Launch report for Holtville Havoc

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Wayco

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Comfort's Condo set up last weekend at a closed airport near Holtville, Calif. for the first "Holtville Havoc" launch, put on by Tripoli San Diego. We left Goodyear, AZ around 1:30 pm on Thursday and arrived at the launch site around 5:30, not a bad drive for our old GMC Sierra 4x4:


We parked on the cement, right next to AMW/Pro-X, who we had just seen at the TRA/PHX launch in Eagle Eye the previous weekend. There was some work to be done to level our spot, and Gloria had just the thing for Sharon, a mink coat and a snow shovel, which worked pretty good for the sand dune we had to move to park:

Nearby, the Marines were practicing landing their Osprey:


Friday morning, we pitched in to help set up the range, which was very well thought out by Paul Snow, the launch director. The low power pads were separate, with their own RSO/LCO. Two banks of HPR pads were set up for H & I motors, and two more banks for J & K motors, far enough apart that one bank could load and the other could launch. Behind that was a single bank with two club pads and my big pad for L motors. Then at the 500 ft. line was a single pad for M's. There was a tower at the 1000 ft. line for complex M's.
The system worked great, no lines at the RSO until Saturday afternoon, and plenty of pads to fly from. Launching started at 1 pm on Friday and I was ready with my "D" Region Tomahawk "Tommy Two" on an F35. Good flight to 1366 ft. recorded with my new Estes altimeter. Sharon flew next with her "Great Big Daddy", a stretched Estes Big Daddy on a G75 Metalstorm. It flew to about 2000 ft.
Did I mention that we were a little pressed for time, with just three days to get ready between launches? Sharon had very little time to prep rockets, spending most of her time in the office making money....
Me, on the other hand, spent those three days cleaning motor casings, building motors and cleaning and prepping avbays, along with re-packing the toy hauler with over 20 rockets.
Next up was my Estes Majestic on a G54. This is a good motor for that rocket, flying to 2201 ft. and a close recovery as the winds got lighter. Sharon came back with her "Wild Child", which she unleashed on a CTI H87 Imax. We put a little L. L. Electronics LF-2 tracker beacon on this rocket, and recovered it with no issues after a flight to 3673 ft. Not to be outdone, I pulled out my "Kick Asspire", a scratch built MD rocket based on the Apogee Aspire. It flew to 5409 ft. on a CTI G118 Blue streak. It was a bit longer on the recovery, but the LF-2 made it a sure thing. Both of us were racking up the miles, recovering on foot for most of our rockets.
My honey claims she isn't competitive, (as long a she is winning) so next up was her infamous "Jimbo Jart", distinguished by beating Wildman in a drag race. (She cheated) but that's another story. She flew it on a K456 Dark Matter, and it was a very impressive flight to 5925 ft.
Knowing I couldn't upstage that before the range closed, I put another motor in my Majestic and flew it with the booster using the black powder Estes F15-0/F15-6. I will only attempt this if the wind sock is still, which it was when my purple and silver Majestic launched slowly, majestically into the air, leaving the booster to tumble back down and break a fin (like it always does) and finally reached apogee at 2071 ft.
That's it for the small stuff, I will post more after dinner.
 

stealth6

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In case anyone around here doesn't know already, or doesn't get it......
Wayne & Sharon are living the dream......they got this thing figured out.

yep,
s6
 

Wayco

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Friday night the club put on a potluck dinner, our contribution was home-made organic banana bread. Other selections were much more popular, like the smoked mac and cheese Mark (Exactimator) made. He was kept busy all weekend running the low power pads, which were very well attended at the South end of the launch area.
After dinner we all sat around the campfire, which was contained in an old wash tub. We stayed up past our bedtime to share stories with all the new friends we had made. Up early the next morning, we went back to the wash tub and started another fire:


It was cooler on Saturday, with an overcast sky and some wind, but not bad. Sharon started off with her Aerotech Arreaux on another G75 metalstorm. This was a "wind dummy" flight to 1500 ft. and our first less than nominal flight. The G75 did not deploy the chute, despite it being right at the top of the tube and not restrained in any way. The rocket landed in a flat spin and cracked a fin. I flew my dual deploy Argent on an H115 Dark Matter to 2054 ft. with the main opening at 700 ft. and a close recovery. The wind started picking up over 10 mph. and the clouds were lowering, so the club put a hold on high altitude flights, which grounded Sharon's Blue Iguana. It simmed to just over 10k ft. on a K456. I flew my Blackstar Jr. on an I327 Dark matter to 4340 ft. and lost it in the overcast. Tracked it down with a half mile recovery to get my daily miles going.
There were three RW X-Celerators at the launch, my "Rapiditty", Marks "Fairly Fast Finch" and another gal that was the club presidents daughter, but I can't remember her name. We had discussed a drag race, but Mark was too busy at the low power launch area to fly, so I flew "Rapiditty" on a K815 Skidmark to 7678 ft. which was just below the clouds as far a I could tell. It was a fairly long recovery, with the winds around 15 mph. When I got back, I started the Eggfinder in my Red-Tailed Extreme, which is my L3 rocket. Sharon was watching the flights, and it looked like the clouds were lifting, so I hustled it out to the M line and flew it on an M1550 Redline. This is it's fifth flight on that motor, and the first time it showed some coning under thrust. Still got 13,188 ft. but we got the truck out for this recovery, the eggfinder said it was two miles East of the launch area. It had a Mobius camera, and if we can get it loaded up on U-tube, I will post it up later.
Sharon decided to scratch the Blue Iguana, and went over to the launch director and asked about flying one of our EX motors. That's when we found out that California has special rules regarding EX. It was not possible for the club to build a bunker and satisfy the rules, so no EX could be flown at their launches. That took three rockets off the list.
Despite the disappointment, Sharon hauled out her RW Stinger and flew it on an M1297 to 9942 ft. Here is the video she got:


There was a night launch scheduled later, but only for class 1 rockets. My only night rocket is "Warp Core Breach", a scratch built 3" rocket that weighs 12 lbs. and has 6 batteries and over 600 led lights. Several of the club members had seen it fly at the ROC launches in Lucerene, so they convinced me to fly it at dusk before the HPR waiver closed. It flies on a 38mm J520 skidmark usually makes it up to about 2400 ft. With the overcast conditions, it looked pretty good, but nothing like it would in the dark. We recovered it close by just as the sun set. Sharon had a couple of night flights planned, but her "Funk Saucer" had a lighting problem, so we scratched it and flew her other saucer, the "Snitch" on a C6-0. Two days of flying took its toll, and we retired without the campfire get-together.
Sunday morning, I went over to talk to Paul about flying my Estes Executioner for the morning wake up, he was OK with that, so I got it off around 8 am on another G75. Once again, the motor failed to deploy the chute, but I recovered it unharmed after it's flight to 2054 ft. I'm thinking we will be adding a bit more black powder to these motors when flying them in the larger volume rockets.
We had started packing up earlier, and continued tearing down the condo until they opened the range at 9 am. For my final flight, I pulled out my L1 rocket, "Duke Nukem", a LOC Nuke Pro Max that had been rebuilt several times. It was loaded with an I255 Red Lightning, and exceeded all my expectations by flying to 6385 ft. I never saw it after boost, and got a general direction with my CSI tracker to the Northeast. Sharon and I jumped in the truck and drove to the end of the runway, where we got a faint signal from our trusty LF-2 tracker, about a mile later we found Duke with the chute tangled in a barbed wire fence. I paced off the drag marks, and it was drug over 150 ft. before the fence stopped it.
We said our goodbyes to everyone that was left, and made our way home, with a tail wind and lots of good memories from this launch.

All in all, we flew 17 rockets in three days with two minor problems. During the two launches and the three days in between, I walked 72 miles and Sharon walked 62 miles and launched 40 rockets during six days of flying.

 

gdjsky01

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Fantastic report! More photos?

Thanks so much for taking the time.

Are you going to SpringFest?

Best wishes!
 

Exactimator

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Always good to see you guys.

Friday night the club put on a potluck dinner, our contribution was home-made organic banana bread. Other selections were much more popular, like the smoked mac and cheese Mark (Exactimator) made. He was kept busy all weekend running the low power pads, which were very well attended at the South end of the launch area.
It’s actually AWARD-WINNING smoked mac and cheese. I’m a level 3, you know. I gotta bring it with the food too. I partook of your organic banana bread. The problem with those potluck feasts is there’s so much food (primarily grilled meats) the desserts get ignored until people open up some room. Sometimes that's not until lunchtime the next day. When I do the potluck I feel like I’ve finished Thanksgiving dinner I’m so stuffed.

While I was stuck down at the LPR range making sure the scouts didn’t land shark a rocket up the flight line (they didn’t) and TARC teams didn’t splatter eggs all over the parking area (they didn’t), I was able to watch you guys launch your good stuff. I even pointed out your flights to the families launching on our gear. “See that one with the orange nose and fins? It’s gonna roar like it’s tearing the desert air.” And they’d pause to watch.


There were three RW X-Celerators at the launch, my "Rapiditty", Marks "Fairly Fast Finch" and another gal that was the club presidents daughter, but I can't remember her name. We had discussed a drag race, but Mark was too busy at the low power launch area to fly, so I flew "Rapiditty" on a K815 Skidmark to 7678 ft. which was just below the clouds as far a I could tell. It was a fairly long recovery, with the winds around 15 mph. When I got back, I started the Eggfinder in my Red-Tailed Extreme, which is my L3 rocket. Sharon was watching the flights, and it looked like the clouds were lifting, so I hustled it out to the M line and flew it on an M1550 Redline. This is it's fifth flight on that motor, and the first time it showed some coning under thrust. Still got 13,188 ft. but we got the truck out for this recovery, the eggfinder said it was two miles East of the launch area. It had a Mobius camera, and if we can get it loaded up on U-tube, I will post it up later.
President’s daughter’s name is Callie. Always good to have women in STEM. We need more.

I didn’t get a chance to launch, but I was totally okay with that. I watched a good show and had a great time evenings catching up with people like you guys. Gloria and Robert with AMW are always a kick. They brought a pork shoulder they smoked for something like 12 hours. Robert gave me a tour of the pellet smoker where they worked the magic. Good stuff.

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We said our goodbyes to everyone that was left, and made our way home, with a tail wind and lots of good memories from this launch.

All in all, we flew 17 rockets in three days with two minor problems. During the two launches and the three days in between, I walked 72 miles and Sharon walked 62 miles and launched 40 rockets during six days of flying.

I think it went well for the first regional rocket festival at the new location. I hear the officers were looking at a few minor tweaks for next year, but from where I could see it at the LPR section, it was a good launch.

Here’s a video of an air start cluster (not mine). You can see the back-up drogue charge fire in the slo mo part.
[video=youtube;AaVsHThAsXA]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaVsHThAsXA&feature=youtu.be[/video]
 

Wayco

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Fantastic report! More photos?

Thanks so much for taking the time.

Are you going to SpringFest?

Best wishes!
When we are in launch mode, the cameras are forgotten. If the rocket is set up for video, we will make sure it's working before the launch, but even that is iffy. Sharon did get the video of my M1550 Redline flight:


We probably won't be doing any more out of state launches this spring, just got a heads up from a big client that a MAJOR PROJECT is in the works. The down side of running your own business is that you have to step up when it gets busy. It's just Sharon and I, and I'm the staff. The good news is that our old GMC truck might be retired sooner than we had planned.
Hey Mark, it was good to see you again, and thanks for posting up. Now that we have experienced the "Havoc", it will be an annual event we won't miss. This launch is a real sleeper, and I'm thinking that in a few years it will be a major event that everyone will want to attend.
 

KenRico

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Here is our camp and the flightline..

WarnerR set us up with the commercial Shade .

Kenny

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terryg

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When we are in launch mode, the cameras are forgotten. If the rocket is set up for video, we will make sure it's working before the launch, but even that is iffy. Sharon did get the video of my M1550 Redline flight:


We probably won't be doing any more out of state launches this spring
Darn, I was looking forward to seeing your flights at the NSL.
 

Wayco

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Darn, I was looking forward to seeing your flights at the NSL.

That would be the exception, we signed up for this launch before the heads up, so Sharon says we are going. Hopefully, we can get the big project out before the end of May. Pretty much the end of the launch season for those of us in AZ.
 

terryg

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Great, really looking forward to the night launch as always. We are enough cooler in Tucson, that we launch year round (just going a lot slower and staying under the easy up as much as possible).
 

Exactimator

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robbdm, you should come out next year. Bring your X-Celerator. Maybe we can organize a 4-way X-Celerator contest. Something like fastest speed or highest altitude on a specific motor.

Here's a shot of Callie showing off her Moon Man version:

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