# Lost rockets

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#### RodRocket

##### Well-Known Member
I know it happens and it will happen to us all. But I'm seeing more and more, " if i lose the rocket oh well", really? When I lose a rocket I'm mad. I put time and effort into that. And now it's gone. I make every effort to find them. Coming up will all sorts of ways to help find em. I try to build each rocket a little better than the last one. Maybe try a different adhesive. Or play with a design. Open rocket has helped, but it only gets close. The rocket gods are in charge when the button is pushed. It's up to me to try and keep them from stealing it.

#### Bat-mite

##### Rocketeer in MD
I guess it depends on what your goals are. I hate losing rockets, too, but it was a lot easier losing $20 rockets than it is losing$1000 rockets.

#### Tramper Al

##### Well-Known Member
Trees. Because parachutes.

The cool Jolly Logic Chute Release I recently bought gives me an idea. It would be a locking ring (paper clip sized) of some kind with a very cheap timing devise incorporated (or a spring windup like a kitchen egg timer. You click it shut before launch, thus linking your three major free fall components - rocket body, nosecone, and parachute. 5 or 10 or 30 minute later, it just automatically opens, comes apart, and if the parachute happens to be hung up high in a tree, the rocket body and nosecone would harmlessly fall those last few feet to earth - where you'd either be waiting for them already or would have a much easier time spotting them. Then I would mainly be losing just parachutes.

The low tech version of this has my shock cord mount (of folded card stock and wood glue) disintegrating after a few days of wet weather. But all the paper and wood parts are often pretty much ruined too by that point.

#### r66astro

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
My minimum Mustang is 60 feet in a tree top. Is it lost? Happened Sunday at Tampa. I can see, is it still lost?

#### Bat-mite

##### Rocketeer in MD
My minimum Mustang is 60 feet in a tree top. Is it lost? Happened Sunday at Tampa. I can see, is it still lost?
Not lost, but it has changed ownership. :wink:

#### Peartree

##### Cyborg Rocketeer
Staff member
Global Mod
I have a couple two stage rockets that sit in the box every launch because I just can't bring myself to risk losing them.

Someday...

#### MALBAR 70

##### More Rockets Than Room
TRF Supporter
I find the harder I try to "loose" a rocket, the closer to the pad it recovers.

#### watheyak

##### Barnstormer
TRF Supporter
This hobby is really just about trying as hard as possible to lose your hard earned money and sweat equity in the most efficient and spectacular means possible. The butterflies and adrenaline release this causes are the payoff.

Somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but some reality here as well.

If I get it back, it's a bonus. If not, oh well. Acceptance is a key to happiness.

#### ksaves2

Trees. Because parachutes.

The cool Jolly Logic Chute Release I recently bought gives me an idea. It would be a locking ring (paper clip sized) of some kind with a very cheap timing devise incorporated (or a spring windup like a kitchen egg timer. You click it shut before launch, thus linking your three major free fall components - rocket body, nosecone, and parachute. 5 or 10 or 30 minute later, it just automatically opens, comes apart, and if the parachute happens to be hung up high in a tree, the rocket body and nosecone would harmlessly fall those last few feet to earth - where you'd either be waiting for them already or would have a much easier time spotting them. Then I would mainly be losing just parachutes.

The low tech version of this has my shock cord mount (of folded card stock and wood glue) disintegrating after a few days of wet weather. But all the paper and wood parts are often pretty much ruined too by that point.
Nice thought but if the harness is caught, won't do one much good. Kurt

#### Nytrunner

##### Pop lugs, not drugs
TRF Supporter
I lost my Hi-power Leviathan just this weekend because of poor wind direction.
The owner of our location (sod farm) predetermines where we launch based on their schedule, and the wind was pointing back at the trees. It didn't land terribly far away, but I couldn't find it in the ~70' canopy.

While I was trudging around in the woods trying to find it, I had an idea similar to Tramper's.
Began thinking about the efficacy of a couple RC triggered Linkage devices: You find your rocket in a tree, pull out your remote, and command to release.

Theoretical best case, release a piece, and the other pulls the harness down. Worst case, release both and be content with harness/chute stuck while you get your hardware/electronics back.

#### neil_w

##### Tenet Rocketworks
TRF Supporter
I have thought that such a device could also be employed to disconnect (maybe partially, somehow) the chute automatically after touchdown, to avoid long drags along the ground...

#### emckee

##### Well-Known Member
I find the harder I try to "loose" a rocket, the closer to the pad it recovers.
+1. and the more prepared I am for it to disappear, the closer it lands.

I flew a K375 a couple years ago and was stressing so much about losing the rocket that I even borrowed a BRB900 from a friend for back-up tracking (I'd lost a rocket on a J570 the year before when the GPS failed).

Anyway, the rocket set a new altitude personal record and landed about 300' from the launch pad. Good thing I had all that tracking equipment, otherwise it would have landed miles away.

#### Cabernut

##### Well-Known Member
I think sometimes the "Oh well" is just an acceptance of the inevitability that if you launch enough rockets, eventually you will lose one in some manner. We try our best to recover them intact but every launch comes with the risk of loss.

I lost one just last weekend where it might be recoverable once the elements take their toll on the paper and elastic and it breaks loose. Paper and wood I can replace. Not worth life and limb.

#### JStarStar

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I'm still mad about the Astron Streak I sent off on a C6-7 at a rocket launch we had at my school in spring 1970.

Every time I visit the school (my nieces go there) I look around the schoolyard to see if it's stuck in the bushes or something.

#### kcobbva

I have thought that such a device could also be employed to disconnect (maybe partially, somehow) the chute automatically after touchdown, to avoid long drags along the ground...
I can see that as a + and - . + Not dragging your large rocket across the ground. - the chute doesn't have anything heavy to keep it around if the winds are that heavy and they get really $$as they get larger. Double Edged Sword there. #### neil_w ##### Tenet Rocketworks TRF Supporter I can see that as a + and - . + Not dragging your large rocket across the ground. - the chute doesn't have anything heavy to keep it around if the winds are that heavy and they get really$$$as they get larger. Double Edged Sword there. My ideal scenario (in my head) was to release half of the shroud lines. That way it'd still be attached to the rocket, but wouldn't catch nearly as much air. Very likely impractical to implement. #### CaptainVideo ##### Well-Known Member I'm just getting back to model rockets, have not launched one since around 1980, and I STILL remember being pissed off whenever I lost a rocket. Most went to trees, but there were one or two that disappeared in to grass never to be seen again even with two people looking for them. I got so mad about that I painted the next ones florescent orange and chartreuse. #### Bat-mite ##### Rocketeer in MD I'm just getting back to model rockets, have not launched one since around 1980, and I STILL remember being pissed off whenever I lost a rocket. Most went to trees, but there were one or two that disappeared in to grass never to be seen again even with two people looking for them. I got so mad about that I painted the next ones florescent orange and chartreuse. Never understood why someone would paint a rocket camouflage, myself. #### Bkdoubleu ##### Well-Known Member Anyone ever tried using a dog to find one in a field? A few stalks of wheat where I fly. I wonder if that would work? #### [email protected] ##### Well-Known Member I still have a stretched vindicator at Potter somewhere, too bad I'm from IN. I think it may still be up in the sky somewhere. Of course I'm the hopeful that went for Mach and 6K with no tracker. Redundant DD too, I'm still kinda mad at myself about that - stupid tax. Next day, bought a tracker then flew that up into the top of the tallest tree around,$800 in the rocket and there it sat in the tree over the winter until my buddies Justin Ferrand and Eric Cayemberg, who I will ever be indebted too, retrieved it for me!!

I've lost one since then and it's a little easier to take, just hope some farmers kid gets a new present

#### XolveJohn

##### Well-Known Member
No one has mentioned beeper locators. I recommend Transolve units, there are several sizes. Apogee has the BeepX.

#### T-Rex

##### Ordinary Average Guy
TRF Supporter
LPR I accept losing. My 8 yr old grandson came over one summer and we built a Monarch (?) together. First launch the chute failed to open and we got it back. Second flight the chute opened and it drifted away. He was VERY upset. I explained that sometimes it happens. I hope to get him over again soon so we can do it again.....

#### markkoelsch

##### Well-Known Member
I mostly fly at Bong, which has a lot of hazards (trees, ponds/lakes,etc). I am selective on what I fly, and in what days. I am very cognizant of the wind velocity and direction.

There is a standing waiver of 10k'. I usually limit myself to 5k there even when keeping an eye on the wind. That said, I did fly a minimum d rocket on an i65 a couple weeks ago in honor of one of our longtime flyers who passed away. It did 7500'. 5mph wind in a very advantageous direction so I did it.

I do not like losing stuff.

#### dave carver

##### ....what hump?
I know of a Dynacom Scorpion with a AeroTech mid-M case sleeping with the lizards at Black Rock. You can have miles of nothing and still lose a rocket....

#### cavecentral

##### Well-Known Member
I have about 7 in our home field from last season. I usually get a few back over time - not always usable, but nice to see them return home and bring any reload casings back they may have had. Some I don't care about, some would be nice to get back. Smaller, tree-filled fields are what we have in my area. Accepting lose is part of the deal here. I fly a lot of MPR and L1 HPR locally, so not as much  per rocket.

Cardboard rockets with not much time spent on finish using SU motors w/ motor ejection is about as low risk as you can get.

#### Andy Greene

##### Well-Known Member
My minimum Mustang is 60 feet in a tree top. Is it lost? Happened Sunday at Tampa. I can see, is it still lost?
Varn Ranch ??

#### RodRocket

##### Well-Known Member
The first one I lost was a smaller estes. Lost several more since. I launch at Kloudbusters pasture, and have seen rockets of all sizes and motor impulses get lost. One in particular I remember was at an Airfest event. Rocket had a large motor, can't remember but I do remember it had the Kate telemetry system. Miss Kate was way to calm speaking as the rocket reached appogee, then calmly proceeded to describe the balistic return. Found the video, isn't YouTube great! https://youtu.be/W7d7qrT_7MQ

Everytime I launch a rocket that i think will need a radio tracker, it lands within sight in an open plowed field. The little ones that land in the tall grass 50 yards away just dissappear.

#### Steve Shannon

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Never understood why someone would paint a rocket camouflage, myself.
In about 2003 I attended a launch where someone wrapped their rocket in a light wood grain contact paper. You could stand on top of it and nearly not see it. Dumbest thing ever.

#### T-Rex

##### Ordinary Average Guy
TRF Supporter
I have considered adding a beeper to some of my rockets. My concern is what happens when it gets stuck in a tree or the Tower at NASA?? I know I wouldn't want to be the neighbor listening to a screamer until the battery finally went dead.....

#### Syclone

##### Well-Known Member
I know of a Dynacom Scorpion with a AeroTech mid-M case sleeping with the lizards at Black Rock...
I know of two Dynacom Tarantulas in the swamps of Cedarville, NJ. from the old RATS days. I would still prefer to auger in a rocket over losing it. At least you have some cool looking mangled wreckage to remember it by.