Skybusters, NAR #535

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Launch Reports

Launch Report for GLRMR-I (Saturday, 05/05/2001)

On May 05, 2001 the Tri-City Sky Busters, NAR #535, held their first annual Great Lakes Regional Meet Revisited rocket launch at their Amherst, OH field. The field, 1/2 hour west of Cleveland, OH, has a 5200 foot waiver. This was the first revival of the regional launches held in NE Ohio during the 1970's and 80's that eventually led to LDRS 1- 5, held in Medina, Ohio beginning in 1982. Les Kramer, president of the Tri-City club, has hopes for this annual launch of becoming a major event in northeast Ohio. Based on the turnout this day, his projections appear to be right on the mark!

This day began cool and breezy and progressed to down right windy! NE Ohio rocketry at its finest. At least the rains had passed through the day before and kept us dry. The marginal weather did not, however, deter brave flyers from four states from arriving early in the morning and flying many rockets. These rocketeers contributed to make GLRMR-I a complete success! Looking back at the flight line from the away cells, it was great to see the long line of cars, tents, flyers, vendors and spectators and to reflect on the history that made what we do today possible.

It was fitting that two of the original founders of LDRS, Chris Pearson of Ohio and Jim Backlas of New York, were on hand and flew rockets. Our hats all go off to these 'early pioneers' of organized model rocketry for their efforts and vision which have allowed us to enjoy this hobby, and often obsession, the way that we do. Thank you!

What a spectator could not see this morning were the hours of preparation and planning that go into making an event like this possible: securing the field, obtaining the proper waivers, contacting vendors, advertising, preparing food (you get hungry flying), getting together all the proper launchers, rods, rails, controllers, wiring, batteries, and tools (more than the usual launch). Without the efforts of these volunteers pursuing our passion of flying would not be possible. A special thank you goes out Heidi Kramer who, with the able help of her kids Alex and Jessica, ran the registration tent and prepared the excellent food that was enjoyed by many throughout the day!

The inaugural flight of GLRMR-I began a little after 9:00 in the morning with Jerry Appenzeller's SM3 Seahawk on an E28-4. Unfortunately, the Seahawk suffered a separation during deployment. Jerry would fly three more flights during the day including the successful Level 1 flight of his Patriot on an H128W. Certification flights were also made by Kevin Cook (Level 2) who flew his rocket appropriately named The Money Pit on an Aerotech J350W and by Frank Fire (Level 1) flying his PML Small Endeavour on an AT H128W for a great flight and recovery. Congratulations all and welcome to high power!$!$!

Dennis Bova burned some serious AP including a scratch built rocket from LOC parts flying on an Aerotech J350W, and what Dennis calls "the worlds' first rubber rocket". It is based upon LOC 3" tubing covered with rubber hypolon roofing material. The rubber rocket flew successfully on an Aerotech I300.

Elijah Bruin made the trip from western New York to attend this inaugural launch. Elijah is a member of the Buffalo Rocket Society and flew several rockets on 'J' class motors. Most notable was his 4" diameter Stealth Kitbash on a Kosdon J250. What a great motor and flight!

Paul Bixler was busy launching six flights during the day, all in the E to G range. Paul was part of a contingent of flyers from Erie, PA that provided many exciting flights, including Duane Wilkey's dual deployment Binder Design 'Sentinel' on an Aerotech J350W. The participation of all visiting NAR and Tripoli members was appreciated and we look forward to reciprocal visits to their home fields in the future.

Greg Shadle's LOC Magnum made its maiden flight on an Aerotech I435. Unfortunately this beautiful rocket failed to deploy its recovery system and core sampled. Sorry, Greg.

Ross Dunton of Magnum, Inc. provided a steady flow of AP and supplies during the day. Ross has had a busy spring attending launches in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Michigan as well as organizing and supplying the Goraj launches at his home field. We welcomed the availability of an on-site vendor and appreciated the donations Ross made to our raffle. It sure makes it convenient to be able to purchase motors and supplies right at the field. Thanks Ross!

Barry "the DOC of LOC" Lynch made several flights with, oddly enough, all LOC kits or parts. Barry is one of the great guys of rocketry and it is good to see him doing so well in his new role as owner of LOC Precision. We always look forward to seeing him at our launches.

Mark and Josh Hanna combined for six flights including a drag race between Mark's LOC Legacy and Josh's PML Cirrus Dart. Both rockets flew on Aerotech G35-7's. No feedback on who won. Josh also had on display his 9" diameter Phoenix that he has been working on for the better part of a year. He plans to certify Level 3 with it in July at this years NYPOWER in Geneseo, New York. Good luck on your attempt, Josh!

Mike Leffler, visiting from the Mantua Township Missile Agency (NAR 606) flew a Hawk Mountain AMRAAM utilizing dual deployment (a good idea in windy conditions) on an H123J. This kit is made almost entirely out of G10 and G12 fiberglass, including the couplers. A Transolve P6 altimeter deployed the main chute at 400' for a safe recovery. Mike was not alone from the MTMA club. Mark Recktenwald was accompanied by his sons, Adam and Brian, and together accounted for 10 flights! It seemed like at any given time one of their rockets was in the air. Way to go, guys! Also from the Mantua club was Stan Mikush flying his LOC Laser on one of my favorite motors, an Aerotech H180. Thank you MTMA for your participation.

Marty Dorociak attempted a launch of his Lasersonic Mach 4.0 rocket on a HyperTEK J300. After filling the flight cylinder with liquid Nitrous Oxide and pressing the launch button, the plastic fuel grain fractured destroying the booster section. Pieces of the fuel grain that were recovered are being tested to determine if there were micro-fractures or cracks present before launch. Marty's Lasersonic was one of the most well crafted rockets that I have seen. It was a shame to see it go as it did that afternoon. Most of us expect that if something is going to go wrong, it is going to happen in the air, not sitting on the pad. Sorry, Marty.

Below is the breakdown of the flights launched during the event. Given the wind it was amazing that we were able to launch so many rockets. Thanks go out to everyone who helped to make this inaugural launch a success. Thanks go out to Les, who with the able help of the Tri-City faithful, pulled together to create a great event. Special thanks go out to all who contributed the photos used in this report. See you all at GLRMR-II next spring!

GLRMR-I Summary and Statistics

Registered Flyers: 46 from six clubs in three states

Total Flights: 109

Motors Used:

1/4A - 1
1/2A - 3
A - 4
B - 7
C - 19
D - 8
E - 7
F - 8 (1 F cluster)
G -17
H -18
I - 8
J - 8
HyperTEK J's - 2

Most Flights of the Day:

Jared Smitko 7
Paul Bixler 6
Mark Coburn 5
Dave Shaeffer 5

Dan Ledenican, Reporting

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