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Well-Known Member
Feb 24, 2004
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Well, it happened today at the TRA San Diego monthly launch in Plaster City. My beautiful bright blue Big Daddy sustained severe casualties. The motor burned through, ejection charge was non-existent, and I had a lawn dart on my hands. Put a massive dent in the nose cone, and crumpled the entire body tube down to the launch lug. It is repairable, though. I can cut the BT to just above the MMT, since all of the fins and both ends of the MMT survived the crash nicely. I will rebuild her, since she was my first bird as a BAR. I have a slight (okay, maybe not so slight) emotional attachment to this rocket. Depressing.....:( She will live to fly another day, though. I can now say that I am definitely into this hobby, since I have an attachment to my rockets.
Mike, we feel your pain. I asked those around me to join in a moment of silence when I thought I had lost my first rocket. Fortunately, a kindly gent who was wandering the desert in search of his own found mine instead and returned it so it could be properly retired onto the "Rack of Fame."

So tell us, Mike... what DID you name your rocket?;)

Were you using an Estes motor for this flight?
If so, you have an excellent chance of getting some help from Estes. If you call their toll-free number and tell them what happened they might send you a replacement kit. It's worth a try! I don't have that phone number handy but if you do a search on the old TRF threads (maybe using the keywords 'Estes telephone' because searching on just 'Estes' will trigger a connection to just about half the threads?) you might find a thread with the right info. Or else one of you other TRF guys could jump in here with the right info?
I think this is the right number: 800-525-7561 216

Let us know how your BD comes out of surgery... this is one that should be in every BAR's collection. And take some pics :)

Thanks for the advice and the phone number. I just called them and had to leave a VM. We'll see if they call back. I lovingly christened my Big Daddy the "Blue Bird." I tend to favor the simplistic approach. I'll let everyone know when I get a response from Estes. As for pictures, I had another post where I tried to attach a picture of her maiden voyage, but I couldn't get it to attach. Maybe someone can offer ideas? I've tried everything; I know that the file itself is not too big.
One of Mrs. MKeene after recovery of the aforementioned BlueBird...

The story behind this one is that she had asked about 2 hours earlier what was the big deal about guys and rockets, and what we found so exciting about them. But then Mike got her to prep and launch one herself, and she was just like a little girl, running off to recover "her" rocket! The grin on her face speaks for itself!

Please note that the previous two posts with the photos of the Blue Bird were from the previous month's launch, before the catastrophic damage that started this thread...

That's sad to hear. I myself have also had a BD fall victim to a lawn dart. Nose cone crumpled and pushed back into the BT all the way to the fin can, splitting the BT as it went. Very sad. Even sadder was the fact that I didn't even think about contacting Estes for a claim. Oh well - the BD has been replaced with a strenghtened BD that has basswood fins, and upgrades throughout to fly on AT 24mm reloads. Big Daddy is dead, long live Big Daddy!

I contacted Estes yesterday afternoon at the number Bushrat provided. The called me back within a 1/2 hour and were very polite and professional. The lady at their end said that they will be more than happy to replace my Big Daddy, and she was sending a new one to me. Score!!!!!!
Nice to know that a business still cares about keeping the customer happy.