TSM April 2000 Launch Notes
The opening launch of the 2000 season TSM was an unqualified success. Over twenty-five fliers logged in 73 flights. Brisk winds at 18 to 20 miles per hour did very little to dampen the enthusiasm, but did equate to some rather long walks over the fields. Thank goodness, we did not experience the mud that we had on our opener last season!!!
Highlights included four successful certification flights. Viv Lynn completed a beautiful flight of her PML Tethys using an 1-284 for Level 1 certification. Rick DeWeese flew his Rocketman Wahoo on an H-242 Blue Thunder engine to capture level one certification as well. Scott Frazier entered the ranks of the level two certified fliers using J-350 power to loft his scratchbuilt Carbon Extreme to an estimated 3800 feet. The featured flight of the day was our Prefect Scott Young, who captured the elusive Level Three certification title by the spectacular boost of his creation "Greased Lightening" burning an Ellis Mountain M1000 reload - smokin'!!! The 10 foot, fifty pound behemoth acheived an altitude of 4118 feet, with perfect gentle recovery on twin Rocketman chutes, landing rather close to the rangehead I might add.
Other featured launches included Ron Freiheit's Altitude Junkie, a minimal diameter scratchbuilt special project that flew to 8769 feet on an Aerotech J350HW hybrid engine -- awesome Ron! With streamer drogue, and main chute deployment at 98 seconds after liftoff, the Altitude Junkie was recovered within one-half mile of the launch site.
The season opener was also the debut of the monster rail launch pad constructed by Jon Nordman and Larry Sellner. It was a true match to Scott Youngs fifty pound Greased Lightening, but also was first used by Tony Brashear's FatBoy, climbing up that big rail under G power -- Very cool to see that stocky little bird zipping up the huge rail on its flame!!!!
Many great flights and a few spectacular crashes rounded out the day. A three way (oops) two way Minnie Mag Drag Race was captured by Carl Blood, sorry Bob Brashear. The M.a.D. Missile team of Mike Vande Kamp and Doug Menning staged a drag race of their Shredder kit. Doug's Shredder blew out a nozzle at 50 feet and fell back to the launch site. Mike had a beautiful boost, but fell victim to the lawndart phenomonon. Andy Limper's PML Black Brant X suffered major damage on an I-30O CATO in midflight and Tim Covey of the I-SOAR Prefecture experienced engine failure of a K-240 Hypertek in his Ground Zero - "ZERO".
Those few missteps aside, the day was filled with many great flights, the best April weather that Minnesota can muster, and fabulous hot food prepared by Dan Braam and family! Special thanks to M.a.D. Missiles (Mike V. and Doug M.) for sponsoring the best dressed port-a-john in the upper midwest. Flights representing 1/2A through M power were logged in all day, with many picture perfect results.
Our next launch will be May 27, at 9 AM at the Maple Island Missile Range. Remember to sign up for RSO or LCO duties and come early for set-up and stick around later for clean up afterwards. A couple of reminders (your friendly nag) include trying to get trash in the designated receptacles, and no smoking please at or past the RSO table. It is going to be a tremendous season, and we are well underway. See you in a month!
Andy Limper TRA 6517.
For additions or corrections: Andy Limper