October – December 2004
Author: Ian MacDonald
Welcome to the latest C.R.A.S.H. newsletter. In this issue we have a report on the fourteenth annual Colorado Model Rocketry Championships. We also have notes from our latest meeting. An issue of importance at the latest meeting was Tripoli Colorado suggesting a merge with C.R.A.S.H. It was decided that instead of merging, several C.R.A.S.H. members would join TC and help promote their club. Tripoli Colorado has an awesome launch site in Hartsel, CO and has been a past host of L.D.R.S. The next business meeting for Tripoli Colorado is Saturday January 29, 10:00 am at the Englewood Library.
Also, check out the Photos link for our November 20th launch. They look like something you might see on one of the Alberta rocket club sites! Speaking of photos, here’s one of club President Steve Clapp holding his upscale Scorpion two stage rocket. He then flew it with two D12’s on the first stage and an electric started D12 on the second stage.
Russ Anthony showed what a determined competitor he was along with his son Ryan by flying in the muddy rain soaked White Sands Regional Fall Contest in Alamogordo NM. Bruce Markielewski also endured the event which Russ writes about in this issue.
Bear Creek Lake Park has annual car passes for $40.00. If you are a regular at C.R.A.S.H. you can not only save money but drive right by the booth without stopping. Passes can be bought at the regular entrance station. Additional car passes for the same family are available at a reduced price. These passes are good only at Bear Creek which is a City of Lakewood park.
As always, C.R.A.S.H. members and other interested parties are welcome to submit articles for our newsletter. Perhaps you have an exciting project you would like to share with others. Maybe you went to a rocketry related event or attraction we might find interesting.
You may contact me at
Author: Steve Clapp
A new year of rocketry is upon us. We survived another year of faulty copperheads, splash landings and lawn darts. Thanks for everyone’s participation and support and for keeping our club going. Let’s look forward to another great year of flying rockets. For all of those that haven’t been out in a while, we would love to see you again.
In all the excitement of flying, some of us have forgotten to pay our membership dues. Our dues go to fund rocketry fees and equipment maintenance. Please check your current status on the website at
http://www.crashonline.org/crash-cgi-bin/mbrshp [fix link]
If you don’t know your user ID or password, enter your e-mail addresss and press submit. If you feel we have your information posted incorrectly, please let us know. We try to keep the annual dues low by keeping our memberships current.
We are in the process of compiling a list of hobby stores that we will ask to carry flyers about C.R.A.S.H. If there are any stores that you think would be willing to carry our flyers, please send an e-mail to CRASH-Talk. Once we have the list of interested stores, we will need volunteers to make sure the stores have enough flyers to distribute.
As some of you may have noticed, our equipment is in desperate need of attention. We have tentatively planned a maintenance party for Sunday, January 16th at James Russell’s house. We will plan on doing a bar-b-que for lunch and we might even talk about rockets. More details to follow on CRASH-Talk.
Middle Photo: Jeff Morgan and sons Kyle and Kevin holding their scratch built three stage rocket with B6/B6/A8 power.
CMRC XIV Results…
Author: Bruce Markielewski
The fourteenth annual Colorado Model Rocketry Championships was held on October 16th – 17th, 2004. We had eleven competitors participating, including five first time entrants in a C.R.A.S.H. contest – Ron and Grant Dreasher, Max Dalberth, Nathan Gardner, and Chris LaPanse. The weather on Saturday was predicted to be windy, but instead it was very calm all day – a great day for a contest! Sunday, however, was a different story as the wind finally arrived and remained gusty all day.
Six events were flown this time, and all had their own unique challenges. Just to shake things up a bit, we chose Streamer Spot Landing instead of the usual Open version of the event, and all but two entrants participated. In the combined “A” and “B” Division, Grant Dreasher edged Chris LaPanse for first place by six meters.
In “C” Division, Bruce Markielewski had a fine 4 meter score to easily take first place. Russ Anthony was second with 11 meters, followed by Steve Clapp at 15 and Ron Dreasher at 22 meters. Since we hadn’t flown this version of the event before in a C.R.A.S.H. contest, Grant, Chris, and Bruce all set club records in their respective divisions.
“1/2A” Boost Glider had six competitors, and with Grant as the only “A” Division entrant, he performed well against the five “C” Division entrants. Steve Clapp held off the rest of the group with a 100 second total time to take first. Jim Hinton was a close second at 85, and Ron Dreasher’s 77 second total just barely beat Russ for third place. Grant placed fifth, but beat an old “A” Division club record. Surprisingly, no flights were disqualified in this event.
“C” Eggloft Duration saw a similar field, this time with “A” Divisioner Nathan Gardner competing against five “C” Division competitors. Steve had a fantastic time of 222 seconds to take first easily and set a club record. Ron was a distant second place, with a best time of 52 seconds, followed by Russ at 34 seconds and Nathan at 26. Bruce had a tough time in the event, having left his parachutes at home Saturday when it was calm. His first flight was lost over the dam after a two minute flight, and a second qualifying attempt had a rough landing on the side of the dam resulting in a broken egg.
“E” Streamer Duration was a tough event, as the first four competitors all had disqualified flights on their first attempt. Only Ron had a successful first flight, but his two flight total was good enough for only third place. Steve and Bruce battled for first, with Bruce’s 248 second time besting Steve by 27 seconds and setting a club record. Russ has a qualified flight for fourth. No “A” or “B” Division competitors attempted this event.
“A” Flexi-wing Duration had only four entrants, all in “C” Division. Steve had two nice flights for a 659 second total, first place, and a club record. Bruce’s 401 second total was enough for second place, and Russ took third with 236 seconds. Ian MacDonald lost his model on the first flight, and didn’t fly a second one, so he earned flight points only for the event.
“1/4A” Super-roc Duration was more difficult, as half of the flights were disqualified. In “C” Division, Bruce made the most of his single flight, scoring 12850 points on a time of 257 seconds in some of the rare thermals occurring during the contest. His flight was a club record and also beat an old NAR national record. Steve was a distant second with 700 points, and Ian was third at 250 points. In “A” Division, Max beat Grant 513 points to 224 for first place and a club record.
Overall, Grant Dreasher was the winner in the “A/B” Division, and was the only one in the division flying more than one event. Max Dalberth only flew “1/4A” Super-roc, but was only 15 points behind the winner. Nathan Gardner was third with his successful “C” Eggloft flight, and Chris LaPanse was fourth overall.
In “C” Division, Steve Clapp dominated the division, winning the three highest scoring events with a total of 2028 points. Bruce was a distant second place at 1245 points. Ron captured third over Russ by only 6 points, with a 660 point score.
http://www.crashonline.org/crash-cgi-bin/contst?cmrc-14 [fix link]
can be found on the C.R.A.S.H. web site in the
http://www.crashonline.org/competition.html [fix link]
While the turnout was small this time, the contest was very challenging, and a learning experience for everyone. Even so, a total of nine club records and one national record were set during the two day contest. Already, plans are being made for the next great C.R.A.S.H. contest next March!
C.R.A.S.H. Business Meeting…
December 4, 2004
Author: Dave Hanson
Meeting attendees were: Steve Clapp, Scott Hommas, Bob Ellis, James Russell, Dave Tjarks, Russ Anthony, Bruce Markielewski, Martin Visnak, Joe Lattrel, J. D. LaVasseur, Brian Bell, Jeff Mosal, Ian MacDonald, Cliff Hoenstein, Chuck Luciano, and Dave Hanson.
The meeting began with a presentation from Joe Latrell of Beyond Earth. Joe explained the nature of his business and the company’s future plans. Joe can be contacted at
The company’s website is
JD LaVasseur and Brian Bell from Tripoli-Colorado explained that Tripoli-Colorado doesn’t have the membership numbers to maintain the club, and proposed that it merge with C.R.A.S.H. Martin Visnak expressed concerns about Tripoli-Colorado becoming a financial burden on C.R.A.S.H. Steve Clapp proposed to keep the clubs separate, and work on increasing membership numbers for Tripoli-Colorado. The consensus was that there are enough C.R.A.S.H. members willing to join Tripoli-Colorado immediately at the current dues level to help maintain Tripoli-Colorado. Todd Williams moved to merge clubs. Chuck Luciano moved to keep them separate for a year. Bob Ellis made a motion to provide members for a one year trial. Motion seconded by everybody. Motion passed.
Steve Clapp made a motion to make newsletter editor an officer. Motion seconded and passed.
Officer elections for the year 2005 were conducted. None of the current position holders were opposed. The officers were elected as before, with the addition of newsletter editor. The current officers are:
Steve Clapp: President
James Russell: Vice-President
Bruce Markielewski: Treasurer
Dave Hanson: Secretary
Ian MacDonald: Newsletter Editor
Jeff Mosal volunteered to distribute flyers for both C.R.A.S.H. and Tripoli-Colorado. The club needs to get a list of hobby shops to Jeff; this will be discussed on crash-talk.
James Russell suggested that the club should contact old members to encourage re-joining.
The club website needs to updated with membership information. It was suggested that a membership form be added, and facilitate membership payment through PayPal.
James Russell volunteered to host the maintenance party at his house. The date was tentatively set for January 16th, but this will be discussed on the crash-talk mailing list.
Bruce Markielewski presented the awards from the CMRC XIV contest, which was held in October.
Several combinations of events were discussed for the C.R.A.S.H. spring contest CARCIS XIII, scheduled for March 19 & 20, 2005. The events agreed upon were:
“1/8A” Super-roc Altitude
“C” Streamer Multi-round
“B” Helicopter Duration
“B” Boost Glider
Parachute Spot Landing
Todd Williams provided an update on recent outreach events conducted by the club. The meeting concluded with the annual Christmas gift exchange.
White Sands Fall Regional Contest…
November 13th-14th, 2004
Author: Russ Anthony – NAR 81741, L1
Once again, I decided to make the 600-mile drive down to Alamogordo, NM for a regional contest. This is the first time I have competed there in November, and the conditions were decidedly different than last June’s regional event. C.R.A.S.H. treasurer Bruce Markielewski made the drive as well, departing from Denver around noon on Friday. He was able to take a vacation day, while I just skipped out from work and left around 2:00PM in the afternoon. Like the last trip, Ryan, my seven year old, wanted to compete. We left right from his school in what ended up being an exhausting eleven-hour trip in some really bad driving conditions. The three of us made up the total number of entrants from Colorado.
The weather forecast for the weekend was for intermittent rain, snow, wind and high temperatures in the forty’s. Not exactly inspiring rocketry weather. True to form, we drove into freezing rain and dense fog from Las Vegas, NM to Alamogordo. At times, I was over-driving my headlights at 45 miles per hour. I was really tired but happy when we finally pulled into the Holiday Inn Express at about 1:15 AM. Wondering if the drive was pointless, we fell asleep at once.
The 7:00AM wake up call seemed really early, and a glance outside confirmed my worst fear. Deep puddles in the parking lot were being inundated with yet more raindrops, and the low cloud base echoed my spirits. The warm, continental breakfast helped, though, and we left the hotel around 7:45. A quick stop at Wal-Mart for some warm boots for Ryan, some gloves for me, and we were off to the launch site, wondering if my Toyota Camry was going to make it without getting stuck on the mile long dirt road turned mud.
Jim Basler, the contest director, flagged me down as we passed the RC airplane field. He explained that the road leading to the rocket launch site was impassible, but he had got permission to use the airfield instead. Several other fliers, including Bruce, arrived by 9:00AM or so. The rain had let up to a drizzle, and the clouds were lifting somewhat. Despite the 40-degree drizzle coming down, we reluctantly started filling out contest sheets in hopes the weather would improve. By the time this was done, it did seem to be getting better. The drizzle had quit, and the temperature was up above 40 degrees. We quickly determined that there were close to enough competitors to start flying. Interestingly, only low power NAR competitors were willing to brave the cold. This event was billed as a high power sport launch and a NAR regional contest, but there were only two high power flights all weekend, so there really was never any competition for pads or equipment.
Bruce and I flew our spot landing entries as soon as the pads were set up, measuring 31 and 15 feet, respectively. Mine was the closest distance of the day, with Bruce coming in 3rd, behind Denzil Burnam. Six C division fliers competed in total for the event. In the A-B division, Ryan took 4th, although 12 fliers competed. Most were not signed up for NAR, so Ryan moved up to 2nd, by the final tally.
The ceiling continued to lift through the noon hour, and we decided it was safe enough to try the big event of the day: E Duel Eggloft Duration. This is a deceptively difficult event and exponentially harder than single egg duration. Ryan tried flying his modified Eliminator, nicknamed the “eggliminator”. It lived up to its nickname, separating the capsule from the body tube. His second flight fared no better, with the transition pulling from the screw eye, despite epoxy. A novice 13 year old named Evan Jaramillo flew a very nice 2-minute flight for the only qualified flight in A or B division. Bruce flew twice, but suffered from semi-deployed parachutes on both flights. My ripstop-nylon 36-inch chute did its job for a nice 3-minute, 21-second flight. Nobody eclipsed the time, so I didn’t need another flight. Bruce again took 3rd place, behind Tony Jaramillo. Jim Basler, normally a noteworthy competitor, had a beautiful 5-minute 1st flight, only to open the capsule and find a cracked egg. Those E-18 reloads have some G forces on liftoff! His second flight separated, relegating his entries to the DQ category.
For ½ A Parachute Duration, I flew a 24″ Mylar chute and obtained a solid 2 minute 21 second 1st flight, good enough for 1st place. Jim took second with two flights totaling just over one minute. Bruce, like Jim, suffered some half-deploying, sticky, chutes and placed third. Ryan was forced into the C division, and placed 4th using a ½ A6-2 in a 18mm rocket originally designed for B and C streamer duration.
C Boost Glider Duration was a real fun event to watch. In a reversal of circumstances, Bruce only had to fly one flight and posted 2 minutes 43 seconds. His flight made a beautiful full loop, part of which was under power. Despite an altitude of only a couple hundred feet, it was incredibly well trimmed. While my own glider had a much better boost, it wasn’t trimmed nearly as well, with numerous stalls and managed to post 2 minutes 8 seconds. For my 2nd flight, I chose to use my better trimmed and lighter backup model to try and improve on the time. I knew there was a chance of a failure, since its wings and tail were made of thinner balsa, but I already had a good, qualified time so I threw caution to the wind. Sure enough, we watched as the wing came undone right at the top of the boost, and the two pieces gently tumbled to the ground. One line of wood glue and she was good as new. Ryan’s glider, a foam contraption called a “Swinger” suffered a far worse fate. The glider took off and almost immediately flew horizontal, impacting across the parking lot just before the ejection charge was due to swing the wings out. After recovering most of the small bits that were left, I examined the wings. The C motor had completely burned through the upper wing, and most of the way through the lower wing. It wouldn’t have glided with such damage anyway, dooming Ryan to disqualification for the event. That was the end of the only attempt by A or B division fliers. Jim Basler managed an 18 second flight for third place in C division.
Most of the flying for the duration events was complete by about 4:00PM or so and we determined that the altitude events would have to wait until Sunday morning, despite the bleak forecast for more rain or snow. We all packed up, heading back to the hotels for hot showers, as much to warm up as taking off layers of mud. All of us met at a Chinese buffet dinner restaurant that night. There were close to 20 of us, and we truly did have “all you could eat.”
Sunday morning was almost a repeat of Saturday, only a little colder yet. Rain came down until around 9:30AM when the clouds began to lift. Only five competitors decided to fly, due to the dismal conditions. The temperatures eventually climbed into the low 50’s with a hint of blue peeking through by early afternoon. Two altitude events were on the slate. Set Altitude, with a 300-meter target and A Superroc Altitude. Bruce won both events, nearly setting a national record for A Superroc, and only missing the target altitude by about six feet for Set Altitude. I came in second in both events. Jim came in 3rd in Set Altitude with Ryan in 4th, while Ryan had a non-closed track and Jim suffered a DQ in Superroc. The flight closure calculations had to wait for a day, since none of us had thought to bring a laptop or scientific calculator!
For the overall standings, In A Division, Evan Jaramillo came in 1st, due to his 1st place in the E Eggloft event. Ryan came in 2nd, but less than 300 points, due to the DQ’s in the two biggest events, and being forced to compete against me and our resident C division National Champion, Bruce! Hopefully, there will be more A divisioners next time. In C division, I took 1st place with 1896 points, and Bruce second with 1716 points. Tony Jaramillo was 3rd with 498, and Jim took 4th with 462. Three others rounded out the competitors.
Bruce, Ryan and I started the long drive back by about 3:30PM after some lunch. The drive back was much better than the trip down, with no snow or fog. We arrived in our driveway by 12:30AM, making for a really short weekend!
Looking back, I really enjoyed the trip and competition. The weather really impacted everyone, but perseverance paid off. We could have easily canned the whole contest, and probably would have except for the 600-mile drive. I really flew well, and feel fortunate to say that I beat a national champion in a regional event! Bruce didn’t have his best flights that weekend, but still racked up a good number of points. Jim and Ryan both suffered multiple DQ’s and didn’t get many points, but it all made for a good learning experience. Several other competitors look to be getting serious about building contest rockets, so next time should provide better competition. If anyone is interested in driving down there, Jim will be hosting two more regional contests next year in February and on Fathers Day weekend in June. The events are already set for both of these regionals, so contact Bruce or me for more information.
C.R.A.S.H. Landings is published by:
Colorado Rocketry Association of Space Hobbyists (NAR section #482)
No responsibility is assumed for unsolicited material. All submissions become the property of C.R.A.S.H. Landings. Submissions should be delivered in electronic format by e-mail or diskette. For other formats, please contact the editor:
Ian MacDonald – [removed email]