Return to the Launch Pad

Top Border

October 2013 Launch Report
October 12-13, 2013 at Central Sod Farm

It was a cold windy morning with bouts of heavy rains as I made the journey in solitude to Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Toni was out of town and Ben was visiting a college buddy. I joined others at Holly's for a warm breakfast. We pondered the latest weather reports and the cloud ceiling before heading to Higgs' Farm to conduct some maintenance on the larger launch equipment. We then met up at the sod farm while dodging the various squalls.

Surprisingly, there were other anxious flyers waiting to put their rockets into the air. The lush green sod was soggy as an abused sponge as the members slushed the equipment into the fields. The heavy overcast was low, the breeze stiff, the temperatures chilly, and to add insult to injury, the rains would constantly come and go. There is a fine line between dedication and stupidity and I pondered if we had somehow crossed it. I chose not to fly Saturday. I did my best to stay dry while assisting the few that flew. We packed the field for the evening and headed to a new Sushi bar for dinner. I made it home after dark and enjoyed a nice hot shower before counting sheep.

Sunday morning was not much better. Ben had returned and joined me as we took our time heading back to the Central Sod Farm with only one rocket in tow. The rains were coming and going but the cloud ceiling was a little higher. I arrived at the field and observed the other flights. The breezes were still stiff but the direction was OK. Experienced rocketeers are not afraid of the intensity of the wind, only the direction of the wind.

I prepared Shaken, Not Stirred with a CTI H120 Red motor and waited for an opportune window. One arrived and I quickly took Shaken, Not Stirred to the pad, armed the electronics, and connected the igniter leads. Shaken, Not Stirred took to the skies on the pretty red plume and arced over at 1,333 feet where she deployed her drogue chute. The nose cone came loose but was still attached. The breezes were still strong and continued to blow Shaken, Not Stirred to the left of the field. The mains deployed on queue at 300 feet taking Shaken, Not Stirred across the street and into a nearby yard. The sustainer landed in the soft oozy mud while the remainder came to rest over a white fence. Unfortunately, the main parachute caught on some corn stubble forcing me to walk completely around the fence in order to recover the main parachute without any damage. I re-assembled Shaken, Not Stirred and made my long trek to the flight line. See Shaken, Not Stirred shake and stir here.

Shaken, Not Stirred was our last flight of the day. I assisted other flyers while Ben conducted LCO duties the latter part of the day. The skies cleared and the sun shined only after we started packing the field up for the month. We will return to the sod farm in November as the crops will not be ready at Higg’s Farm for a Red Glare. We will take it one month at a time. Ben and I hurried home to watch the Redskins/Dallas game, but that is another story. Until the next launch . . .
By Peter E. Abresch Jr.
Sod Irrigation System was not necessary

By Peter E. Abresch Jr.

Return to July 2013 Launch

Go to next launch
Shaken, Not Stirred under drogue chute in the dreary skies
Muddy Footprints to retrieve Shaken, Not Stirred
Toni rtrieving Sally Ride
Shaken, Not Stirred in the mud
Muddy Footprints to
        retrieve Shaken, Not Stirred
Sod Irrigation System was not necessary
Shaken, Not Stirred under
        drogue chute in the dreary skies 

Return to the Launch Pad
Shaken, Not Stirred in the mud