The weather was cold and the frigid winds were blustering
hard. It had to be a rocket flying weekend. I threw some rockets
into the Highlander and made my solo trek to Higgs Farm. The
field was too wet and muddy for parking and those flyers brave
enough or stupid enough to try to fly in these conditions had to
park along the driveway.
Most of us with common sense would have turn around and gone
home, however, this was the first launch of 2016 which meant it
was the annual Christmas Tree launch. Various flyers were
decorating and prepping the trees for the drag race. Attendance
was understandably low due to the weather. There were only three
tree flights for Saturday.
The strong winds were swirling and carrying parachutes in
various directions depending on altitude. Shaken, Not
Stirred remained grounded and instead I helped with
the launch and filmed the first round of the Christmas Tree Drag
I returned Sunday morning to slightly lower winds but colder
temperatures. Everybody knew that snow was working its way from
the south and there was a mad dash to get as many flights up
before the snow arrived.
I installed my already prepared Shaken, Not Stirred
on the pad and waited for the button to be pushed. Shaken,
Not Stirred majestically ascended to 1,303 feet
before arcing over and ejecting its apogee recovery. Shaken,
Not Stirred danced during its descent to 300 feet
where the main recovery was successfully deployed with quite a
report. Shaken, Not Stirred safely touched down
without any damage. Click on video to see the great flight.
The snow started to fall heavily while the Christmas Tree flyers
were installing the trees on the pad. The second round of the
Christmas Tree Drag Race occurred in the heavy snow. The
snowfall eventually became too much and viability was too
limited to fly anymore. The launch was closed at 01:00PM. We
packed up the field and started our journey home. The roads were
not that bad and I arrived home without incident. Click the
video to see the Christmas Tree Drag Race. Until the next launch
. . .