Return to the Launch Pad

Top Border

October 2012 Launch Report
October 13-14, 2012 at Central Sod Farm

Toni and I awoke early to return to the Maryland Eastern Shore to fly some rockets. After a hearty breakfast at Holly’s we headed to the sod farm. The late summer rains had revitalized the crops at Higgs Farm thus delaying the harvest which allowed us to enjoy one more rocket flying weekend at the Central Sod farm for the year. The rocket eating soy beans of the sod farm had withered and dried and was awaiting harvest. As such, we were not to step foot into those nasty beans as any shake, rattle, or roll would surely cause the cash crop of beans to drop from their stalks and make them unable to be harvested. Instead of setting up in the usual spot, we configured the field across the street from the sod farm. The skies were blue, the temps cool, and the breezes small. The field became crowded quickly.

Toni and I enjoyed half-smokes from the CATO café while observing the upper winds with those flyers impatient enough to fly early. Once satisfied, I prepared Shaken, Not Stirred for its 48th flight. A CTI H143 Smokey Sam was stuffed into the aft end of Shaken, Not Stirred and the rocket taken to the pad. Shaken, Not Stirred leapt from the pad at the conclusion of the countdown and ascended to 1,408 feet before arcing over and separating. It descended rather quickly with its underinflated drogue chute before deploying its main parachute on queue at 400 feet and gently touching down in the plowed section of the field. See Shaken, Not Stirred take to the skies again here.

Shaken, Not Stirred was retrieved and closer inspection revealed damage to the lower sustainer. Fatigue of 48 backup ejections had finally worn through the body tube causing an almost complete crack and separating Shaken, Not Stirred into multiple pieces. After a short bout of depression with tears and after some encouragement from fellow rocketeers, it was decided that Shaken, Not Stirred will be repaired or rebuilt using tougher fiberglass tubing. Preparations have already started in obtaining the materials.

Shaken, Not Stirred was our last flight of the day. I filmed some other flights and we helped out where we could. The temperature really started to drop in the setting sun as we closed the field for the night. Toni and I headed home after stopping at Panera’s for an easy dinner.

Sunday morning I made the solo trek to the sod farm as Toni had other commitments. The winds were gusty and the temperatures more balmy, with the continuing blue skies from Saturday. I spent most of the day RSOing the many Civil Air Patrol flyers that were attending for the day and filming some other flights. In the waning afternoon sun we packed up the field one last time for the sod farm and bid the field farewell until 2013. We return to the Higgs Farm in November for Red Glare XIII and the winter flying season. Red Glare XIII is scheduled for November 16-18, 2012 for those that are interested in seeing the return of the big rocketry projects. And if it even needs mentioning, the new James Bond movie Skyfall opens November 9, 2012, but we all knew that. Until next launch . . .
By Peter E. Abresch Jr.
Connecting the igniter to the launch system

By Peter E. Abresch Jr.

Return to September 2012

Shaken, Not Stirred under main parachute
Shaken, Not Stirred came to rest in the plowed field

Shaken, Not Stirred's damaged sustainer
Shaken, Not Stirred came to
        rest in the plowed field
Connecting the igniter to the launch system
Shaken, Not Stirred under
        main parachute 
Return to the Launch Pad
Shaken, Not Stirred's damaged sustainer