Hard-Earned Level 1 Certification!

It has been a very long day. But I am happy to announce my successful level 1 high-power certification!

It actually took me two attempts. The reason is that the motor failed on the first attempt. It was rather frustrating. I only brought enough money for two reloads, so I had to skip my level 2 attempt for now. But at least I did eventually get my level 1.

The rocket sims to 4500 feet on an I285, but the altimeter recorded only 3400 feet. Even then it drifted far away and over the edge of some trees. I NEVER would have found the rocket if one of the rocketeers hadn't lent me his transmitter. It was fun learning how to use it, and it saved my rocket.

But unfortunately... it did not elude the clutches of the rocket-eating trees. It dangled about 30 feet high in a tall oak. It took a lot of thinking, but eventually I suggested finding a long stick in the woods and attaching the pruning device with duct tape, sort of like a long extention. The pruning pole had a hook on it that we tried to snag on the edge of the body tube. It was tedious, but we finally got it down.

What an interesting day.

I set the altimeter to deploy only the main. The drogue was deployed with the motor based ejection charge. The black powder goes into the pvc section on the forward bulkhead.

I taped the rocket hunter right to the nose cone, with the antenna up inside it.

Silly me, I designed the arming switch inside the altimeter bay, so I had to carefully take the rocket apart once it was upright on the pad in order to arm the altimeter. You don't want black powder going off in your face.

Ready to rock.

Very little damage after the fateful first flight. The main chute ripped off and drifted away. My dad found it.

Looking good on the pad, ready for its second flight.

Oh boy.

Where's Waldo?

Here's a shot of the pruning pole hooked onto the body tube.

Suprisingly, this was the only damage. And it was caused after it landed from yanking on the pruning pole.

Now I am looking forward to level 2!


The EGE said...


My first level 1 attempt drag-separated at burnout. Instant yard sale. (I still did cert that day, though).

R2K said...

Nice work. My first level 1 was lost in the woods, and we almost got lost trying to find it.

DTH Rocket said...


R2K--mine would have been quite lost too. I can't get over how handy that rocket hunter was! They were actually using the receivers to find rocketeers who had been lost in the woods. It was funny.

Murdock said...

Congratulations! Nice 2nd flight, I'm sure you would have had it the first time if not for the motor.

John Foberg said...

Congrats on level 1! Good job in your tenacity on the recovery.