Model Rocket Launch: April 15 at Buder Park

All,

I've heard back from a few people who would like to go ahead and try a Buder Park launch this Saturday, so we're going to give it a shot. The current Weather Underground forecast predicts 8 mph winds at 8:00 am, increasing to 15 mph by noon, which, all things considered, is not too bad. I will have a wind gauge with me so we can at least tell when the ground-level winds start to pick up.

I plan to arrive at the park by 8:00 am, pick a spot, and start setting up. Since the wind is expected to be out of the south (blowing towards the river), it is likely that we will be somewhere on the south side of the park (closer to the radio control pavilion).

Launch fees will be $3 (that is per family and for the whole day, not per rocket) unless you are a paid SLRA member, in which case there is no fee. If you have not renewed yet for 2017 and would like to do so, I can handle that at the park as well.

I will keep the range open as long as people have rockets to fly, but since the wind will continue to pick up through the morning, I expect that we will probably be packing up by 11:00 am or so. If you're planning to arrive after about 10:00 am, please call or text me first at (314) 630-7619 to make sure we'll still be flying.

Hope to see some people there and see what you've built over the winter!

Dan Crank
Secretary, St. Louis Rocketry Association

High-power launch cancelled due to high winds

Due to the forecast of high winds for Saturday, we have elected to cancel our attempt for a high-power launch this Saturday. We're disappointed that we could not get a launch this spring, but unfortunately the good weather we did have did not align with our opportunities to use the field.

There is a small chance that we could still hold a model rocket launch at Buder Park on Saturday. We will probably make that call Friday evening. If that does happen, we will most likely move the setup time to 8:00 am, as the current forecast is for 9 mph winds at 8 increasing to above 15 mph by noon.

If you would attend a "windy" Buder Park model rocket launch, given that the time would probably be something like 8:00 am to 10:30 am, please email me at admin@stlouisrocketry.com so I can gauge interest.

Thanks,
Dan Crank
Secretary, SLRA

Launch and meeting announcements

This post is much longer than our usual announcement posts, so if you don't have time to read the whole thing, the summary is:

  • We hope to have a launch next Saturday, April 15th, but we don't know yet where it will be. Please stay tuned for a further announcement.
  • We are having our regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 11th, at the usual time and place - the details are at the end of this post.

Since a lot of people are wondering and asking, I want to catch everyone up on where we stand with a launch schedule. As you know, we have tried several times (going all the way back to January) to schedule a high-power launch in Addieville before the crops get planted and that field will be off limits to us until the fall. Each time, uncertainty about the weather conditions has forced us to cancel the launch.

We have one more opportunity to try for a high-power launch - next Saturday, April 15 (the day before Easter). We do already have our first model rocket launch scheduled at Buder Park for that day, but if we have an opportunity for a high-power launch, the high-power launch will replace the park launch, and we'll launch at Buder Park in May. Model rockets are of course welcome to join us at the high-power launch - you can fly your rockets and see some bigger ones, too!

Now for the bad news. The field in Addieville is pretty muddy. Don Hanson, our contact with the landowner, got an update yesterday and said that IF there is not much additional rain this week (and looking at the current forecast, that's a big IF) we should be able to use the field for a high-power launch on Saturday.

Therefore, the launch announcement is that if we have good flying weather on Saturday the 15th, we will have a launch. Unfortunately, we cannot say with certainty where it will be. The possibilities, in order of desirability, are as follows:

A) If the Addieville field is not too muddy, we will have a high-power launch there and cancel the Buder Park launch. If you were planning to fly with us at Buder, please consider making the drive out to Addieville - you will be able to fly model rockets there as well as see some bigger rockets go up. This would be under our new waiver rules, with a standing waiver to 17,500 feet AGL and no windows.

B) If the Addieville field is too muddy, there is a possibility that we could go to the Elsberry field and set up launch pads on the gravel road. This launch would also replace the Buder launch, but again, we would encourage model rocket flyers to join us there as well. If we launch in Elsberry, it would be under our old waiver rules - 5500 feet AGL with call-in windows to 14,500 feet AGL.

C) If neither of those options is available due to field conditions, but the weather forecast for Saturday is still decent, we will go ahead and run the model rocket launch at Buder Park as originally scheduled. This launch would be under Class 1 launch rules - 3.3 pound total weight limit, G impulse motor limit, with other limits possibly imposed at the discretion of the range safety officer based on how close we are to other users of the park.

D) If weather on Saturday prevents a launch (wind above 20mph, or rain), there will obviously be no launch at all.

We regret that there is still so much uncertainty, but this appears to be our last and best option for getting a high-power launch this spring so we are doing everything we can to make it happen. This will probably be the main topic of discussion at our meeting Tuesday (see below), so if you want your voice to be heard, please join us there. (Or, you could just email me at admin@stlouisrocketry.com, but if you do that, you get no barbecue.)

Watch for another announcement by Thursday April 13 with launch details. Wednesday and Thursday are our cut-off days for some pre-launch preparations, like activating our FAA waiver, so we will need to settle on a plan by then.

If you've read this far - thank you for bearing with us. We'll get something in the air eventually. If you have any questions, please email me at admin@stlouisrocketry.com and I will tell you as much as I know.

Dan Crank
Secretary, St. Louis Rocketry Association


SLRA is having our regular monthly meeting on Tuesday evening, April 11th, at our regular meeting location: Google Map Link

Bandana's Bbq Sunset Hills
11750 Gravois Road
Sunset Hills, Missouri, 63127

We are continuing to meet at Bandana’s BBQ Sunset Hills. Even though Bandana’s doesn’t have a minimum food purchase, we are encouraging members to purchase something to support the use of the room. We have the room from 6:30 to 9:00 and we’ll need to leave promptly since 9 pm is the closing time.

The room will be available at 6:30 PM and  the business meeting will start at about 7:00PM. We'll need to be out of the room by 9:00 PM (closing).

If you're a member of SLRA and are registered on the website, you can view minutes of previous meetings on the Minutes and Bylaws page. The meeting minutes will be the basis of our "old business" discussion.

The standard agenda for all meetings is as follows:

1. Treasury Status.

2. Recognition of Achievements

3. Recognition of Contributions

4. Members expenses.

5. Old Business - please review minutes for last month's meeting for topics

6. New Business

Online and paper membership forms with payments received by mail to be processed by treasurer and president.

Please comment on this post or email admin@stlouisrocketry.com if you have new business for the meeting.