TMO/Goraj launch report of 05-16-2004. Location: Michael's farms south of Urbana, Ohio. Waiver to 9300'AGL.
The weather was miserable on Saturday and the launch was cancelled. However there were several fliers from out of state that drove in and stayed to see if Sunday's weather would cooperate.
There was still a low ceiling and mist at 6:30 am. But absolutely no wind. Our Prefect Gary Dickinson made the decision to set up at 10am based on the forecast for clearing skies by noon.
No way to set up at the primary launch site because of mud. However we did set up due east in a bean stubble field. People started coming and we eventually had about thirty or forty cars with fliers and observers strung out on the road.
The ceiling started lifting ever so slowly about 11:30 or so. The first flight of the day was at exactly noon. And we were off to the races!
The sky continued to clear. We had a total of 57 flight cards with 71 motors burned until 6pm. 34 were high power motors, (H thru M). It seemed that we just ran out of motors. No one had anything else to fly even though the weather was perfect. There were 5 Pro38's, 2 Pro54's and 2 AMW's K motors. The rest of the high power motors were AeroTech reloads including a M-1939.
Dennis Bova from NE Ohio was the first flight and he lit up a AT J-350 in an IROC. He came back later and did it again on a Cesaroni Pro-54 3grain J295. He also hit a K-650SS Pro-54 in his scratch built I-I-I Rock!
In the high power flights of particular note, Don Williams flew several spectacular rockets. His modified Magnum had a central AMW K-1000 skidmark and airstarted two H-268'and then two H-128's. The skidmark is truly an awesome motor. Lots of smoke, roar & fire! He came back to the pads later on a L-3 cert attempt. An AT M-1939 off the pad to 6600'. Unfortunately all the laundry was out at apogee. No damage however and it was recovered about 200 yards from the pad. I look forward to seeing Don fly it again.
Don's flying buddy Mike Fraley flew a 6lb rocket on an AMW K-950 ST. It got up fast and was projected to 8000'. It probably went mach. But something very bad happened. The chute was stripped and it came in hard and fast about a 1/4 mile away. Mike got back the most everything, but it was not in the same condition as it went up. He said that he will do it again with another rocket soon.
The birthday boy, Tony Sanfilippo from Dearborn, Michigan came with Joe Fuller and his son to fly his 3" 6 tube fins rocket named "Totally Tubelar" on a AT J-570. Pow. Up into a perfect blue hole in the sky. It landed about 50 yards from the pads. Joe flew also. A PML Bull Puppy on a G-64 and Tony's Tubelar on a H-180.
Several successful certification flights were accomplished. Level one certs by David Tietz in a PML Endeavor on a I-161. He came back and did his Level2 in the same rocket with a J-350. Pat Chiles Stovi "Russian Menace" on a H-165R was successful also. Ed Hingsbergen launched a PML IO to success with a AT H97J. Congratulations to all.
Jim German still does not know how to build a real rocket. He brought his new "Schnozzola" nose cone. 40" tall and 8" diameter and 9#'s to approximately 2100' on a J-420R. Close to the pad recovery. And then he loaded a J-415 in his 12# "Litttle Screamin' Wedgie" to 1800'. Way cool, but he does not use any of our waiver!
Todd Knight, our newest L-3 flier flew his "Naked Ariel" on a Pro-38 H153. And then flew a Public Enemy Performer on a J-350.
As usual, Jay Berry and Lee Berry flew and flew and flew. They burned every thing from Jay's "Sky Dancer" on a cluster/staged D12's to C6's to an E9. And Lee launched "AIM 120" on a I284. And thank you to them for allowing us to use their low power pad.
Our Prefect Gary Dickinson, flew his new "Whizzer" on a AMW K670GG. He was using a new nose cone deployment system. Flawless recovery.
We had a lot of "new/old" friends that came to fly. They were from out of state and out of town. John Chakeres,Terry Bush, Mark Bostleman, Todd Smith, Bob Jackson, Earl Myers, Bill Huber, Sheri Cartwright, David Page and Jalena Wilson were fliers also. We hope to see them again soon.
And the McNeely family from Enon, Ohio was there and gave a good show. Amy McNeely was our most prolific flier with 6 flights! Kyle flew "Stormcaster". Scott McNeely, our resident video guru, flew a Vulcanite H76 on a H238. A bit of a problem with the video, but a recovered rocket. And last but not least, dad, Charles McNeely also flew a H238 in a Loc IV.
A thank you to Mel from Magnum. She came to the site with food and drink. It is nice to be able to get a bottle of water, cup of coffee or soda at the site. She also had sandwiches and chips and stuff. She said that she will be back at our June launch.
Ross from Magnum was at the launch for a bit. And Lance from Merlin Missle Solutions were on site vendors. It is nice to have motors and parts available at the launch.
Thanks to all for any and all help with the set up and tear down. Everyone did a great job of picking up any trash, whether it was ours or not. I am sure that the Michaels' farm owners appreciate our due diligence.
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Until we see you at the "new" TMO launch site, fly high and fly safe.