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Last updated: Dec. 18, 2002
Site hosted courtesy of the
Minnesota Rocketry Network
Alan Estenson, Webmaster

December 2002 Holiday Party (12/18/2002)

On Saturday evening, December 14, many MASA members and their families gathered at the residence of the Hoyme family for the annual club holiday party.  Talk filled the air while snacks filled the stomachs. Cards (and rockets) were signed.  Ken's home theater was admired.

One of the evening's activities was a fun gift exchange.  Going in order of drawn numbers, each person could unwrap a gift or steal someone else's gift.  As in previous years, lots of things got swapped around with a book about the Apollo program being the hot item.

Later in the evening, MASA President Alan Estenson had a program of year-in-review, presentations, and awards.

This year, MASA had 11 official club launches (click here for all the stats) with 1,161 flights for the year.  MASA also had 10 successful meetings and a huge summer picnic. 

Alan thanked everyone who organized or presented a meeting topic this year:  Jeff Hove, Ted Cochran, Stuart and Ellison Lenz.  Thanks were also extended to Jeff Hove, Mike Erpelding, and Ellison & Stuart Lenz who each organized a contest at a launch this year.  Other notables were:  Ted Cochran for all his hard work as editor of the Planet newsletter and Lee Frisvold for serving as launch director for November.

A round of applause was raised for the three outgoing MASA officers:  President Alan Estenson, Vice President Ted Cochran, and Secretary/Treasurer David Fergus.

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:  Alan Estenson, Rick Vatsaas, Ted Cochran, Mark Thell, Ellison Lenz, Stuart Lenz, Walter Kjellander, Glen Overby, Lee Grimm, Ed Eastman, Leland Cheng, Art Gibbens, Mike Erpelding, Kerry Hodges, David Whitaker, and Neal Higgins.  The RSO volunteers this year included:  Rick Vatsaas, Alan Estenson, Ted Cochran, Steve Hum, Steve Robb, Dave Leininger, Walter Kjellander, Lee Frisvold, Dave Fergus, Ellison Lenz, Stuart Lenz, Glen Overby, and Mark Thell.  At the July launch, Steve Hum pulled RSO duty all day!  Thanks everyone!  (I hope that you as well as other members will volunteer in 2003!)

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:

  • Mark Thell - Custom Tri-Star kit

  • Rick Vatsaas - pack of C6-5's

  • Ted Cochran - Neubauer Micro Saturn 1B kit

  • Stuart Lenz - ASP FOTL kit

There were two level 1 high power certifications this year at MASA launches:  Neal Higgins and David Whitaker.  Dave Fergus and Leland Cheng also achieved certifications while flying at the Minnesota Tripoli launches.

Mike Erpelding and Glen Overby represented MASA at NARAM down in Texas.  Mike also attended the Midwest Regional Contest in Wisconsin.

This year, many MASA members participated in the NARTREK program.  Completing the NARTREK Bronze were Ted Cochran, Alan Estenson, Mike Erpelding, Joe Schneider, David Whitaker, Ken Hoyme, and Stuart Lenz.  Ted Cochran also went on to complete the Silver and Gold levels!

2002 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 the awards were rather "tongue in cheek".

  • The "Ambition Award" - Leland Cheng:  Flew his first "E" motor from the snow, had his L2 cert by mid summer!

  • The "Flying Brick Award" - Ted Cochran:  For making an Estes Masters Series Space Shuttle actually fly well!

  • The "Flying Lumberyard Awards" - Steve Hum and David Whitaker:  For their ECEE Thunder rocket glider flights.

New members of the Ballistic Fenceposting Club:  John Stenberg, Derek Lynch, Dave Lynch, Ryan Schwartz, Joe Schneider, Ed Eastman, Stuart Lenz

[From 2001, 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]

2001 MASA Prang Awards

The "Percussion" Award - Jeff Hove:  For his CATO of an ancient C motor in a Stomp rocket during the summer picnic.

Prang Award - "Dishonorable Mention": Alan Estenson for his "More Gopher Holes" and "Super Duper V2" flights.

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

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

Prang Award of the 3rd Order:  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

Prang Award of the 2nd Order:  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

Prang Award of the 1st Order: Stuart & Ellison Lenz.  On numerous occasions, this father-son duo set lofty new MASA standards for unstable, underpowered flights and the creation of impressive debris fields.

  • 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

  • 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

Drawings were held for a huge number of free door prizes.  The winners were:

  • Philip Gibbens - Estes Astrosat LSX kit

  • Alex Carlson - Estes Exo-Skell kit

  • Sarah Fergus - Quest Nike Smoke kit

  • John Carlson - Quest Lightning kit

  • Kirsten Hoyme - Estes Skywriter kit

  • Eliot Carpenter - Estes Banshee kit

  • Blayne Carlson - Quest Q-EZ Payloader kit

  • Tom Lawell - ASP Micro Corporal kit

  • Russ Durkee - Titan Missile Museum T-shirt

  • Quinn Carlson - Quest Nike-K kit

  • Jeff Hove - Estes Banshee kit

  • Matthias Gibbens - Estes Exo-Skell kit

  • Susan Fergus - Quest Big Rage kit

  • Mollie Frisvold - Estes Astrosat LSX kit

  • Sue Carlson - Estes Comanche 3 kit

  • David Whitaker - The Launch Pad Anubis kit

A BIG thanks to Hub Hobby Center for donating many of the prizes!  A HUGE thanks to Ken & Julie Hoyme and family for hosting the party this year!  An enormous thanks to everyone who attended!

(Alan Estenson)

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