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September 2014 Launch Report
September 14, 2014 at Centreville Sod Farm

Sunday morning I awoke to a chilly September morning. I wanted to arrive at the field early to make flight preparations. I made my solo trek to the Central Sod Farm as Ben elected to stay behind to watch the Redskins play and Toni had previous commitments. The beach traffic was nonexistent and the ride in solitude was not as bad as one would guess.

Most of the field preparation work was already completed and all I had to do was make the field ready to launch. The temperatures were typical early fall and the highs were expected to the low seventies with a clear blue sky. The breezes were brisk but the direction was variable. The rocket hungry soy beans lurked to the north and the dark woods of Mordor with the rocket eating trees laid in wait just behind the launch pads to the east.

As usual, I waited for others to fly in order to judge the winds. The winds were just as fickle at altitude as they were on the ground. Shaken, Not Stirred was already prepared and was ready to be installed on the pad at a moment’s notice. When the winds appeared right, I hurried Shaken, Not Stirred to the pad with an H120 Red for propulsion. After accepting accolades from Shaken, Not Stirred’s fans that were in attendance, the countdown commenced and Shaken, Not Stirred took to the skies on its deep red plume to an altitude 1,343 feet where she separated and deployed her drogue. Shaken, Not Stirred danced during the descent and deployed the mains at 300 feet. Shaken, Not Stirred landed in a soft muddy ditch without any damaged. See Shaken, Not Stirred’s 70th flight here.

I filmed other flights and helped some midshipmen from the Naval Academy with their level 1 certification attempts. The weather remained gorgeous as I relaxed in the late afternoon sun with the occasional roar of a rocket taking to the skies or the ting of my cell phone indicating the latest score of the Redskins game. The final Redskins victory of 41-10 over the Jaguars was icing on an already great day.

We made quick work of closing the field and packing up the equipment. Some remain behind to enjoy refreshing beer and bask in the autumn like weather. Reluctantly we all started our homeward journey west. 2014 was a great year for rockets at the sod farm. The weather was great and there were no scorching days this summer. Hopefully the great weather will continue for the rest of 2014. Until the next launch . . .

By Peter E. Abresch Jr.
Shaken, Not Stirred landed in clump of soft grass

By Peter E. Abresch Jr.

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Toni rtrieving Sally Ride
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Shaken, Not Stirred landed in
        clump of soft grass

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