Launch Reports

December 2017 Launch Report
Holtville Havoc

Executive summary: Excellent weather, excellent rockets, excellent Osprey airshow, excellent potluck.


We had 19 rocketeers at the pilots meeting and 15 pilots logged flights on the cards. A total of 42 motors were burned over the weekend, including
one "L", two "K", 3 "J"s, 6 "I", 16 "H", 9 "G", a couple "F" and 3 "C"s. The fallout from the Cesaroni fire is at its maximum, but they are supposed to be back at 100% after the 1st of the year (we hope). With 38 rockets flown by 15 pilots, we averaged just over 2.5 rockets each, which sounds low but is actually pretty typical.

Big kahuna for the weekend was Mike Caplinger with 5 launches, including his impressive two-stage scale Atlas V on 4 x G reloads, which unfortunately still didn't get all 4 to light, and was retired (at least those parts that could be found). His Wildman Extreme fared better on a K540 to 3848' and he kept us entertained with two blue flashing night launches of his Subzero. Also impressive was Jim Deveau's 5.5" Polecat Smoke on an L990 and the team of Robert Morgan and Heather Parker whose 7 launches together included a couple flights of a Tethys on H and I power, a couple drag races, and a flight by a 44 year old (!) Century Centurion on a C6-3.

With 4 flights was Paul Snow, including a couple of his repaired (rebuilt?) 30-06 on H-motors and a flight with his Redeye on an I540. 4 members each made 3 flights each. Mike Veno made G, H, and I flights, including his IROC on a I218. Doug Kosty made 3 flights with his all "H" fleet including a couple on his ARCAS (H180 and H195NT). Val D. flew his classic Vaughn B.O.B. and Cosmodrome Nike Smoke on G-power and his Vaughn Javelin on an H165. Dave Nord's 3 flights included a neck-snapper of his Tomach on a K2045 and a flight of his Squat Heavy on a J240 with lead warhead to balance the thing.

Launching 1 or 2 for the weekend were: 1) Larry Brand with a good flight on his rocket glider on an F20 and a not-so-good flight of his scale 4" Delta 4 Heavy on a J355, which went up OK, ejected OK, but tangled the chute (again) and went in sorta ballistic, cratering; 2) Clarence Legg with two flights, a DX3 and a Phoenix on a I180, 3) Jason Roland's two, including a Madcow Smoke on a G115, Mark Treseder's DX3 on H-power and Little John on I566, Larry Hermanson on his Wildman Drago with J760 and Lawrence Siefert who flew his Super DX3 on an I125 (when he wasn't overseeing the Scout troop).
At mid-day, the Marines made a couple brief overflights in Ospreys, but the real show was in the evening, where they stayed for a couple three hours or so, shooting landings in the dark. We had our usual wonderful potluck, including tri-tip steak, fried rice, pulled pork, cole slaw, salad, cookies, assorted chips and dip, and John Bowman's ultra-spectacular blueberry cobbler.

We will have scout troops joining us for the most of the rest of the season, thanks to Dave Nord's efforts. Motor vendor at the March (Holtville Havoc), April and May launches. Beginning with the next launch, we are going to modify the range set-up to facilitate getting trailer haulers and simplifying the whole process - details still gelling, but we will now set up far fewer spider pads from the trailer, and plan on Sunday being a bucket launch, so trailer can be taken back Saturday afternoon. As always, pad arrangement will be flexible, so if you are launching something BIG, let the club know in advance so we are sure to bring out the hardware you need. Same for Sunday.

All for now. January launch is Jan. 6-7. Weather forecasts and launch announcements start after the Christmas holiday. Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukkah to all!

Larry B.