CAP 11-7-04 Launch w/PARA

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Sep 22, 2009
Reaction score
Well yesterday, 11-7-04, our Civil Air Patrol squadron attended a Launch with PARA. This was so our cadets would have the chance to launch rockets and complete a step towards earning their model rocketry badge. We had 11 cadets come, and burnt some 25+ A through C motors in a bunch of Quest Gamma Rays that we had built at our meeting the Tuesday before. As the Aerospace Sergeant I organized and helped the cadets build their rockets, and taught a bunch of classes about the history of rocketry and how rockets work over the past two months. For the most part things went well for the cadets launching, a few of them brought other models that they already had, including a Blue Ninja, Chrome Dome, and Sky Winder. I, of course, brought a box full of rockets but didn’t get to fly most of them. As a matter of fact I only got in four flights, and had some cadets fly a kit bashed Gamma Ray of mine (extended it with an extra BT and payload, using two extra transitions).

This pic is of the cadets, and some rockets.
So first up for me was my Gamma Ray, I didn’t bother to look for it much but someone else brought it back later. As soon as that flew I grabbed my motor box that I keep all my composites in and started to load a G33-7 to fly my PML 2” AMRAAM.
I loaded it up, packed the ‘cute said a little prayer and was off to the pad. Most of the corn is still up at PARA’s field, and I didn’t have a beeper but the wind was blowing away from the corn. Countdown, no go, went out to the pads and the clips had moved and were touching. Some masking tape fixed that and next time the copperhead fired it up right away (amazing!). Beautiful flight, only black Jack flown all day and the cadets really liked it:) Of course it came down right in some trees maybe 30ft from us, but it came all the way through! Recovered and all was well.
Pic: A2 liftoff.
Next up was Psychedelic, a tube finned rocket I slapped together a few months ago but hadn’t had the chance to fly yet. It has a 24mm mount, and I decided it was going to fly or die on an F21-8. It swung tested fine, but I wasn’t so sure. Anyhow they called it a ‘heads up’ flight and hit the button… up up and away! Straight as an arrow. Ejected a bit past Apogee, and the tracking powder I put in it left a really nice cloud in the sky. It was my first time using the stuff, but I picked it up at a dollar store so I gave it a shot. I figure it hit about 1800ft. it came down on its large streamer fairly well, but waaay down range. From where we were we could see that the streamer wrapped itself around some power lines:( I didn’t bother to take the hike to look at it and decided I’d look at it later. But, instead, someone brought it back! When the streamer wrapped around the line the shock cord was apparently still free, and it just ripped the streamer off! I was very happy.
Pic: Psychedelic, just finished, with some of the stuff I used to paint it.
Pic: Psychedelic liftoff on F21-8W. Larger flame than I expected, I like the motor but their a bit pricy!
Pic: Psychedelic Ejection. Can’t see the rocket well, but the tracking powder sure shows up!
Last up was Cadet. I started this rocket last spring sometime, and I hadn’t launched it yet. I cleaned up my casing from launching my A2 and loaded up a G64-7. This was a scratch built 2.1” OD by 5’ long rocket; with an NC I turned myself out of foam and all… I really put allot of work into it. It’s the largest rocket I’ve flown to date, and my first 29mm scratch build. It weighed in at 1.7lbs, and I had 2’ of Kevlar from the MMT and 20’ of 9/16” TN in it. I put a 36” ‘cute from Neil in it, and put her up on the pad. First time around the copperhead fired and didn’t light the motor. They were old motors, but I sanded the grain a little because I’ve heard that’s supposed to help… I loaded in another copperhead and this time it lit. Smoked a little on the pad then roared to life for the most awesome flight I’ve ever had. It wobbled a teeny little bit off the rod, but straightened out fast. My previous flights had all weather cocked some, so they landed on the field, but I guess this was moving fast enough and had small enough fins that it went almost straight up. Arched over at, I think, around 1600’. It was almost out of sight, and you can’t see it at all in the vid I took between motor burnout and deployment. Any how Neil’s ‘cute came out and opened up and right away I knew it was going to stay up longer than I wanted…

Pic: Me next to Cadet on the pad… I look weird in this pic, but who cares it’s the rocket that’s important!
It drifted about a mile, I’d say, over some fields and a pond and a highway and some houses into some woods behind the houses. I ran, and had my eyes on it till it disappeared over some trees. I just kept going, went under two electrical fences and then across some peoples yards and through some woods that were posted (not smart, but nothing came of it). The guy who came all the way with me and I were looking around right where we knew it had disappeared, and finally he spotted the 36” bright yellow ‘cute, some 50-60’ (maybe even more) up in a tree. In a There was no way I could climb it, though I tried to figure out a way. A whole buncha people come around and looked at it, but no one could figure out a way to get it down :( :( :(
Pic: Cadet drifting off. It’s just a teeny tiny dot!
So, it’s still swinging in the tree. The best thing I could figure out would be to take a shotgun out there and try to blow the TN to bits, but it’s not in an area where I think shooting would be appreciated.
So my 29/40-120 case and my favorite rocket are in a tree. I even had everyone from my squadron sign it! It’s always those ones you really don’t want to lose that end up being eaten. My PH# is on the TN, so if it comes down hopefully someone will call me. I also gave my PH# to some guy who was walking buy, and asked him to please call me if anything came down.

Pic: Cadet in tree… I zoomed my camera almost all the way in to take this pic, its way up there!
OK, that’s enough of my bemoaning my rocket...

On a lighter note, here's the final pic of a bunch of Cadets loading up the pads, and others looking for their rockets in the background:) nothing like a buncha kids flying their first rockets! A few of them even said they would like to go again, I’ll hafta see if I can arrange it ;) :D
Pity about the chute... At least it worked! Well, maybe that isnt such a good thing... If it didnt work, youd at least have something salvageable from the lawn-dart.

Sounds like you had a good time other than that, though. Thats good.
Dang, sorry to hear about that rocket getting hung up like that. It sounds like you guys had a few close calls and finally a disaster. On a positive note, there is still a good chance of retreiving that casing if the weather decided to decay the rocket.

All in all it looks like you guys had a great time out there! I don't know that I could come back and be as optimistic or pleasant. Thanks for sharing. Great pics too.
We did have a blast:) A few cadets even said they would like to go back, if I could get it together...

Not much of a chance of getting the casing back i don't think. its bolted into the PML MMT, wich is atached to kevlar epoxied to the mmt, atached to 20' of TN and a 36" ripstop 'cute, atached to the upper BT. I may get teh NC back, and parts of the BT as they decay, but nothing worth too much.
Besides its mostly the time i put into the rocket...

I'm starting to look into what were going to do next year, instead of Quest stuff I'm leaning twoards trying to get my squadron to pick up a box of Triskelions... we'll see how it goes ;)