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Last updated: June 8, 2001
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Year 5 at Westwood! (5/21/2002)

12 pads reduce the wait.  No chance of eye injury here! [photo by Dave Oberlander]

Westwood Elementary School Build and Fly 2002

On Friday, May 17, about 100 Westwood Elementary School fourth-graders launched about 50 colorful Estes Generic E2X's, watched by a couple of lower grade classes. They were ably assisted by MASA's largest Westwood turnout ever - Dave Oberlander, Dave Leininger, Mike Kutzke, Katie Kutzke, Neil Higgens, Dan van Dyke, Ted Cochran, and Seth Cochran. This was the fifth consecutive year that MASA has helped out with this event.

Mike, Neil and Ted had helped the kids assemble their rockets in two building sessions the previous week. The building sessions went smoothly, marred only by one upside down motor mount and one very large puddle of white glue created by a loose bottle cap [Got Milk?].

Friday was mostly clear and only a little breezy. The launch commenced at 1:30 with a brief safety talk and kids were soon prepping rockets. We used three different prepping stations and 12 pads to speed things along. Dave Leininger served as LCO, Ted served as RSO (with 100 deputy assistants), and Seth served as official timer (no more Mississippis!).

LCO Dave Leininger sends the first rocket skyward off of Pad 1 with RCO Ted, Timer Seth, and two very interested fourth-graders watch. [photo by Dave Oberlander]

Nearly every rocket flew well, with just one separation, a few fouled parachutes, and an occasional misfire (mostly due to shorted igniters). All of the rockets stayed within the field. The record duration this year was just under 30 seconds. The class with the highest average duration will be the first to display this year's prize - an autographed photograph by Astronaut Susan Helms.

The kids were also treated to an assortment of demonstration launches, including E2Xs on larger motors, UFOs, odd rocs, a Skywinder, and a two stage rocket. The launch concluded on time at 3:30, and nearly everyone left with a re-flyable rocket.

Thanks to all of the MASA members who helped this year!

Another good flight concludes gracefully. [photo by Dave Oberlander]

(Ted Cochran)


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