It would be hard to capture all that happened at Southern Thunder 2008. However, I will make some notes. The launch was well attended by SEARS members and friends that have flown with SEARS. Chris Short and family attended. Chris was selling lots of motors. He flew the War Eagle Rocket on a N3300 research motor on Friday and on a N2020 on Sunday.
Chris Short’s War Eagle on an N2020
Clark Word was there taking a lot of videos. I saw Sarah Gifford as well. We learned that Halley Allen of the Auburn USLI Team is engaged to Kerry Huff. She will be attending Georgia Tech this August and Kerry will be working for Huff Construction in Birmingham. The wedding is a couple of years off. By the end of Southern Thunder, Hally, Kerry and Kerry’s Dad, Don, were all Level 2. Chris Crews attended with his family. His Dad, Richard was a big help on recovering rockets. More on that later. Bob Mullins and Whitney were there. Bob had some bad luck when he fell at the motel brusing his ribs. Daymon Campbell had a big time flying his fleet and he bought a 1/4 Scale PML Patriot for Level 1.
John Hansel had an excellent flight of his 10 inch diameter Nike Smoke on the AMW M1730 Skidmark on Saturday. Unfortunately, the Nike drifted into the woods and it took several hours to locate it. John bought some machetes to beat a way into the woods. Richard Crews spent alot of his time helping in the search and chopped a tree down to free the rocket.
John Hansel’s Nike Smoke on M1730
I decided to wait until Sunday to launch Mighty Mo. I thought the winds would change. Same story, Mighty Mo had a great launch on a Loki M2550 Blue and then it drifted over the woods. Fortunately, the shock cord hung on a dead pine that we could see from the field. So Richard lead the way into the thick brush. Daymon and I followed. I would have not even started into the woods without these guys. The machetes came in handy again. The bonus here is the on-board video captured the descent into the woods and showed the rocket going through various levels of the brush. I hope to have the video edited soon and available on YouTube.
Daymon in the Jungle
John and I were next to Scott and Rita of New Orleans. Their home was wiped out in Katrina and they lost their rocket fleet. But they made it to ST2008 with many beautifully finished rockets including one called the Point.
The Point is going to be kitted by Giant Leap. I met Johnnie Paul from Toney Alabama who got his Level 3. Likewise, it was good to see Kevin and Kyle Cornelius again. They are from Huntsville.
The hosts MC2 and HARA did a great job conducting the launch. Daymon and I did well in the raffle. I hit the jackpot winning a Saturn V kit and a Roadrunner motor. So consider making ST2009 and/or the 2009 Florida Winter Nationals. They are great events.