Anyone had recent AT E30 CATO problems?

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Well-Known Member
Jan 17, 2009
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I had an AeroTech E30-4T burn thru the side wall this past Saturday.
You can read the gory details in the HERC 7/17 thread under Events, but
here's the photos-

<a href="">Fin can</a>

<a href="">Motor hole</a>

This was a brand new motor, straight from the package to the MMT.

I've already filled out a MESS report and I'll be contacting AeroTech, but
I wanted to find out if anyone else was having problems.

I just hope this is not a 'post-fire, rush-to-production' trend... :(
At the CMASS launch we had about 10 CATOs in 545 flights.

Some that I witnessed were:

A H-class Redline burnthrought on a brand new 29/180 Dr. Rocket case. Serious damage to rocket.

The same thing happened to another H-class Redline in a 29/240 case. This one happened in a 3 motor cluster, and actually looked like 3 airstarts as the flame pulsed through the outboard booster during the ascent. Rocket recovered ok with damage to the outboard booster and fins.

A G64 CATO in RMS 40-120 case (it looked like the delay column failed) and rocket burned on pad.

A F21 CATO (might have been an F20) spit out a nozzle and propellant grain upon ignition. No damage to rocket.

A PRO38 blew out a nozzle inflight causing a lawndart for 2000 ft.

A couple of Estes motors CATOed.

Bob Krech
I once had an E30 that had a large crack in the casing and I could actually see the forward bulkhead through it.

Fortunately, I caught it before I used it. I notified my on-site dealer whom I had purchased it from and he replaced it free of charge.

Good thing or I would have been out one Art Applewhite oddroc.:rolleyes:

Now I always check the external surface of my SU motors to make sure there are no cracks and I would reccommend to anyone who uses AT SU motors do this as well.
I had a CATO with an old 24mm F72. None of the propellant lit. Destroed the rocket though. The same thing happened with an old f20. Both times Aerotech was kind enough to send us both new kits.