Challenger June 13th Launch - Needville TX

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Jan 27, 2009
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Launch Date: Saturday 6/13 - Robert's Ranch @ Needville TX

Temp: 96, Winds: SE 10-20

First off the pad was Scott's Goliath "Pinkie" on a C6 as a sacrificial rocket. Unfortunately this sacrifice was rejected by the Rocket Gods and the rocket was recovered. Then Mikus with an Alpha IV on a B6 that recovered in the primary field. Next up was Peter with a gorgeous purple Baby Bertha on an A8 with another nominal flight. Mikus was up again with a Rubicon on an E9 which suffered the first mishap of the day when the Estes rubber shockcord separated in mid-recovery. The body was recovered uprange in the SW field while the nose cone and parachute landed by the pad. The Rubicon only suffered, surprise, a broken off fin and will fly again, but the Rocket Gods were still not satisfied. So Scott attempted to follow with a Swing-Wing Transport which also suffered a malfunction and blew it's ejection charge on the ground. Needing to recover, Peter then sent up a Big Daddy on a D? for a nice nominal flight. Scott followed with a Defender on an A8 for a 2nd straight nominal flight to recover his Mojo. Mikus then came back with an Eliminator on an E9 for a 3rd consecutive nominal flight and Challenger was back in the saddle, for awhile at least. Next up after a little rail button install work was Jesse with a Big (Bad) Bertha on an Aerotech D13 and a perfect flight. After another great flight from Peter with a Tomahawk on an E9, Scott attempted a PD flight using a Sizzler on an A8 and even with the gusting wind set a mark of 41 seconds. The next flight was spectacular as Jesse attempted to fly one of his birds with a Loki G motor. Unfortunately the rocket only got about 10 ft off the pad before the ejection charge blew, sending the rocket cartwheeling through the sky before separating into 2 pieces. The upper section recovered nicely under parachute from about 50-60 ft off the ground while the lower half plummeted to the ground. The subsequent inspection revealed that the motor had CATO'ed and the casing had a large chunk missing fron the side next to the forward closure. Jesse says the bird will fly again after repairs, but the casing is history. Hoping not to follow in Jesse's footsteps, Mikus put his yellow & black Madcow Mozzie up on a G64 for another good flight which drifted and came in just over the fence in the NE field. David then showed up with what would have been his entry in the Challenger Sectional Sports Scale competition, a beautiful Vostok that was too pretty to fly. But fly it is exactly what David did with a D12 for a good flight. David also put up a Black Brant II on an E9 for another nominal flight. Jesse then put up his Big Bertha again on another D13 and had another great flight. Mikus followed with his Initiator on a G76, gotta love those Mojave Greens. But unfortunately the parachute became detached during recovery taking the attached beeper on a prolonged flight back to Houston I think. Fortunately the nose cone stayed with the rest of the rocket and only one fin was dislodged when the body tumbled back to Earth - it will fly again. Then showing the rest of us how it is done, Michael put up an Eggscalibur on a D12 with a very nervous, medium-sized Eggstronaut aboard - but there would be NO scrambled eggs served today. But the Rocket Gods are a fickle bunch and Michael's Super Neon SD attempt on an E9 was lost in the sky, never to be seen again... until David found it an hour or so later. But unfortunately, since nobody could see it land, no time was recorded. Trying to shake off the funk, Michael put up his PD attempt with a Firestreak on an A10T. This time we could see the body as it plummeted to the ground but the nose cone and parachute were given to the Sorghum by the Rocket Gods. But Peter got us back on track with a Big Bertha on a C6 for another perfect flight. Peter then followed it up with the only staging attempt of the day, a Loadstar on a C6/A8 combo. With that much wind speed the windcocking was severe but the sustainer was recovered in the SW field without damage. Peter then finished his day with another perfect Tomahawk flight on a E9. Then the only Blue Ninja drag race of the day was held with D12-5's powering the flights for Michael and Mikus. Both rockets were recovered in the SW field and Michael was awarded the victory, 2-1. Frustrated by the CATO of his earlier flight, Jesse recovered with a nice LOC HighTech flight on a G76 Mojave Green. Mikus ended his day with an F39 in his new Super Big Bertha that had too big of a parachute on it and drifted one row past the road into the Sorghum field - a big thanks to Michael and family for recovering the bird... and Mikus. The final launch was somebody new, sorry I didn't catch the name, who launched an Astrovision on a C6 - right into the Sorghum field. But fortunately after a long search they were able to locate and retrieve the bird from the midst of the waist-high foliage - a very impressive accomplishment. We wrapped up about 5PM.

27 Launches, 1 CATO, 3 Recovery System Failures = 85.2% Nominal Flight Rate

Impulse Launched: 4A, 2B, 4C, 7D, 6E, 1F, G4

Drag Race King of the Hill: Michael
A Parachute Duration King of the Hill: Scott
E Streamer Duration King of the Hill: Michael