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TRIPOLI Pittsburgh Launch Report
Sunday October 9,  2022

Carnegie Mellon Rocket Command
Crystal clear blue skies surround the L1 at apogee.
Small, wispy clouds blew through occasionally but breezy conditions kept the sky clear most of the day.
Temeratures in the 50's to low 60's.
Ken Good and Dave Rose yuk it up iin the pits while enjoying the action.
TRIPOLI Pittsburgh President and head of the Field Maintenance Crew, Joe Pscolka conducts a Flyers Meeting before kicking off the action.
John Haught hauls his Super Skunk to the flight line.
Kevin Wukevich with his rocket made entirerly out of old Estes motors.
William Sublett's Laser Hawk takes to the skies on a  smoky Aerotech G53 Blackjack.
(Background photo)
Breezy conditions had everyone looking east for most of the day. Everyone except Casey that is.

At the first flyers meeting in years, a number of veteran TRIPOLI Pittsburgh members helped president and head of the Field Maintenence Crew, Joe Pscolka announce some pertinent information to the crowd and kick off the action. Well done Joe.
Rockets flew off of the low power launch pads and the high power pads early. Seasoned flyers and newcomers alike littered the trees and brush to the east of the field with rockets. Veteran John Haught braved the breeze and launched a couple skyward, while others waited. "I think I'll wait for a while and see if the winds calm down later.", Ken Good mentioned to a few others who where in agreement.
Windy conditions plagued nearly everyone.
More below....
Congratulations to Jerry Andre, winner of the George Pike Award for 2022.
Jerry Andre
William Sublett
Kevin Wuchevich
Joe Pscolka
John Haught
The George Pike Frequent Flyer Award is given to the TRIPOLI Pittsburgh member with the most cumulative flights over the course of the season at the Dragon's Fire Field.
Congratulations Jerry Andre!

George Pike Award

Members of the Carnegie Mellon Rocket Command watch the action.
John Haught carries his Adventurer to the pads.
John loads his Pain Killer.
27 Flyers
62 Flights

Early morning frost and fog were cleared out quickly by the sun and breezes. "It would be a perfect day if not for the wind", one flyer was heard to say.
The TRIPOLI Pittsburgh October Launch was attended by more flyers and other attendees than any launch in the last few years. And while conditions were beautiful, it was windy.
Flight after flight feeding the trees to the east had the drone crew and other search teams busy.
Scroll down for more....

The final Launch at the Dragon's Fire Field for the 2022 season.

It wasn't long before the drone crew was called out to begin searching the trees. Others set out on foot and in a bevy of vehicles.
A rocket landed in the trees just along the edge low enough to be snagged from the ground and pulled down. Others were not so lucky.
Scott Kissinger launched a test of one of his new kits, Nuclear Fusion, on a G138 Blue Thunder and watched it drift into the trees down the hill. The drone crew was able to locate Scott's rocket fairly quickly but had to return for a battery change before anyone could get to the spot on foot. By the time Scott had arrived at the expected location, the rocket was lost again. The drone crew studied the video of the earlier flight to try to re-find the lost Fusion. Two additional drone flights were required to re-locate.
Once located, Scott had to make a tough decision. Abandonment of the Nuclear Fusion was necessary. "Its too high up in the trees. And its really dense forest. And its on a steep slope.", Scott said, leaving the Fusion in the tree for another day.
More below....
Jerry Andre's two-stage Tri Fin launches on an I211 to a G64.
Scott Kissinger's ill fated Nuclear Fusion lifts off on a G138.

Scott's Fusion in the tree.

Kevin Wukevich and Francis Graham handle the launch system while a gang of neer-do-well's look on.
Jerry Andre's 2 stage Tri Fin heads for the sky. (background)
2022 George Pike Award winner Jerry Andre flew his 2 stage, 106" tall, Tri Fin. The I211 ignited and lifted the Tri Fin off the pad with a white trail of smoke. The booster slid cleanly away and the G64 lit to carry the main rocket section (sustainer) to apogee (2652'). The apogee charge fired right on time. The flight was perfect. Except for the trees.
Both the booster and the main rocket drifted into the trees. Fortunately for Jerry, both were recoverable.
The booster was found by the Kissinger search team as they were traipsing through the woods. The main rocket section required a tad more work but was recovered without damage.
More below....
Veteran TRIPOLI Pittsburgh members hold still long enough to get the first group photo in years.
Steve Howard waits for a free launch pad..

One of TRIPOLI Pittsburgh's newer members, Rick Schubert thumbed his nose at the wind and flew his Purple People Eater on a number of different motors.
The wind didn't seem to bother Rick and the People Eater much. Flight after flight went well. Until the last.
"It didn't have enough punch to get to altitude." 
"The motor delay was too long."
"The tent got in the way."
All were heard around the pits after Rick's final launch of the day for the Purple People Eater.
No injuries were sustained as the rocket dove towards the pits only to have the ejection charge fire just before impact with a popup tent.
The Andre's may be seen with a new tent next year.
More below....
Rick Schubert's Purple People Eater as seen from the waiting L1.
Rick collects his Purple People Eater  from the popup.
The Purple People Eater  launched on a number of different motors..
Members of the Carnegie Mellon Rocket Command were on hand to do "a little learnin' and a little flyin'".
More will be added here when CMRC mentor Dave Rose can be located.

The TRIPOLI Pittsburgh October launch was capped off by a bag of tailings from the John Haught Motorworks and some gorgeous pyrotechnics by Steve Howard.
All in all it was a great day of flying rockets with only a couple sacrificed to the woods.
Thanks go to all who attended and participated, especially all those who launched their hard work into the sky.
And Special Thanks to the Field Maintenence Crew for making the field so nice to fly and to the entire TRIPOLI Pittsburgh Membership!
Double Extra Special Thanks to the Young/Fisher families for allowing TRIPOLI Pittsburgh to hold our events on their property!
2022 was a great year of flying and 2023 promises to be even better so get building!
The End.
WVU student Elizabeth Breckenridge and her rocket Missy Better Recover .
Missy is currently hanging in the trees.
See a fantastic photo gallery by Ernie Marsh here!
Another great gallery from Alex Kreshenko here.