flight logs      
  Level Two Certification Cluster-R Navy Strike  

In 1996, the largest motor I had flown to date was an Aerotech J125-10 Loc EZI at the Blackrock Desert. I achieved an altitude of 6,702 feet. To certify at Level Two, I had to build another J motor rocket and take the Tripoli exam. My wife gave me a 4-inch Cluster-R Navy Strike for Christmas in 1995. This had a 54 mm motor mount. I built the kit, fiberglassing it and dipping it in epoxy, and finished it in Navy Drone colors--red and white--with a large shark mouth on the nose cone. With an eight-fin configuration, there was a lot of fiberglassing to do.

I took the Level Two exam in the backroom of Castle Hobbies in San Jose, and passed it just fine. On flight day in Blackrock during the summer of 1996, Pius Morizumi witnessed my flight. The Navy Strike flew perfectly and out of sight on a J125-10. Its estimated altitude was 5,400 feet. On recovery, Pius checked all the fins to make sure they were solid. With my fiberglass overbuilding technique, not even a scratch was apparent.

The following summer, I flew the same rocket on a Aerotech K250-20W. Before the rocket left the rod, it exploded in a million burning pieces. Oh well. Glad it didn't do that when I was certifying.

Level Two is the total gateway to HPR. My understanding is that I can now attempt any level or size motor. I am kicking around a Level Three rocket, still attempting to decide style or manufacturer.