March 2017 Launch Report
Ok, we didn't have the great weather the forecast predicted, but we had OK enough weather for 47 fliers to make 116 flights over the 3-day event, an all-time Holtville Airport record!
Friday afternoon had very decent weather, but saw only 25 launches, as the crowd [presumably] waited for the promised "excellent conditions" of the main day (Saturday) forecast. Saturday instead proved to be kind of windy in the morning, with relatively few launching before noon. In the afternoon, the wind lessened (or actually, proved to be not so bad after all) and most of the recorded launching took place. A tracker was a very good idea if you had one and many did, as landing outside of the airport fence is an adventure. Conditions were mild enough for a decent night launch (<125 g propellant H-limit, since no waiver at night). Sunday, which the forecasts said would be mostly unflyable due to wind, turned out to be the best weather of the 3-day weekend, near dead calm until noon or so. Such is life. BTW, the desert wildflowers outside of the airport grounds were spectacular.
Our logged 116 launches included 3 "M"s, 3 "L"s, 11 "K"s, 17 "J"s, 19 "I"s, 20 "H"s, 26 "G"s, 8 "F"s and 18 assorted C-D-E impulse.
Broken down further, 3 flew L3 motors, 31 flew L2 motors, and 62 flew either H-I motors or D-E-F-G motors requiring L1 cert due to propellant mass or some other nuance.
Of our club members, the most launches were made by Kenny Harkema, Val D., and Todd Mullin (returning from years absent due to work, etc.), who had 5 flights each. But these totals were blown away by 2 of our guests from Goodyear, Arizona, Wayne Comfort with 11 and Sharon Hodges with 6 - and both included a successful M-launch in their fleets! Together they flew nearly 1 out of every 7 of the rockets launched. The only other M-launch of their weekend was the M2000-powered, 100 lb Interceptor of Punk Rocket Science, which despite 2 deployment computers and a chicken switch unfortunately did not have a good day.
As a first time Holtville Havoc treat, I gave each of the 47 pilots their own (short) blurb. Here goes no particular order:
Kenny Harkema - Nite launch fan, put up his scratch Funk Saucer design on an H160Skid. Also flew his scratch Blue-by-You on an I180, a couple other scratch scale rockets on H's and a super JART on an G138.
Bruce Dale - Flew a Madcow Prion on a J240Red and two LOC Hi-Tech designs on L1 motors.
Mike Caplinger - Put up his well-instrumented Dark Star on a K445, plus a couple of other rockets. Video sent out earlier.
Wayne Comfort - From his M1550R (Dark Star) to an Estes Majestic staging an F15 to an F15 (!), Wayne certainly showed us how its done. In between were an Xcelerator on a K815 skid, his Warp Core Breach on a J520skid, a couple I-impulse ships, an Estes Argent on an H115 Dark Matter and several others including his scratch Kick Asspire, launched to 6000+ feet on a pro29 G118.
Sharon Hodges - Launched her Stinger to 11,000+ feet on an M1297 (was this an L3? Perfect if it was). Also her Jimbo JART on a K456 Dark Matter, some smaller rockets on G's and an H.......and the smallest rocket of the launch, on a C6.
Val D - Put up a scratch on a J381, and gets an honorable mention for launching an Estes sumpthin on a 17 year old G33-7. Also launched his oldie Cosmodrome Nike Smoke and Public Enemy Fat Boy (H180).
Doug Kosty - Flew his scratch Astroknight on an I540, a Madcow design on an I297 skid, and a super DX3 on an H
Brian Gehrke - Down from Rancho Palos Verde. Launched his all-Madcow fleet on a J335Red, a J520skid and an I223skid.
Dave Nord - Put up his Madcow Black Brant on a K660, and a Madcow Patriot on an I540
Russ Sands - put his scratch-built 'Cthulu' through its paces ('Cthulu' - is this one of the bug planets in Starship Troopers?), first testing on an L1390 with empty outboard motor pods, then following with a central L2375 with 4 J400's around it. Everything performed perfectly!
Larry Hermanson - Good flights on his Darkstar 2.6 (I165) and Wild Phenix (J760). Also flew his Polecat Spike on a G80 (like he does at every launch).
Prez Scott Yeaton - Launched his green Rocketry Warehouse Sublime on a sublimely green K400, plus a DX3 on a I236.
Jim McKinley - Got a couple good flights on his 4" Polecat Goblin, on a J420 and an H242.
Ken So - From Mission Viejo, had some hard luck doing L1 on a DX3, with a separation and then a front closure failure, but got a good flight on the back-up DX3. Congrats on your L1 Cert.
Alex Jones - Down from Long Beach. Flew "The Schwartz" by Wildman (Dink) on a K740, and Go Devil on a J570. Also an Aerotech Mustang on a G64.
Cris Erving - From Glendora CA. Tried a 2-stager DoubleShot on a J595 to a J94, staged perfectly but booster came down chuteless and core sampled. Trying same rocket with K805 to J425 failed to stage properly, don't know the fate of the rocket. But a Punisher on a H115 Dark Matter did fine.
Bill Armstrong - Certified L1 in style with a Madcow Black Brant on an I599 (yikes!). Perfect. Congrats!
Josh Jirsa - Had fun with 3 perfect shots, a Nike Smoke on a G127, a Big Daddy on a pro24 F85, and a scratch rocket on a G85 green.
James Eadie (that's EE-DEE) - From Lompoc CA (that's LOM-POKE), put up a Blobbo on a G100 (wow, with a tracker aboard?), and had a good flight on a PML Endeavor with a rare Kosdon I560. Not such good luck on a scratch BumbleBee - 7xD12 cluster boosted perfectly but ejected the whole cluster instead of the chute. Survived to fly again, this time on a 7xE12 cluster, which unfortunately CATOed.
Larry Brand - launched a couple LPR wind sniffers trying for perfect weather, finally got it on Sunday, and launched his rebuilt scale Delta IV Heavy (3x4" tubes, 50" tall, 12 tube fins) on a K630 to 2258' with perfect ejection and deployment - FINALLY!
Warner Recabaren - Made a couple night flights on a scratch Funk Saucer with G80 and H115 sparky motors, and another on a G106 in his Madcow Pirate.
Mark Mitchell - Made a perfect L1 cert flight with an H100 in a Madcow Tembo.
Martin Mason - From Walnut CA. Made a perfect flight in his FreeMason on an H90
Albert Wen - From Irvine CA. Had a good flight of his scratch Hallelujah on a K555, incorporating airbrakes in the 25 lb 4x101" rocket (OK, what are the airbrakes for??).
Dave Cook - Had a perfect flight on his Punisher Sport on a G80skid.
James Chen - of Irvine, had a good flight of his scratch New Hope on an F36.
Giman Bull - Made 2 flights on G80's and flew an H140 in a LOC EZI65.
Graham Bull - Got 2 good flights on an H182 in a DX3 and an H238
Howard Smart - made 2 flights in his scratch Stars & Stripes, on a J210 and a J244, the last one lost in the boonies outside the fence, but eventually found. Also a G61 flight in a scratch rocket and an H123 flight in his PML Callisto.
Charlie D'Amico - Got in a couple flights of his home-brew TARC rocket, on F51's. Under "Recovery" on his flight card he listed "Teenage legs".
Bill Crabb - Made a couple of good flights, on his Giant Leap Vertical Assault with J240 and on his 18 lb Nike Smoke on a K805.
Paul Snow - tried for glory with his Big Lello (monument rocket) on a central K1999 and 4 I140 skids. Unfortunately, the central K-motor failed to light and the brief boost on only the outboard skids ended in a slow motion sideways descent to earth. Didn't seem hurt too bad, except for 2 crushed fins.
Dave Maurer - Good launch of his scratch Big Boy Bumble Bee on an I212.
Dan Diaz - Put up his DX3 on a G40-7.
Sam Mitchell - Successful flight of hs Honest John on an I180
Thomas Bouldin - Had 2 good flights, of a PML Quicksilver on a J500Green and a J540R-powered AAMRAM
Lawrence Siefert - Had 2 good launches of his DX3, on an I303 and an I470.
Anthony B. (last name?) - Another of the Walnut CA folks who came down. Certified L1, but from the flight card, I don't know the rocket or the motor. Congrats anyway.
Mark Filanc - Launched his 44 lb, 7.5" Polecat Nike Smoke on an L1150Red. I'm assuming it went OK.
Paul Valdes - Had a problem with his Initiator on an F14 - resulting in a lake stake.
David Garcia - Brought his Madcow Father Christmas and certified L1 with it using an H100. Congrats. From Holtville, BTW!
Frederic Raab - Made 2 test launches on his LOC Hi-Tech with G40-7's. The 3rd trial was his L1 cert attempt with an H125. Unfortunately, a separation occurred. Better luck next time.
Henry Wang - Flew his Aerotech Candy cane on a G80.
Callie Bauer - launched her Xcelerator on a J580smokysam
Punk Rocket Science - Giant Scale Interceptor! 100 lbs! M2000R power! Full dual deployment electronics plus a chicken switch for added insurance!
Mike Jerauld - Flew his Estes Parisian on a G100 and a scratch job on an I255
Todd Mullin - Came out after many years away from HPR, flying a BSD Diablo on a G69skid, a LOC weasel on a G55, an Aerotech Mustang on an E15, a King Kraken on a G67 (also built one for me that flew great) and a scratch Hovering Sombrero on an H400
Sorry if I forgot anyone, or screwed up the details - let me know.
On Friday we had a small potluck supper for the club and range set-up crew, which distinguished itself from all previous potlucks - we ate up all the food, all of it! All the chips and dip, all the salads, all the tri-tip and chicken breasts, all the desert cakes and cookies. We must have been hungry!
The raffle was simply amazing - even with 47 pilots and their families, many folks went home with some quality loot! A big thank you to all our raffle sponsors!
And an added thank you to the TARC teams and scout troops who spent Holtville Havoc with us - and who launched between them many more rockets than we did.
Here's a link to some great drone video!
Great Video of Mike Calingers Launch