on the other side of the highway.

  • Ken Corey-Edstrom's "lil' Johnny Rocket" on a F21 (1st "flight")
    Bif looked good, alas,
    like Mark Thell's, in distant past
    just the motor flew. - Ted Cochran

    L'il Johnny rocket
    Can it fly do you suppose?
    I can't prove it yet

    Engine taped too loose
    Run away! Run away fast!
    Scary curlycue

    Stay Back 30 feet
    the motor flew between us
    safety codes are good - Ken Corey-Edstrom & Don Wiebold

    (and limericks too?)
    There once was a Biffy that flew
    Twas all cardboard and plastic and glue
    The motor got lit
    And proceeded to split
    Left behind on the pad was the loo. - Ted Cochran
    Translation:  This "flying" mini porta-potty might have stuck on the rail.  In any case, the motor shot clean through the "rocket", flipping and spinning its way past the flight line as everyone dove out of the way.

  • Ken Corey-Edstrom's "lil' Johnny Rocket" on a F21 (2nd "flight")
    Again 'twas readied
    Launch! Loops! Horizontal Flight!
    Reconstruction looms. - Ted Cochran

    L'ill Johnny rocket
    go back to the drawing board
    More nose weight I think

    busted plastic bits
    green toilet smokes on the ground
    Not worth forty bucks - Ken Corey-Edstrom & Don Wiebold
    Translation:  It got off the pad this time, but was unstable and pranged under thrust.

May 24 launch

  • Ken Jarosch's Estes Big Daddy on an E9-4
    "Coming off the rod, rocket went unstable and did 270 degrees of a vertical loop.  By then, it had evidently burned off enough mass to be stable and straightened-out.  Parallel to the ground.  In full cruise missile mode.  It flew about a hundred yards downrange before performing a lawn dart impact, and then ejecting." - nominated by Alan Estenson

  • Alan Estenson's Estes Silver Comet, CHAD staged C11-0 to D12-7
    "The boost was perfectly vertical, but then the C11 came off - completely failing to light the upper stage.  The rocket went up, turned, and came in to a perfectly vertical lawn dart.  The impact pushed the nose cone up into the body, caused a severe internal overpressure, and blew out the entire side of the rocket before the body tube popped back off and landed beside the nose cone, now embedded in the ground." - nominated by Stuart Lenz


April 26 launch


April 25 launch


April 19 launch


March 22 launch


February 22 launch


January 25 launch


Prang Nominations during the 2002 calendar year (i.e. "evidence")

October 26 launch

  • Mike Erpelding's "Six Shooter Phase I" on six C6-7's
    "Mike Erpelding's first Six Shooter flight, where he tried to light 6 motors and succeeded with two (after about a ten second pause). Slow motion prang city. I'm just glad he was able to fly it successfully later on, and Thumper got to carve another notch in its handle." - nominated by Ted Cochran

September 28 launch

  • Martin Dietl's "The Launch Pad" Exocet MM-40 on two E15's
    "Martin Dietl wanted to fly his Exocet MM-40 on a cluster of two E15s using copperheads. We gave it the best chance we could - Glen lent him a clipwhip made out of jumper cables (OK, lamp cord, but at least we're not talking bell wire here). I lent him Thumper, which has lit 7 AP motors before (albeit not with copperheads). Thumper did its part, and both igniters fired. Unfortunately, one of them got spit. The other motor lit, and vectored thrust led to a very scale-like flight trajectory. Alas, the full size Exocet flies horizontally. The model Exocet did work up a little spin, but that served only to increase the realism of the flight profile. It did its programmed pop-up maneuver and acquired a target before entering terminal flight. Ellison Lenz (who, whether he knew it or not, was playing the role of signal officer on the HMS Sheffield) watched the impact, and then the ejection (the ejection charges on both charges blew, to add to the overall excitement. Fortunately, the second motor's AP didn't burn from the top down, which sometimes happens). The only factor that detracts from the nomination is that the rocket was not completely destroyed--indeed, with a new section of BT and some motor mount repairs, it will likely fly again (hopefully not on copperheads!)." - nominated by Ted Cochran

August 24 launch

  • Stuart Lenz' modified 2-stage ARV Condor on B6-0 to A8-5
    "Stuart Lenz gets first place in my personal prang award competition, for his Estes ARV Condor modified for two stage (!) flight. It was seriously underpowered on a B6-0 (My Condor--without the booster--is marginal on a B6-2) and it started arcing over at about 80 feet. It then (unfortunately) successfully staged, and the A8-5 drove it right into the ground before ejecting. Pieces flipped all over--glider nosecones, glider bodies, pod parts--but it looked surprisingly repairable." - nominated by Ted Cochran
    "I wasn't happy with it when I looked at it before it flew. Next time, something like this goes to the away cell on the other side of the first irrigation ditch." - seconded by Glen Overby
    "I second the prang nomination on the full power ARV Condor impact and impressive debris field. It looked like Roswell all over again." - thirded by Tim Bush

  • Stuart Lenz' Black Cat Turbo Flash (multiple flights)
    "Stuart gets an honorable mention for his Black Cat turbo flash, A converted fireworks fountain, flown as a cone rocket, that was every bit as unstable on a B6-2 as it was on a A8-3." - nominated by Ted Cochran

  • Mollie Frisvold's 2-stage Fat Boy on D12-0 to C6-5
    "It had a little problem getting off the launch rod, so it decided to take the launch pad with it. First time I ever saw a lunch pad actually get off the ground! The launch pad then fell over and unfortunately the rocket successfully staged. The second stage was still stuck on the launch pad (good thing) laying on it side. It just sat and burned there until ejection." - nominated by Ron Hammer
    "Lee Frisvold with his "Don't forget the launch pad" flight of his two stage Fatboy that brought along the pad for good measure, albeit for only about a foot before ramming the ground." - Rick Vatsaas

August 2 evening launch

  • Alan Estenson's "More Gopher Holes" on an E9-6
    "I launched it on an E9-6 for 1st flight. It went straight up 150 feet, then took a hard right turn, flew horizontal and did a javelin impression right into the drainage ditch. When it ejected, it threw the back half up onto the bank, but the front half was completely submerged. Had to pull hard on the shockcord to yank it out of the muck. Postmortem showed that the tube had kinked hard over, right in front of the tube fins. Was bt-55 that I bought from ASP. Must have had a _really_ weak spot. Was wet, green, smelly, muddy, and mortally wounded, so I gave it away." - nominated by Larry Schwartz & Stuart Lenz

July launch

  • Alan Estenson's "Super Duper V2" on a D12-3
    "I nominate ALAN ESTENSON's V2 Flight. After a completely normal countdown and ignition, the rocket took a hard turn and went into cruise missile mode directly towards the crowd, coming to a rest about 5 feet from the LCO. It then proceeded to provide wonderful up-close-and-personal display of the ejection sequence for those (un)lucky enough to have a ring side seat." - nominated by Steve Hum
    "I also nominate Alan's purple V-2 launch for the prang award, I was standing right behind the LCO with the deer in the headlight look as well, it was quite amusing." - John Carlson

  • Stuart & Ellison Lenz - various rockets
    "Besides, what would a MASA launch be without a few skywriters? The Lenz family was there, right? The Lenz family may just want to print up a bulk set of decals for their scratch built rockets with the name "Skywriter". They could add I, II, III, IV, etc after them with magic markers. They may be up to MCMXLVII by now. (I'm thinking here of Stuart's D powered tubefin red white and blue rocket, or maybe it was the 3 x A8-3 red white and blue rocket. Or both. And a few last launch, too. Maybe they could get a deal if they ordered those decals at the same time as the "Aw, Chute!" decals (in memory of "With Liberty", for example). They could loan one to Dave Fergus (and a whole lot of other people, too, I think)." - nominated by Ted Cochran

  • Leland Cheng's Aerotech Strong Arm on a G80-7
    "I also nominate a certain "let's see what's behind all those trees" flight (Strong Arm, right? On a G80?). While not technically a "prang", it certainly fulfills the requirements in spirit. (Or dis-spirit?) Now, I wouldn't say the chute was too large, but if it had landed on the highway people would have run out of gas driving around it. And I wouldn't say the owner had a long walk, but if he'd really walked out to where that rocket came down he'd come back--to MASA's 20th anniversary launch. I wouldn't criticize the size of the motor for the conditions, but I know that mosquitoes were being recovered yesterday....and on A10s. Now, hmmmmm, who was that flyer again? I forget.... -)" - nominated by Ted Cochran

Picnic launch

  • Jeff Hove's Stomp Rocket on an ancient C6-5
    Jeff's Stomp rocket got about ten feet off the pad when the motor CATO'ed with a loud BANG.  The rocket shot off at an angle as the foam body was ripped apart just above the motor. For shots of this flight, scroll down to the bottom of the Picnic photo page. - nominated by Dave Fergus


    2010 MASSY's

2009 MASSY's

2008 MASSY's

2007 MASSY's

2006 MASSY's

2005 MASSY's

2004 MASSY's

2003 MASSY's

2002 MASSY's

2001 MASSY's

2000 MASSY's

1999 MASSY's

1998 MASSY's





Last updated: Jan 11, 2008
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