Return to the Launch Pad

Top Border

December 2015 Launch Report
December 19, 2015 at Higgs Farm

Twas the week before Christmas and all throughout the launch field, there was not one flyer, not even a spectator. The frigid winds kept those flyers smart enough home. It was cold and very blustery on this December morning. I layer up clothing and made my customary solo trek to Higgs Farm while wondering who else would be dedicated enough to show up. There is that fine line between dedication and stupidity and I wonder which side I was on.

I was first to arrive at the field and patiently waited to verify if other flyers would show up. Soon a flyer was spotted coming around the corner so I unlocked the trailer and we set up the field in the cold wind. The wind was cold and strong but at least it was blowing from a good direction. I waited for other flyers to fly but there were not many takers. Finally I made the decision.

Shaken, Not Stirred was taken to the pad with an H225 for propulsion and made ready for launch. I waited an eternity for the button to be pushed that sent Shaken, Not Stirred to 1,280 feet where the drogue chute was deployed. Shaken, Not Stirred tumbled in the wind during its descent before ejecting the main parachute at 300 feet. However, the main parachute did not inflate until about 100 feet. Luckily Shaken, Not Stirred landed without damage close by. Unfortunately the strong winds continued to carry Shaken, Not Stirred another half mile along the ground before I could catch up and deflate the main parachute. It was a long walk back.

Shaken, Not Stirred was my only flight and only one of ten total flights of the day. I would not return on Sunday as I had to get ready for Christmas. I join everyone and celebrated the Holidays in AMW’s camper before starting my lonely journey home. In hindsight, Sunday was the day to fly. I wish everyone a happy and safe holiday with good health for the New Year. Until the next launch . . .

By Peter E. Abresch Jr.

By Peter E. Abresch Jr.

Return to September Launch

Go to next launch

It was a long walk back
Toni rtrieving Sally Ride
Click above to see Shaken, Not Stirred's flight video
It was a long walk back
The highlander loaded
        with rocket gear

Return to the Launch Pad