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September 2013 Launch Report
September 14-15, 2013 at the Central Sod Farm

Ben and I threw a rocket into the Highlander and leisurely headed to the Marylandís Eastern Shore to fly some rockets. There was a bike ride to Ocean City so despite being after Labor Day, the roads remained crowded with various motorcycles darting about. We enjoyed breakfast at Hollyís and dawdled about Kent Island at the hardware store before heading to the sod farm field. The weather was chilly and the breeze variably brisk. The skies were clear. Flyers were already waiting and the field was quickly set up with their help.

As become the norm, I waited to judge the winds. Unfortunately the breezes were brisk and blowing everything into the flight line. If a rocket was lucky to miss a parked vehicle, it would end up in the tall green corn only to be found by the combines in the near future. I chose not to fly. Ben continued his duties as Launch Control Officer (LCO) and was quite busy the entire day. I assisted others in various rocket searches and completed some MDRA club tasks that required attending. Soon we left for home in the setting sun.

Ben and I returned to the sod farm early Sunday morning. The beautiful weather held but more importantly, the breezes calmed and changed direction. Some impatient flyers quickly put their rockets into the air only to discover that they were landing in the treetops off in the distance. I observed this closely and felt the trees would not be a threat if I tweaked the launch angle slightly and kept the main parachute deployment at 300 feet.

Shaken, Not Stirred was already prepared from the previous day except for the motor. A CTI 2-grain H120 Red motor was chosen for propulsion. There was slight trepidation when Shaken, Not Stirred was readied on the pad as Shaken, Not Stirred never flew on this motor before. The club members put Ben up to calling me Joseph, my twin brotherís name, in an attempt to get my goat but I was too busy concentrating on keeping Shaken, Not Stirred focused in the small video cameraís view finder. Ben finally pushed the button and Shaken, Not Stirred screeched off the pad on its bright red plume to a vertical trajectory before arcing over at 1,350 feet and deploying the drogue. Shaken, Not Stirred quickly descended in the small breeze to 300 feet where the main parachute was successfully deployed, far from the menacing trees. Shaken, Not Stirred landed in the soft sod not far from the launch pad that shot her into the air. See Shaken, Not Stirred pushed by the red plume here.

Ben continued his LCO duties and chose not to fly. We helped around the fields and tried to listen to the dismal Redskinís game against the Green Bay Packers. The field was closed Sunday when there were no more flyers left. The equipment was packed and stored. Some of us remained behind to enjoy the nice weather and regale each other of rocket stories of yore. Ben and I started our return in the setting sun. It was a nice rocket weekend and we tried not to let the Redskins performance bring us down. Until the next Redskinsí game, ahem, I mean until the next launch . . .

By Peter E. Abresch Jr.
A short break between flights

By Peter E. Abresch Jr.

Return to August 2013

A view from the B Cell to the flightline
A view from the flightline to the pads

A closeup of the Shaken, Not Stirred's Iris main parachute
A view from the
        flightline to the pads
A short break between flights
A view from
        the B Cell to the flightline 
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A closeup of the Shaken, Not Stirred's Iris main parachute