Before I forget, I wanted to note the lessons learned from my second rocket build.
1) An apron and tons of masking tape are always welcome. 2) Nothing goes as quickly as planned. Thus waiting until the week before launch to build the rocket is a stress inducing exercise. 3) Wear clothes that I do not mind ruining.
Okay back to morning of the launch. The launch site Plaster City is located about 2 hours east of San Diego. It is best to get there early for the best lack of wind conditions. Also it is not as hot too. So that means I am up around 5am, to me ready, the car loaded with all the essentials, and arrive at site 8am ish. I need to take a photo of how crammed full of stuff my poor Honda Civic is when rocketing bound.
I end up rushing around to get going, and it never fails that I manage to leave something needed behind. Even with a check list. Saying that I am not a morning person is a total understatement. I am significantly morning challenged and find it quite perplexing why people get up so darn early. Being nocturnal, I’d rather stay up all night, sleep all day.
Sir Isaac Lime (SIL) is the last item loaded into the very full car. I call G to let him know that I am getting a much later start than expected. I decide to place SIL on the console between the seats and stretch over to the back window. As I put him in position, I hear a crack and feel a fin fall off into the carrying bag.
This is not good, so I am grounded for the day. Fins should set overnight to allow sufficient epoxy cure time. Since I am already set to go, I head to Plaster City to be a spectator.
When I arrive, G looks over my fin issue, and tells me that although I have much epoxy on the outside fin area, there was not enough on the root of the fin secured to the motor tube. I spend a portion of the day removing all three fins, and sanding then down for re-installation. The silver lining is that it was better to have this happen on the ground, rather than in flight. Although I was bummed that I could not fly, I would have cried if my rocket crashed and was completely trashed.
The next opportunity for Level 1 certification flight is April 3rd.