ROC Launch Report – May 2014

On May 10, 2014, ROC held its regular monthly launch at Lucerne Dry Lake.  Despite somewhat blustery conditions, it was a well attended launch with quite a few good flights and certifications.  Altogether, a total of 97 flights were logged between about 8:30 am and 1:00 pm, with the following breakdown by impulse:
A – 16
B – 7
C – 15
D – 6
E – 9
F – 3
G – 14
H – 9
I – 15
J – 2
K – 1
For most of the morning, winds hovered a bit above 15 mph, which made for challenging recovery conditions.  It took a while for some of the flyers to get up their nerve, but eventually the rockets came out and started flying.  Professor Erik Spjut really broke the ice when he brought out his high altitude Hawk Mountain Transonic II, outfitted with a custom temperature logger payload and a bevy of other electronics.  Powered by an Aerotech K375NW dual thrust motor, it punched through the wind and soared impressively straight to over 12,600 feet.  He recovered it without problem just east of the highway for a good flight to kick off the high power activities.
There were quite a few red cards logged this launch… No, not for flagrant fouls, for certifications!  15 separate cert flights were made, 10 NAR L1, 3 Tripoli L1, one NAR L2 and one Tripoli L2.  Mike Brinker Flew his Madcow Super DX3 on a J357 Blue Streak for his L2, while Ben Chasnov went with the CTI J760 in his custom built and instrumented “Woodpecker” rocket.  A majority of these cert flights were students attending with school groups.  It’s great to see these new flyers climbing the rocketry certification ladder.  Though not a cert flight, Kyle LaBrecque, a senior from La Cañada high school put up an impressive I280  Dark Matter flight for his school project.  A lot of these flights were recovered east of the highway due to the winds, but there was great teamwork in evidence, with groups helping one another with recovery and everyone keeping in good cheer.
Among some of the other noteworthy flights, Two Guys and a Grille took time out from cooking to put up their Li’l Squat on an E16.  ROC regular Jared Shapiro flew his Starfish Prime on an I600.  Brianna Stumph flew a cool Estes Majestic two-stager on an F15 to F15 duo.  Jamie Sobieski tried his second L1 cert attempt of the day on an I150 Pro54 load, but was thwarted by a baffling CATO that cut his casing cleanly in half!  But with characteristic good humor, Jamie laughed it off and assured all that he’d be back for another try next month.
Of the several Harvey Mudd College flights, most of them included sophisticated electronic payloads, including such things as inertial measurement units, temperature and humidity sensors, strain gauges and more.  Millikan Middle School youth group brought out a number of good scratch-built TARC rockets for some great flights.  A lot of good looking G80 powered scratch built rockets came out of one of the visiting school groups.
The low power and mid power pads saw good activity as well, with a good showing from several groups and individuals.  Elizabeth Navarrete’s flight “Let it Go” on a C6-5 lived up to its name; the wind never bothered me anyway!  Emmet Martin’s first flight of an Estes Magician on an E9 went well.  Many of the most popular Estes kits were represented, with some creative paint jobs and names.
The range shutdown went smoothly, and things got packed up in the club’s svelte new mini-trailer before the afternoon winds picked up and the dust started to blow.  The new smaller trailer is easily towed by just about any vehicle with a 2″ hitch ball, so this should open up towing help to a much wider group of volunteers than in the past.  Kudos to board members Kurt Gugisberg and Mike Riss for outfitting the new trailer and getting it ready for the launch.  It is really slick!  Please contact us if you would like to help the club by volunteering to tow the equipment trailer one of these months!
With this month’s launch behind us, everyone is now looking forward to ROC-Stock, which will be the 20th anniversary event.  Look for announcements soon regarding this upcoming launch.  While the launch will run Friday-Sunday, you are invited to come out on Thursday to lend a hand with range setup and equipment testing and repair.  It will be a great way to give back to the club and help ensure that this ROC-Stock is one of the best ever.  We hope to see you there!