Launch Report, Bayboro, April 23-24, 2022

It’s been quite some time since Mother Nature has given us the type of weather we received this weekend. Saturday’s forecast gave us almost completely clear skies with temperatures hovering in the upper 70s, and virtually no surface winds. Sunday started out basically the same as far as the clear skies and temperature went, but the winds were a little higher. I’ll list the motor table summary below for this weekend’s launch.

MotorSaturdaySundayTotal
A1 1
B   
C2 2
D2 2
E   
F 11
G 11
H314
I415
J516
K426
L2 2
M3 3
Total26733

Matt Willis was the first to go on Saturday and set the bar for flying rockets early with his Space Dragon rocket (his original L3 build that we’ve been seeing a lot of recently). He chose an Aerotech M-1315W for power and the Space Dragon had a nice climb to about 11,500ft AGL or so. He later flew his Zephyr XL on an Aerotech J-250W for a nominal flight. Brent Bierstedt brought out two rockets on Saturday – his 54mm minimum diameter Mongoose which had a long, slow ride on the classic Aerotech I65W, and his 4” diameter Nike Smoke which had the opposite type of flight on an AMW K-670RR. Ralph Reda hauled out a stout 7.5” Loc Precision Patriot and put that up on a CTI L-851WT. If my memory serves me correctly, I believe this was a test flight for his L3 certification that he plans on going for in the fall. Mike Nay shot par by flying a two stage Nike Tomahawk with an Aerotech L-1170FJ in the booster and an Aerotech J-340M in the sustainer. Nick Pyrtle got bit by the HPR bug in a big way and after getting his Level 2 certification just last weekend, he skipped all the in-between stuff and went straight to flying an L motor. Specifically, he chose a CTI L-935 Imax to stuff in his 3” Cloud Maiden which took it to slightly over 12,000ft. Nick’s got everything figured out with that rocket, and he brought it back without a scratch. The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics joined us again on Saturday and brought with them a scratch built 4” diameter rocket that they call Phoenix. An Aerotech K-1103X was chosen for propulsion which delivered a nice, fast flight to just shy of a mile. The electronics performed their duty and the NCSSSM brought Phoenix back home and I’m sure we’ll see that rocket fly again. Allan Rose kept the range busy with three flights, as did Richard Powers, Mark Peot, and Robbie Kirk. Joe Hill went for a personal altitude attempt on Saturday with his 4” diameter rocket named Iron Moon. This time he chose an Aerotech M-1500G for power and Iron Moon achieved an altitude of 13,244’.

Last weekend, we had four successful certification attempts, and this weekend we had FIVE successful certifications. Excellent! Ana Vestal was the first to go for a certification attempt on Saturday. She flew her Loc IV rocket named The Unicorn on an Aerotech H-219T for a successful Level 1 certification. Up next was Alex Laughrey who was also going for a Level 1 certification. She brought along her rocket 13 Voices and chose an Aerotech H-219T for the motor. After a quick boost, the parachute came out right on time and Alex achieved her Level 1 certification as well. Jeff Regester made the trip down to Bayboro and was on a serious mission to get not only his Level 1 certification, but also his Level 2 certification. Jeff brought out his 4” diameter rocket named Level 2 (an Apogee Components kit) and put it up on a CTI I-255 for a successful Level 1 certification. He then aced his Level 2 written exam and put the same rocket up on an Aerotech J-250W for a perfect flight. It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen someone get their Level 1 and Level 2 in the same day. Awesome! Jack Sommer was the last to go on Saturday, and he was also after a Level 2 certification. Jack chose an Aerotech J-315R for his attempt and his rocket Lucid Daydreams had a perfect flight. Congratulations to Ana, Alex, Jeff and Jack!!!

Sunday dawned sunny and breezy, but the breeze was welcome because by about noon, we were approaching almost 80 degrees. If you have ever been out to Bayboro, you’re aware of how it’s almost impossible to hide from the sunshine due to how wide open the field is. Attendance was much lower, but those who attended had just as much fun as they did on Saturday. Mike Nay got things going with his Pink Lady rocket which went up on an CTI K-360WT. Mike later flew his 2.6” diameter Blue Iguana rocket on an Aerotech K-550W for a nice high flight. Brent Bierstedt came back out on Sunday and flew his 4” Little John on a CTI I-303 and his 2.6” Patriot on an Aerotech F-51T. Ben Mount came down from Cary for the first time since the beginning of the season to put up his Loc IV on an Aerotech G-125T which turned in a perfect flight. Kurt Hesse flew the only research motor of the weekend in his 54mm diameter rocket that he affectionately refers to as Butt Ugly. The motor was a three grain 38mm motor loaded with Everclear propellant, which probably ended up being something like an H-150 or so. Joe Hill was back with his Voodoo Ranger rocket which went up on a Loki J-320R and knocked on the front door of a mile. Richard Powers closed the season out with his Baby Bertha on an Estes C6-5. 

And just like that, another season has come to an end for Tripoli East North Carolina. I had an excellent time getting to fly rockets with you all, and look forward to doing it again beginning at the end of September. Come join us if you can!

Joe Hill

Prefect, Tripoli East NC

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