Launch Report

February 27, 1999
Billings, MT

Temp: 30 to 40
Wind: 5 mph initially, picked up to about 15 mph
Where: BLM land at 17 mile marker

Flights in order
Vaughn Bros. Javelin 4.0J275-W
Estes Terrier/SandhawkE30-4T
Aerotech ArcasG64-7W
Rocket R&D 2.6" SandhawkI211-W
Estes ManiacD12-5

Beautiful morning, but the wind pick up by 11:00am. Joined by Paul Mazel. First launch was going to be the 2.6" Sandhawk on a I211-W. However, when I connected to battery to the AltAcc the main parachute BP charge went off. It scared me, but there was no damage to me or my rocket. Probable cause was the continuity checking by the AltAcc was enough to ignite the flashbulb - I don't think I will be using flashbulbs anymore! As the Javelin was all prepped, I decided to launch it first on a J275-W. It had a nice flight, the drogue deployed normally, but the main charge never fired. It broke one fin/body tube joint on landing, but it is repairable. The main charge never fired, and it was likely due to the batteries being to low on the IA-X96 - I could not turn it back on until the batteries were changed. The IA-X96 reported 3592 feet. Next was the Estes Terrier/Sandhawk on an E30-4T. It had a nice corkscrew flight, but the delay was a little shorter than optimal. Then came the Arcas on a G64-7W for a nominal flight. Then I prepped the 2.6" Sandhawk, and flew it on a I211-W. It had a nice flight, but the wire broke that connects the shock cord to the body tube. After searching for 45 minutes, I found all the parts (including the payload section of the Sandhawk I had lost on 10/24/98 and Paul Mazel's Black Brant II). The body broke two fins, but is repairable. The AltAcc reported 4707 feet for the highest flight of the day. The wind had really picked up, so I flew the Maniac on a D12-5 for a nominal flight and called it a day.

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