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S.E.A.R.S February 7th 2009 Samson Launch

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

The February 7th launch was held under beautiful blue skies and comfortable temps. However, there was a stiff wind which caused a number of rockets to drift into the woods. Congratulations are in order: Kendall Brent achieved his level 3 Certification on his 7.5 inch diameter rocket flown on a Loki M2550 Loki Blue. Russ Roberts made a successful Level 2 flight on his 4 inch Star Breaker on a K550. Eldon from Tuskegee made his Level 1 with a Loc rocket on an I357. Good job guys!

We enjoyed having Doug Harrell and two TARC students from Liberty County High School in Florida. They got some experience egg lofting. Also Justin Sanders instructor at Dothan Technology Center attended and got plenty of info for using rocketry in his pre-engineering program.

Applewhite monocopters were debuted at SEARS by Rick Gutknecht and John Hansel. Roy Houchin won the special event drawing.

The picture album for the the Launch is at  and videos at 

Thanks for a Great Day!


Kendall Brent's successful L3 launch on a M2550 Loki Blue

Kendall Brent’s L3 Launch

Russ Roberts Star Breaker L2 Cert Rocket

Russ Roberts Star Breaker L2 Cert Rocket

November 1st 2008 SEARS Launch Report

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

The November 1st 2008 SEARS launch proved to be an excellent day for flying rockets. The sky was cloudless and temps around 70 in the PM with a light breeze. The event was Cluster Day. Not sure how many we had yet. Russ Roberts won the event. He picked out an Fliskit Proconsul (Like a Drake) from the prize pool.

Dave Brassell of Panama City made a sucessful Level 1 cert on his LOC Bullet four inch rocket. The rocket flew on a Aerotech H148 redline motor. Congrats Dave!

Roy Houchin of Shorter, Alabama has joined SEARS. Roy is a NAR member. He flew his Estes Skywinder at the launch. Roy is the historian for the ARCAS sounding rocket and has a lot of the hardware. Maybe we can do some type of ARCAS club project.

John Hansel flew his Old Blue which is a four inch Performance Rocketry Intimidator (I think) an a K motor. It went over 6000 feet and landed off the field at the creek. It was drapped across several trees and required chain saw recovery.

Bob Stetson flew his Apogee Aspire on an Apogee F10-8. This combination sims out to a mile high. Apparently the shock cord frayed. Bob Stetson recovered the nosecone and Rick Gutknecht found the rocket body later.

We were glad to have Doug Harrell who teaches Science in Bristol FL attend. He brought his wife and some members of the Liberty County High School Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) team.

Rick Gutknecht and Arron Gutknecht of Panama City attended. Rick flew his Halverson Wicked Winnie and Arron an Guardian Estes rocket with a nice paint job. 

Bob Mullins flew his “Flame On” six inch Rocket on an AMW L1800. It was great boost. The main did not come out but the rocket had no damage, Thanks to Bob for bringing his EZ-GO rocket cart. It got a real work out.

Of course this is just a snippet of the activity at the field, Thanks for a great launch day! Pictures can be seen at and videos at

Greg Lane

SEARS President

Dave Brassell and his LOC Bullet

Dave Brassell and his LOC Bullet.


Oct 25th 2008 Webelos Rocket Rally

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

SEARS had the pleasure of supporting the Webelos Rocket Rally on October 25th 2008 at Emerald Coast Skydiving in Elberta, AL.  The October weather was perfect and the Skydiving center has a beautiful field.  There were over sixty Webelos this year, the biggest turn out yet and it could double next year. Russ Roberts and Greg Lane put on two rounds of demo launches. The Webelos launched their Starhawk rockets twice individually and then they did mass launches with the SEARS Mass launcher. We enjoyed the Skydivers between launches. The event was well orchestrated by Richard Gean and his team of leaders. The response to the demos and mass launch was very positive. Of course we plan to return next year.  See all the pictures at

Loading Star Hawks for Mass Launch
Webelos load their rockets for the mass launch


October 4th Launch Highlights

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Witches broom flies solo 

A witches broom flies solo and a tombstone on the pad.

The weather was hot but not too humid with light winds the seemed to blow from just about every direction at some time or another.

 Alexa Stetson won the odd rocket contest with her Decaffinator.

We had 13 paying members/families, there were new faces ( Dr. Roy and others) and some old faces (Bill Bosley, John Kegans).

A safe and good time was had by all.

The album for the Oct 4th SEARS Launch is at

and videos at

July 12th 2008 SEARS Launch Report

Friday, July 18th, 2008

The July 12th launch was SUPER!
Jon Ward had a successful Tripoli Level 3 Certification. His rocket Red Robin Fireball flew on an Aerotech M1297 to 6166 feet. This was the first L3 cert flight at SEARS. Chris Short is now a Tripoli Tap Member.
There were three Level 1 Certifications. Rob Wilson flew his “Emily Grace” on an H123,  Ricky Nikolson  flew his PML Callisto on a H148.  and Richard Crews flew his Little Dog on a H123. Congrats to all!  
There were 23 glider flights. Daymon Campbell won the draw from the prize pool. He picked an Estes Eliminator. Alexa Stetson won the Glider duration with a 90 second flight. Her pick from the prize pool was a Quest Bright Hawk.
There we several Georgia Tech fliers. Lelia and Demetri had unsuccessful L2 certs but they will succeed next time. Both Lelia and Demetri are aerospace majors and will be on the Georgia Tech USLI team next year.
We were spared from the forecasted thundershowers until 4 o’clock. There was one storm threatening but it only cooled the air which was a relief. Another relief was the SnoCone Stand run by Alexa Stetson. I forgot how good SnoCones were. Thanks Alexa!
I had requested more launch help. The response was great and appreciated. By the way, Russ Roberts actually likes being LCO and does a great job.

There are pictures and videos in our gallery. 

We enjoyed having John and Sherry Stein back. John treated us to a flight of his R/C Centurian. Jack Kale came for a visit. He is being treated for cancer so keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
We will not have an August launch. So build some rockets in the air conditioning. See you on Sept 6th when the event is Scale Rocket Day. Thanks all for making the July Launch a great one!
Greg Lane,
S.E.A.R.S. President

Demetri’s skidmark launch


Patterson Elementary Demo & Launch

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Oscar Patterson Elementary in Panama City, FL is a NASA Explorer School. Their 5th Grade classes built Estes Alphas this year. They were launched in mass today at the school with the assistance of John Hansel and Greg Lane of SEARS.  John and Greg also provided a rocketry demo. The 5th Grade is fortunate to be taking a trip to Kennedy Space Center this year. The trip was arranged by Ms. Becky Pelton a Patterson Teacher in cooperation with NASA. Thanks to Ms. Candace Parker for inviting SEARS back for another event.

More pictures are available in the SEARS Gallery.


SEARS May 10th 2008 Launch Report

Friday, May 16th, 2008

John Hansel’s Report: We had a great launch. It was overcast early but the skies did open up somewhat as the day wore on.  I was almost summer hot and humid, everyone had to drink lots of water. We set up at the western most sprinkler hub and launch off the side of the road downwind from there.  The wind was 10 to 15 from the W to WS. 

There were a lot of people there. Randy Wiggins passed his level 2 written test and L2 flight, see videos. Great job Randy.  I think I was the only person to fly an upscale for the monthly event, I flew a 5 times upscale of a Totally Tubular.  Bob Mullins had a bulkhead fail in flight and lawn darted the upper section
and nosecone of one of his rockets. 

Chris Short and I drag raced LOC Minie Mags on I-161. I was first off the pad, flew highest and landed last.  Chris Short Rocketry was present as a vendor and was please with his sales.  Chris had Clark Word in tow from Birmingham.  Daymon was there with his wife and flew his first rockets with the club, he also lawn darted his first rocket with us.  We had some visitors who came to the launch, found out about us on the web site, name unknown but their 3 boys really enjoyed watching my Ultimate Endeavour go up on a AMW K-1000 sparky.

Chris Crews flew a Gizmo on a motor that had it vanish from the pad, what a liftoff!  Crews also flew his L3 project rocket on an L motor as a test flight.  That was really great seeing that 6 inch rocket come off the tower under an L.  There were ten or so of us ended up at Crews-BAR-B-QUE for dinner and rocket stories (lies).

Visit our gallery to enjoy more  photos and videos.

Randy Wiggins and his L2 Rocket


SEARS April 12th 2008 Launch Report

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

The SouthEast Alabama Rocketry Society held their April launch on the April 12th in Samson, AL. The April 5th launch was cancelled due to rain. This launch was threatened as morning showers were expected. Therefore we planned a late start at Noon. I arrived in Samson at 11:00 and the rain was pouring. I was very worried the launch was a scratch but, we gave it 30 minutes and the rain began to trail off. But who would come with the iffy weather? Enough for a great launch it turned out. We had two new members Tom Macpherson and his wife Penny & Daymon Campbell and his wife Pearl. These folks are very enthusiastic. Tom had many flights and Daymon plans to bring rockets next time. We had most of the regulars including Bill Bosley and Reese. It was nice as the new wives were socializing as well as Bob Stetson’s and Jon Ward’s Daughters along with the other kids.

The event was Peep Spot Landing? The target was about 60 feet from the pad. The peeps were being lofted with great determination to hit the target. Various strategies developed including picking smaller motors and pointing the rod toward the target. There we about 50 Peep flights. Tom Macpherson had the closest peep to the target which was about 10 feet. Tom got the first draw from the special prize pool donated by Sunward. The remaining Sunward prizes were given out to those participating in the peep event.

The weather continued to improve with the clouds lifting and we had blue skies by 5 o’clock. This was very timely as Jon Ward and John Hansel made several L flights from John Hansel’s tower on the away cell.  Then Chris Short made the first N flight at SEARS on an N2020 in his 15 foot War Eagle rocket. The flight went to 6500 feet. Sarah Gifford made her Level 1 Cert Flight at the end of the day. Congrats Sarah!

So after being doubtful that the launch would even be a go, I believe it was one of the best ever. Funny, I keep saying that after every launch. The May launch has been moved from May 3rd to May 10th. I hope you can make it.


Click here for more pictures and here for videos.

Greg Lane’s Peeps on a Snitch


SEARS March 1st 2008 Launch Report

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

SEARS 572 held its month launch on March 1, 2008. The day started out a little cool, but turned into a beautiful day to launch. The high was about 65 F and the winds were mainly light.

Jim Flis day was the main event. Anyone who launched a Fliskits rocket had their name put into a hat for a prize. Jim Flis was very generous to send rockets for the prizes. 25 Jim Flis creations were flown and there was a mass launch of Fliskits.  The Fliskit Decaffinator and the Frick & Frack flew. They are both impressive and will make excellent demo rockets.  See pictures here and a video of the mass launch here.

Jim Flis Day

There were many high power launches. There were two J motor drag races and 2 L motor launches. The Auburn team had an exciting L motor launch. The video can be seen here.

The quick flight stats show 98 flights from 19 flyers. Marty Wiggins was the “Frequent Flyer” of the day with 16 flights. We are missing a couple of flight cards, so the total is probably 101 flights. Here is the motor breakdown.


2008 Alabama Aerospace Week at Landmark Park

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

SEARS supported the Alabama Aerospace week at Landmark Park in Dothan, AL Feb 20 - Feb 24. We provided a Newton’s Law talk and rocket demo flights. The activities at Aerospace Week also included a R/C Airplane demos and landing/takeoff by an Apache helicopter. This year, rain starting on Thursday limited the number of demos. Thanks to Jack Kale, Randy Wiggins and Marty Wiggins of SEARS for doing the demos.

See photos below and more in the gallery.

Big crowd

The crowd on the 20th