Launch Report, Bayboro, December 17-18, 2022

Mother Nature was kind enough to give us one more shot at launching rockets in 2022. Saturday was cloudy, but the cloud deck was about 10,000ft, so we got a good day of flights in. Sunday was cool and sunny, but the winds were much higher. Here is the motor table summary for this weekend’s activities. 


We’ve been having a lot of certification flights per launch as of recent and this weekend was no exception! Up first was Lexi Tucker with her rocket that she named Oliver White. Lexi chose the stout Loki I-405W and went with dual deployment for recovery. A gutsy way to get a Level 1 Certification, but she nailed it! After a nice quick boost, Oliver White deployed at apogee, drogueless, and fell to 500ft where the main came out right on time. Next up was David Vestal who was in search of his Level 3 Certification. He brought out a finely made scratch-built vehicle called NOT Unfinished Business and stuffed an Aerotech M-1297 in it for propulsion. David did a great job, and NOT Unfinished Business came home without so much as a scratch. John Lindquist joined us with a minimum diameter rocket in search of a Level 2 certification. After passing the Tripoli Level 2 exam, John put a long burn CTI K-261 in his rocket John 54mm, which transported it into another dimension. I’m sure John was very thankful that he put a tracker in his rocket, because it landed about two miles away to the east. While on the topic of Level 2 Certifications, Nathan Potvin brought out a rocket that he named Cerat which was loaded with an Aerotech J-500G motor. Cerat went up very nicely and came back home with no issue. Sailor Keoplinger was the last person to certify on Saturday – Sailor had a rocket with him that he named Wolfline which took an Aerotech H-242T for power. Sailor had a perfect flight and is now Level 1 Certified with Tripoli. Congrats to Lexi, David, John, Nathan and Sailor!! Great job by all. 

We had a gentleman make the trip down from update NY this weekend, and flew some of the coolest rockets that I have ever seen. Steve Gregorki is a very intelligent fellow who had some really neat homemade electronics that he brought along. He wrote the programs/code AND designed most of the hardware. The first rocket he flew was called Wicked Sugar High which had active stabilization in the nose cone. Wicked Sugar High went up on a research J-650 sugar motor and was a test flight for a two stage rocket he later flew in the same day. Said two stage rocket was called Sweetness and had a research sugar K-1200 in the booster and a research sugar J-450 in the sustainer. Both of these rockets had homemade GPS systems on them, and the sustainer had the same active stabilization as Wicked Sugar High. The best part (in my opinion) about these flights was the robotic ground station tracker that he had set up. This was a mechanical arm that actively tracked the rocket and pointed to it for the full duration of the flight. We all lost sight of the sustainer of his two stage, but kept looking back at this device and it was moving along with the rocket, tracking it all the way. Really, really cool!! 

The usual suspects were on site this weekend and they all seemed to get a flight in. Brent Bierstedt put up a minimum diamater rocket on a research I-300. Alan Whitmore flew his Astro Mollusk 7 on a homebrew six grain 38mm I motor filled with Black Velvet 2.57, and Jim Livingston had a research I-300 motor filled with Thing propellant in a rocket called LZ. A good day in the research motor manufacturing department! Sebastian Lindquist had a scratch-built rocket with him named No Name and flew that on the incredibly fast CTI K-1200WT. Joe Hill took advantage of the rain the field saw on Thursday and put a Loki M-1200 Spitfire (sparky propellant) in his 7.5″ diameter rocket called Short Spoon

We had a good amount of low power flights on Saturday as you can tell by the motor table summary. Richard Powers has called himself a Born Again Rocketeer and has been joining us consistently now for about two years. Richard had four successful flights with two different rockets, all on B and C motors. Katherine Jackson also helped with keeping the low power pads busy. She had four successful flights as well with four different rockets – three of which were on C motors, and one on an E motor.

Sunday was extremely slow, but we got in two excellent flights. Alan Whitmore put up his Stealth Blue (one of my personal favorite rockets in Alan’s fleet) on a four grain 54mm K motor filled with Mag Blue propellant which turned in a beautiful launch. Nick Pyrtle was in search of some serious altitude on Sunday, so he decided to put a Loki J-712LB in his 38mm minimum diameter rocket named El Diablo. Unfortunately after liftoff, he never saw it come down. However, Nick wasn’t about to put a rocket that small up that high without some sort of tracking. The tracker took him right to it, and El Diablo came back home. Robbie Kirk has been getting into mixing up his own propellant, and he tested two, two grain 38mm H motors at two different Kns on Sunday. Both worked great! I think Robbie is feeling more confident in his manufacturing skills now. 

My apologies for getting this report to you all so late – between how busy work is and the holidays, I’ve just not found the time until now. Our next launch at Bayboro is the weekend of 01/21, so join us if you can!

Joe Hill

Prefect, Tripoli East NC

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