OK, I finally made it to Level 1...
I ended up using my PML Black Brant Vb on an H128W-S, instead of my previously planned 1/4 Scale Patriot (due to field/rocket size). The Patriot was too heavy to launch at that field without a waiver, but the Black Brant Vb worked out great. The Patriot will probably end up being my Level 2 rocket...
Because of all the rains lately, I had to fly it 'naked' (no low humidity days when I was free to paint), but the rocket was ready to go. Andy Woerner was my cert guy (thanks, Andy!), and went over the rocket pretty thoroughly. As this was my first PML piston rocket, I wanted to make sure that the piston was sliding okay, but Andy said it was great.
My Black Brant was slightly heavier than stock, due to using foam in the fin-can area, a larger chute, and the AeroPack retainer/adapter setup (my BB is 38mm, but I used the 29mm H128). It weighed in (dry) at about36.5 oz, and the RockSim prediction was for about 1700 feet (which was probably about right). There was a very slight breeze at launch, so I angled the rod a couple of degrees, but frankly I should have left it alone, as it probably would have come down right by the pad, otherwise. It would seem that the recommended delay for the BB is the 'medium' delay, but after doing the RockSim, it appeared to me that the 'short' delay would be best, and sure enough, it was just about perfect.
The only 'problem' I had was due to angling the launch rod -- I had a close call with it landing within about 20 feet of the water's edge, which would have negated my 'safe recovery' requirement if it had landed in the bay. There was absolutely no damage to anything, and frankly it was ready to go again immediately, but I decided to stick with some smaller modrocs for the remainder of the morning.
I'm hoping to qualify for level 2 very soon, so that I can help out at the NSL in May.
Thanks to everyone who has given me advice on getting to this point, it was much appreciated.
David Erbas-White NAR 77073 LEVEL 1 (yeah!!!)