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March 2016 Launch Report

Hi all,

Another incredible and record setting (for Holtville) one-day day launch was held on March 5. We had 25 members flying rockets on Saturday, for a total of 64 launches. Counting the fees from our scout guests, I believe we broke even again. The Weather was even better than forecast, and a good thing, because the forecast was right on the money for Sunday, a total blow-out. Unfortunately, the big blow began right after we turned in, and by 2 am, the wind was howling to such an extent that the scouts packed up and bailed at 2:30 am. 25-30+ mph. But they did have a great time launching Saturday.

Saturday saw the launch of 3 "L" motors, including an L2395 by Kenny Humes, and 2 infamous AT L1000s by Kenny Harkema and Mike Caplinger; Mike C. put his Big Nuke up to 7355' with a perfect boost. Unfortunately, Kenny found out 1st hand why the L1000 is "infamous": forward end of the "warranty repaired" motor blew off 0.5 sec into the burn , same CATO thing that happened to Larryb at the January launch. This thing is just not ready for prime time.

We only had 2 "K" motors launched, one a K740C-Star by Jim Deveau in his 5.5" Polecat Nike Smoke; the other by Larry Brand, a K400Green in his scaled down (somewhat) Delta IV Heavy. A flawless flight by both, except that the 2 lb of lead ballast in each of the custom 3D-printed outboard cones was too much for the thin-walled printer ink shells, and they blasted right through when the chute opened late and nose down from the 2839' apogee. While hunting for his rocket, Larry found 2 tube fins from his February crash, and Russ Sands found a tiny tubefin of Larry's out in the boonies from more than a year ago, rocket still in OK shape. Can't complain when you go home with more rockets than you brought! Launch sequence of the big Delta is attached, 4 frames.

We had 7 "J" motors, including a J330 in Steve Johnson's scratch ship, two by Cris Erving (from Glendale CA!), a J453 in an Escape Velocity and a J270Green in a Broken Arrow 54, Steve Caras' J360skid in a LOC something, a J354 put up by Russ Sands (aka null-null) in his scratch Skinny Mini, Rick Frelke's 5.5" Nike Smoke on a J425, and Warner Recabaren's Shapeshifter flown on a 6XL grain J600.

We had a record 22 "I" motors flown, and 17 "H" motors for a total of 39/64 or 61% of the launch. Ha, so we really are a Level 1 club, despite our many L3 flyers. These are way too many to name, so I'll hit the standouts:
Mark Treseder's AGM Pike flown on I223skid and then I566
Adam Fischer's Madcow Super DX3 flown on I180skid and then I566
Sam Mitchell's Cowabunga flown on an I195
John Bowman's time tested Public Enemy Fatboy flown on H115 and H120 power
Mike Caplinger flew his mini-DX3 on an H180 to 4501'
Paul Snow put up his scratch "Squat Tubefin" on Pro54 I150 power
Cheyne Hoke launched a V2 on an I345 and Public Missile Raptor on an I285SS
Mike Veno launched 4, including 2 on his Giant Leap Great Escape, with an H148R and a H131
Larry Hermanson launched his Wildman Jayhawk on a H550 and his scratch Spike on a I165C-star
A. Bushnell put up his PML Tethys on an H125 and an H225
Lawrence Siefert flew his AGM Pike and Super DX3 all on I-power: I125, I303, I 255
Scott Yeaton flew his Intimidator on an H410 neck-snapper
Val D flew his Van Halen Special on an H170 and his Bass Lure (wooden, square) on an H242

We had 7 "G" motors and a mixed bag of D-E-F flown:
Val D flew an Estes Hobgoblin from the 1970's on a D12
Mason Sands flew his all-scratch Great Pumpkin on a G50Skid
Larryb flew a MegaMosquito on an CTI F50skid
Cris Erving flew an Estes Orange Crush on an F24
Mike C. flew his scratch Nike Smoke on an E15


Big Kahuna for the day? I'd call it a draw between Val D with 7 launches and Kenny Humes with his L2395.

We truncated the launch somewhat to allow for the breakdown of the range and hauling of the trailer at 4 pm (thank you Dave Nord).

Potluck was our usual incredible spread - tritip steak, brisket, baked beans, quiche, Caesar salad, pasta salad, potato salad, antipasto salad, homemade cornbread casserole, chips and dip, veggies and dip, cookies, Boston cream pie, apple crisp with whipped cream. It was a heckuva a feast!

ANNOUNCEMENT At the April launch, April 2-3, we are planning a small informal tribute to Mike "Sparky" Jerauld, who is ''retiring" after 15 years of running the DART club and its Fiesta launches, so he can fly HPR with us (and do other stuff). The tribute will consist of us all flying at least one "Sparky" motor each on Saturday. No excuses, skidmark and metalstorm motors are made down to Pro24 F50 size. Order your Sparky motors well in advance, our vendors can run short.

BTW, for a comprehensive and interesting history of the military operations at the Holtville Airport, see


About Our Club

Tripoli-San Diego is a Prefecture of the Tripoli Rocketry Association(TRA). Tripoli-San Diego was formed in the late 1980's. Tripoli-San Diego works closely with DART promoting rocketry in the San Diego area. Both clubs are non-profit organizations comprised of individuals and their families from all walks of life. Club members are committed to conducting rocketry related activities and instructing groups in the sport of Rocketry.

Tripoli-San Diego conducts monthly launches from September through June.

Monthly launches are open to spectators. Rocketeers wishing to launch must be certified by either NAR or Tripoli for high power launches. Certification is not required for sport rocket launches. A launch fee of $10 is charged for each family that is launching rockets .We operate in compliance with BATF, FAA, CPSC, Tripoli Rocketry Association, and California State Fire Marshall regulations. This means the maximum motor size you may fly is an “M” (10,240 N-sec), and the maximum total power of all motors is an “N” (20,480 N-sec), as long as the altitude waiver is not exceeded.

If you would like to become a member of Tripoli-SanDiego you can download a membership application in .pdf.

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Club members can communicate with other members through the clubs mailing list(listserv). If you are a club member you can subscribe to the mailing list or send messages to the club by clicking here. You can also view past messages and manage your subscription at this site.

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View December 2014 launch report.



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