By Buzz Nau
June launch was held at Horning Field near Manchester, MI. The
hay had been recently cut, though the dry condition we have been
suffering through has made the ground harder than usual. As expected,
the great weather brought out many flyers and their families. The
temps were in the low 80’s and there was a light breeze for most of
Let’s thank our onsite vendors, Jay Calvert from Impulse Buys and
Scott Miller from Miller Motor Works for supplying us with motors,
ignitors, and plenty of other assistance in getting our flights off.
They are a huge part of why our launches are so successful. Also a big
thanks to Pinky and Emma Sadowsky for running the JMRC Café. The food
is great as well as the service and atmosphere.
Ron Watkins was in attendance and flew many of his kits that are some
of the nicest looking rockets you will ever see. Ron does a great job
finishing his rockets which always look like they’re right out of a
Jeff and JoAnn Drongowski and their daughter Katie came out with a new
puppy, Athena. Jeff had nice flights with a PML BullPup and PML Matrix
on H242’s. Jeff also flew a LOC Vulcanite on a F59-5 and an awesome
looking QModeling Mars Snooper II on a E18-5. Katie flew several
rockets including a couple of “love interests” with mixed results of
It was great to see Carl and Steve Wagner. Andy and Suzanne Tomasch
from HUVARS showed up as well. Andy flew his LOC Starburst for a nice
flight. We also had some new members show up for the first time as
well as Roger & Ruth Coates, a long JMRC members who put in some nice
flights as well.
Dale Hodgson put in four flights that all went well. A 5.5” Fatboy on
a CTI H100 Imax, the Lil’ Screamer on a Loki H160 Blue Streak, a 5.5”
Mosquito on a Loki I430 Blue Streak, and his 4” Mad Dog on a Loki
J528. The after flight inspection found a belled motor casing at the
forward closure. Scott suspects a motor grain issue. Dale’s highlight
of the day was having his son, daughter, and son-in-law come out to
watch his flights.
Tom Kurecka put in six flights that were all entertaining. Tom
constantly pushes the edge with his flights and is one of the handful
of fliers you always watch when one of his flights is announced. First
was an Arcas on a long burn CTI G54 Red Line. There was no chute
deployment, but it landed in a low wet area and suffered no damage.
His Sea Wolf on a J270 Green drag separated at 340mph after motor
burnout which caused a couple of tube zippers. Flight three was an
Aerotech Astrobee D on a H399 White to 1,741’. Flight four, the Sun
Seeker on a H255 Blue was another good launch and recovery. Next was
the “Stealth” on a J280 Smokey Sam to 1,548’. Last was a scale Nike
Smoke on a G131 Smokey Sam that damaged two fins when the chute failed
The “Man of Leisure” Tony Haga put in a few interesting flights. Tony
describes his highlight flight, “My rocket, called "Over the Rainbow"
because of an awesome multi-color paint job is really a PML Endeavour
kit modified for dual deployment. On board were two ARTS altimeters, a
Big Red Bee tracker (just to make sure I wouldn't need it) and a key
chain camera. The motor was a Cessaroni J285. The up part was great
and the parachute deployed right on queue at 400' but despite my best
efforts to ensure a straight flight, the rocket arched over to the
west and landed behind the trees in what looked to be a grassy field.
But once we worked our way through the trees we found out that the
grassy field was really an algae covered pond! Good thing PML Quantum
tube floats. A quick trip over to Buzz's barn for a fishing pole and
some skillful casting by Scott and we were able to hook that whopper
and haul it back in. Although full of water and covered in algae,
"Over the Rainbow looked none the worse for wear. At home, the
altimeters, tracker and camera were all taken apart, scrubbed off with
a toothbrush and left to dry out. Amazingly all the electronics seem
to have recovered. Unfortunately, I neglected to clear the old files
on the camera's memory chip and it didn't have enough space left to
record the whole flight so no splash down, just the up part. So, after
a nice bath "Over the Rainbow" will be back to fly again.”
Tony also flew his fine looking Interceptor E on an E18-4 and 40 year
old original Interceptor on a C6-5.
Jim Fustini had several nice flights including his Orange Crush on a
CTI H140 and Alarm on an AT I218 Redline. The Alarm is one of my
favorite rockets of Jim’s. I’m always amazed he flies that on an I
motor to apogee deploy and gets it back every time.
Chris Palmer flew several rockets including his Spike on a F50-9 and
Nike Ajax on a H123, both were great flights. He flew his PML
Pterodactyl on a I218 Redline for one of the more interesting cato’s
that turned the rocket into a roman candle. Chris also wants to thank
Jeff and family for allowing him the puppy therapy. Nothing like a new
puppy licking your face. What a sweetie.
Chris would have had “cato of the day” honors had it not been for one
of my flights. My first flight was a Mad Cow Honest John on a CTI G150
Blue Streak. Great flight and fun model to fly. Next was my 4”
Marauder upscale on a Loki J528. I had flown this rocket motor combo
before, but this time the motor let go at around 500-600’. The entire
lower section of the rocket disintegrated in a flash. The on board
camera, MOL chute, and ARTS board survived, but the rest is a total
loss. The motor casing was sheered off at the forward closure snap
ring line. The aft end of the case was belled out as well. After that
I flew my U of M Mini Magg on a Loki H160 and Big Blue Bird Zero on a
Loki I110. The I110 deployed early, but the Blue Bird suffered just a
small zipper. I also got in a handful of low power flights.
After the launch many of us wandered over to our house for a cookout
and some relaxing. Roger and Grace Wilfong from HUVARS attended and it
was great getting caught with them. All of the food brought to pass
around was amazingly great. Thanks to everyone that brought something
to share. I also want to thank Melanie for making several dishes and
pressing out all the burgers. After chow it was time to start the fire
pit with camper’s secret weapon, the weed dragon. In less than 30
seconds we had a nice roaring fire. Thanks again to everyone who
attended. Melanie and I really enjoy hosting these bbq’s and hope
everyone has as much fun as we do.