Launch Report METRA April 17 and 18

The Metropolitan Rocketry Association, Tripoli Prefecture #94 held its first
commercial launch of the year Saturday and Sunday (April 17 & 18) at our
spacious range located on a sod farm near Wawayanda, NY (about 40 miles NW
of NYC). In addition to our New York / New Jersey core, we drew flyers from
Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.
It was a beautiful spring weekend in Southern New York State-mostly sunny
skies with temperatures in the 70's. Saturday was breezy, steady winds 10 to
15 mph. The winds were more favorable on Sunday, about 5 mph for most of the
day with some periods of dead calm.
Because of the winds, Saturday was a light flying day. A highlight was Jeff
Taylor's Loki Research Demonstration I450 motor, a 38mm full I with bright
blue flame. This motor rocks! Also notable were the extreme Estes Black
Brant flights by Gene Costanza and yours truly. Gene's was fiberglassed and
modified with 29mm motor mount. Except for an extended 24mm motor mount and
some nose weight, mine was stock. Both were finished in scale colors; Gene's
had the perfect paint job. Gene flew his on an Aerotech G80. Mine went on an
Ellis Mount G37. Both flew well out of sight and were given up for lost. But
later a group of teenage fliers, with the help of a neighboring landowner,
found both 200 feet from each other about a mile away and in perfect
Sunday was a nostalgic day for METRA. All three past Prefects, Denis Luoni
(1996-1998), Randy Hensz (1999-2000), and Dennis Lappert (2001-2003) along
with Ray Chabot, our current Perfect, were present. Kevin Cuomo had the
first flight of the day. Kevin's 6 inch, scratch-built Archer-6 lifted-off
on an Aerotech K1275R the air-started two I211W's. It carried a min-DV
camcorder for on-board photos, an RDAS for air-start/primary recovery, and a
Perfectflite for redundancy. A beautify flight to 4300 feet and landing 100
feet from the pad. There were may great flights and a few spectacular CATOs.
We had four successful Level I certification flights over the weekend. John
Hooker certified flying a LOC Norad on an AT H220. Steve Schwartz flew his
3-inch scratch-built Rakon-1 on an Aerotech H165R for his Level I. Rod
Thrasher (see Diary of a Rookie, HPR December 2003) certified with his
Public Enemy Extreme Performer on an Aerotech I195J. And Al Gloer flew a PML
Mini-BBX on an H50 for his Level I. Congratulations to all.
The club wishes to thank all the members and non-members that helped launch
set-up, tear-down or performed range duty. Particular thanks goes to Izzy
Gurler for his work on the launch system, Ed Enyart-sore back and all-didn't
flying rockets but worked hard as always setting-up and tearing-down BOTH
DAYS, and to Gene Costanza-LCO extraordinaire-for marathon LCO shifts (ya
gotta love Gene). Also working range duty were Rich Kroboth, Bobby
Buchalski, Dennis Lappert, Stewart Gibson, Bob DeRosa, Al Gloer, Greg Paul,
Rick DeFonce, Chris Masullo, Steven Otte, Nick Colesanti, David Thompson,
Jim Seifeld, Joe Genuardi, and Brian Bennewitz.
We logged 150 flights over both days. The flight count by impulse was:
½ A 3
A 0
B 8
C 7
D 15
E 4
F 26
G 35
H 19
I 22
J 9
K 0
L 2
Fred Taverni
METRA Secretary
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Fred Taverni
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Only 'cause you painted it, Fred! Fred T. is the premiere paint guru!
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