Jan 5th, 2002 Launch Report
Members of the Southeast Alabama Rocketry Society (SEARS #572) met for a relaxing launch on Saturday, January 5th near Headland, AL.
Those in attendance included Gary Goldenbaum, William Goldenbaum, Randy Wiggins, Marty Wiggins, Drew Johnson and John Stein. There were 41 flights for the day.
Temperatures started out cold for Southeast Alabama...21 degrees F. Abundant sunshine early helped temperatures rapidly recover and the range was up and flying by 9:45 AM , but brisk to strong winds had everyone keeping their jackets on for most of the day.
First flight of the day was John Stein's Super Big Bertha on an Estes E9-4 for a perfect flight. He also CHAD staged the SBB on a D12-0/E9-6 combination for a great flight.
First high power flight was by Gary Goldenbaum with his PML Ariel on an H128-M for an excellent flight sporting his new Rocketman parachute. Gary had a total of five flights including his Swing Wing glider (Lawn Dart reproduction kit of the Estes Scissor Wing Transport) wowed the crowd with a picture-perfect flight on a B4-2.
Gary had a high flight with his Estes Ninja on a C6-7...and it was recovered.
Most flights were by Randy Wiggins with 12 including many flights with his Big Bertha and Mean Machine on D12-5's, and LOC Onyx on an F20-4.
Marty Wiggins was next with ten flights (tied with John Stein) including his Aerotech Mustang on an F20-7 for an out of sight flight. Marty also recovered his Estes Black Brant after a flight on a D12-5. He also had several flights with his Big Bertha and Super Big Bertha.
William Goldenbaum had two flights including the first Estes Dude at a SEARS launch, a Christmas present to his dad, which lasted one flight. The envelope was punctured by small thorns on landing. The parachute did not open but it's not really needed with the Dude anyway. The other flight was his Intimidator on a G35-4.
Drew Johnson came to the launch to watch...but he brought his rockets and with the loan of an H123-S had one exciting flight, especially since it was a VERY short delay, about two seconds after burnout, but his Redneck's Revenge is so well built that there was no damage.
We had a reporter from one of the local newspapers ( "The Dothan Progress" ) come to the field to do a story on rocketry. She saw the flyer posted at the local hobby shop, and her son had a few rockets. When they came out we talked about rocketry, safety and our participation in the 4-H programs at local schools. She took a few pictures and had to leave. We told them to bring the rockets next time and fly with us. Well, they returned later in the day, and after some minor repairs to her son's Estes Heat Seeker, he enjoyed one flight on a B4-2 before they had to leave. One 12 inch parachute, some elastic cord added to the Estes shock cord and some CA glue on the fins donated by SEARS members was all it took. We did explain that the Heat Seeker needs nose weight to fly on a "C" motor. They hope to be at our next launch in February.
John Stein enjoyed nice flights with his Crayon rocket on a G64-4, his G-Force on a G75-S and his LOC EZI-65 for a dual deployment flight on an I366-M Redline. The delay was too short and motor ejection kicked the drogue before apogee, causing enough of a jolt to sheer the sheer pin, so the main came out at 2,539 feet (according to the Missile Works RRC2 altimeter) and with brisk winds made for a half mile walk for recovery, just shy of the trees at the edge of the field.
A great day with no lost or damaged rockets, well...except for the limp Dude, and a little publicity, too.