December 2001 Holiday Party (12/17/2001)
Friday evening, December 14, many MASA members and their families
gathered at the Cochran residence for the annual club holiday
party. Rocket videos played throughout the evening as everyone
enjoyed ample party snacks. A lot of rocket talk filled the
air while people gave away their extra photos. Those present
signed a card for the sod farm owners and Alan's "MASA
Patriot" rocket also gained a few signatures.
One of the evening's activities was a fun gift
exchange. The "rocket tree" had grown this year -
Ted's Quantum Leap was decorated with lights. Going in order
of drawn numbers, each person could unwrap a gift or steal someone
else's gift. Lots of things got swapped around - with rocket
kits being the most popular items.
Later in the evening, MASA President Alan Estenson
had a program of year-in-review, presentations, and awards.
This year, MASA had 9 official club launches (click
here for all the stats) with a record 244 flights at the July
launch and 960 flights for the year. We also had 10 successful
meetings, a great summer picnic and wonderful holiday party.
The club is at its biggest size ever! We ended the year
with: 39 family memberships, 30 individual memberships, and 8
junior memberships. Let's hope that they all renew their
memberships for 2002!
Alan thanked everyone who organized or presented a
meeting topic this year: Steve Robb, Ted Cochran, Tony Manzara,
Art Gibbens, Steve Hum. Thanks were also extended to Ted
Cochran and Rick Vatsaas who each organized a contest at a launch
this year. Other notables were: Ray Peterson and Jeff
Hove who organized the tour of the MN ANG museum, Art Gibbens for
editing the Planet newsletter and organizing the summer picnic, Ted
Cochran who wrote an article for Sport Rocketry magazine, and Rick
Vatsaas for creating new designs for the 2002 MASA badges.
One retiring notable is outgoing Vice President
Steve Robb. Steve did a stellar job as VP this year. He
created an amazing new launch controller and upgraded the old
one. He hauled around all the launch gear - filling the back
of his truck every month. He presented meeting topics,
volunteered as LCO and RSO at launches, had a bunch of great rocket
flights, and even found time to get his level 2 high power
certification. In thanks, Alan presented Steve with a framed
lift-off photo of Steve's Extreme Stovi rocket. From all MASA
members, thanks Steve!
The critical volunteers at every launch are those
people who give up some of their time to serve as LCO or RSO.
Without them, the launches couldn't happen, so a big Thank You goes
out to all of them. The LCO volunteers this year
included: Steve Robb, Ted Cochran, Art Gibbens, Kerry Hodges,
Kent Peterson, Glen Overby, Alan Estenson, Mark Thell, Ed Eastman,
Dave Fergus, Joe Kimmes, Tim Bush, and Jeff Hove. The RSO
volunteers this year included: Steve Robb, Ted Cochran, Art
Gibbens, Alan Estenson, Steve Hum, Walter Kjellander, Russ Durkee,
Tim Bush, Dave Fergus, Damian Kostron, Kerry Hodges.
Thanks! (I hope that you as well as other members will
volunteer again in 2002!)
As an additional thank you to these people, Alan put
each of their names in a drawing once for each time they had
volunteered this year. Unlike the door prizes, these people
didn't need to be present to win. The winners of the RSO/LCO
"thank you" drawing were:
Steve Robb - $10 gift certificate from Hub Hobby
Dave Fergus - $10 gift certificate from Hub
Tim Bush - Estes Black Brant II kit (donated by
Walter Kjellander - Custom Tri-Star kit (donated
by Hub Hobby Center)
There were two level 1 high power certifications
this year at MASA launches: Tom Brekke and Larry
Schwartz. Alan also talked about some of the noteworthy
flights that he remembered. He also went through some
individual and family launch stats.
2001 MASSY Awards
In grand MASA tradition, President Alan Estenson
created this year's awards in a particularly inspired session of
lunacy. Recipients were given a lovely paper certificate
suitable for framing (or wiping glue off their fingers). As
usual, most of them were rather "tongue in cheek".
The "I give my rockets really long
and/or weird names" Award - presented to Rick Vatsaas
for such creations as "Fierce, Bad Rabbit",
"Resume Enclosed", "Return of the
Mother-In-Law", "Vinyl Pigskin of Porcine
Revenge", and "Kidd Plasma's Flaming Atomic Meteor of
Perseverance in the face of lawn darts,
landing on school roofs, hitting parked trucks (twice!) and
almost beaning Russ Award - presented to Steve Robb and his
Swinger II boost glider.
Keeping the classics alive Award - presented
to John Carlson. John is famous for flying a huge
flock of classic rockets - all with descriptions of being 25 or
more years old! John also flies some great upscales of old
Young Rocketeer of the Year Award - presented
to Ellison Lenz. Ellison has tried many new things
this year - scratchbuilding, clustering, innovative materials
... while attending meetings and launches. Not all of it
has worked right the first time, but he's learning!
Technical Achievement Award for Rocketry
Electronics - presented to Glen Overby. Glen flies
lots and lots of electronics - much of it homebrewed - over and
over and over ... until some of it it finally works!
Technical Achievement Award for a super-duper
(and shiny) new launch controller - presented to Steve Robb.
Not really awards, Alan decided to place some MASA
members into groups of "distinction".
Vassals to the Nike-Eating Forest: Dave Fergus
and Glen Overby
Charter members of the "The chute works a lot
better when I remember to put it IN the rocket" club:
Dave Fergus and Steve Robb.
Charter members of the "Ballistic Fenceposting"
Club: Alan Estenson, Kent Peterson, Mike Kutzke, Tim Bush,
Mollie Frisvold, John Carlson, Randy Miller, Ted Cochran, Josh
Handeland, Philip Gibbens, Art Gibbens, Lee Grimm, Dave Fergus,
Steve Hum, Ellison Lenz (and possibly more - you know who you are..)
2001 MASA Prang Awards
The "We can melt bits inside Steve's new
launch controller" Award - presented jointly to Ted Cochran and
Joe Schneider for the flight of Joe's Wildcat on an 8-motor AP
The CFIT (Controlled Flight Into Terrain) Award -
presented to Damian Kostron for the impressive (heart-wrenching)
loss of his Cuda R/C rocket glider.
Prang Award - "Dishonorable Mention":
Tim Bush's PML AMRAAM 2 (G35): "A
great boost, followed by a complete absence of a parachute.
Ballistic lawn dart (some ways away, fortunately) created an
impressive new fence post and required some major excavations for
retrieval." (Nominated by Alan Estenson) I'd
still have to recommend Tim for the award for his AMRAAM
fencepost. When I first drove up to find him, he was laying on
his belly with both arms and part of his head down inside the hole
he'd dug by hand. I'd estimate 16-18". (Jeff Hove)
Prang Award - "Dishonorable
Mention": Art Gibbens' 3-stage Maxi Alpha 3
(D12-0;D12-0;C6-5): "My prang
nomination has to go to Art. I'm SOOO happy it was underpowered. All
we needed was a three stage land shark. I can see it now, in to the
prep area, under someone's pound of black powder. Yippiee!"
(Nominated by Ted Cochran)
Prang Award of the 3rd Order: Jeff Hove's
Centuri Orion (B6-4): "Who did the
power prang and in your-face-ejection into the group of
preschoolers? That beats a Saturn V or an AMRAAM fence post in my
book! Besides, the Sat V looked like it could be
fixed--Where's the tragedy in that?" "That
would be that same guy who was complaining about other people's
rockets raining down on the crowd at June's launch ...
ME (I'm upset that this happened and have been thinking
about it a lot today.) The rocket was my Centuri Orion.
Because of the "B" motor limit that morning, I loaded it
with a Quest B6-4 instead of the C6-5's I normally use. When I was a
kid I used to fly B6-4's most of time and thought this rocket flew
ok on them (it is big but light). An earlier flight of my
Centuri Taurus on a motor from the same pack had gone over 300' with
ejection at apogee so I expected this one to do well over
200'. Instead it made it up to about 80', arced over and
ejected about 2 feet off the ground right in front of a little girl
standing next to me at the flight line. I was photographing and
didn't even see her or would have pulled her back. I don't know if
she even saw the rocket. The rocket is repairable, I hope the
crowd's nerves are too." (Nominated by Ted Cochran
and Jeff Hove)
Prang Award of the 2nd Order: Ed Ryan's
Custom Lightnin' (D12-0; D12-7): "I
have to nominate the Custom Lightnin that looped, pranged, staged,
land sharked, and then did a Lazarus and tried to fly again. Even
made it into the air for awhile, but the BT was bent too much and it
crashed again. Never saw that before!" (Nominated by
And the grand champeen...
Prang Award of the 1st Order: Steve Hum's
Optima Clone (G64): "On its maiden
flight, Steve's Optima went up and then down - in flames. A
pinched O-ring resulted in the total flaming destruction of the
motor casing, motor retainers, and significant burn damage to the
motor mount, fin can and body tube." (Nominated by
Drawings were held for a huge number of free door
prizes. The winners were:
(The following prizes were donated by MASA.)
Dave Ericson - Estes Mk109 kit
Lee Frisvold - Estes E9-6 motors
Stuart Lenz - BT-20 tube pack and NC-20 nose
Susan Fergus - Estes Star Dart kit
Deb Thell - BT-50 tube pack and NC-50 nose cone
(The following prizes were donated by Hub
Hobby Center of Little Canada.)
Russ Durkee - Custom Fiesta kit
Rick Vatsaas - Custom Venture kit
Ingrid Vatsaas - Estes Venom kit
John Carlson - Quest SpinFin kit
Cheryl Vatsaas - Estes emergency repair kit
Ted Cochran - Custom Freedom kit
Christian Vatsaas - Quest Nike Smoke kit
Seth Cochran - Custom Redliner kit
Steve Robb - Custom Ion Pulsar kit
Ellison Lenz - ASP WAC Corporal kit
Sarah Fergus - Estes Flash kit
Mark Thell - Estes AMRAAM kit
A BIG thanks to Hub Hobby Center for donating many
of the prizes! A HUGE thanks to Ted Cochran and family for
hosting the party again this year! An enormous thanks to
everyone who attended!