Spring Thunder launch

The Spring Thunder launch will be held at the Brothers launch site on May 13-15. The launch schedule will be 8 AM – 6 PM on Friday and Saturday, and 8 AM – 1 PM on Sunday. Our standard FAA waiver of 20,500’ AGL will be in place for the launch, with call-in windows to 50,000’ AGL. We will not be using the hilltop away cell this year, so all flights will be launched from north of the flight line. We have not yet cleared the proposed “far away” cell in the NW corner of this property, so all flights exceeding the standard waiver must be launched from the regular away cell in the center of the range, and will be restricted to M impulse. All sparky motors will also need to be launched from this pad area. It is likely that sparky motors will be permitted due to the recent rainfall in central Oregon, but a final determination will be made by the RSO on site.

Weather the prior weekend in Brothers is not at all conducive to launches: 70% chance of rain/snow on Friday, and 60% chance of snow on Saturday and Sunday. At the time of this announcement current forecasts only extend through Thursday the 12th, conditions should gradually improve though next week. Nights will almost certainly be cold for the launch (mid-20’s) so be sure to bring plenty of warm clothing. You will also need sunscreen during the day since the sun at high altitude (4500’) can be very bright. There was an ample amount of firewood still at the Brothers launch site for the April launch, but you may want to bring some wood for the May launch if temperatures are forecast to be low.
We will be parking and camping along the same road as for last year’s launches this year. The north side of the road is mostly clear of sage from past use, but if you will be camping or parking on the far west end of the existing flight line, please plan to clear any sage around your parking and/or camping spot. We will be strongly discouraging parking on sage this year due to the increasingly dry conditions at the launch site. Sage should be cut a few inches below ground level, but not pulled out, so that the existing root structure remains in place to prevent soil erosion. The club trailer has several Pulaskis that can be used to clear sage, if you have any doubts about the need to remove sage, or the process to do so, please consult with a board member, several of whom will be present… just ask at the RSO/LCO/Registration tables if you need assistance identifying one of us.

Please check in at the registration tent when you arrive at the launch (starting at noon on Friday) to sign waivers and get a wrist band. Only fliers who are club members or have paid launch fees and signed the waiver form will be permitted to fly at the launch.

In order to improve range safety at this year’s launches, we will be requiring that an LCO and FSO be on duty for all launches. If launch personnel are not available, the range will be shut down until there are people on duty. For launches on Saturday, we will require that two people staff the LCO desk during the day. One will be responsible for checking range safety and launching rockets, and the other will be responsible for checking in rockets and gathering flight cards. We hope that this arrangement will result in no launches where rockets are launched under unsafe conditions when people are present on parts of the range that they should not be. You can sign up for LCO or FSO duty here. Current Tripoli L2 or higher certification is required to be an FSO.

We will also be conducting LCO and FSO training on both Friday and Saturday afternoons in order to make sure that everyone who volunteers for these duties has the appropriate knowledge to carry them out safely. Sign-ups will be available at the registration tent on both Friday and Saturday. If you would like to be an instructor for either LCO or FSO training at the launch, please reply to the announcement email with your name and times that you will be available to participate, or contact Gary. Training materials will be provided to all who  participate.

We will have two vendors for rockets and supplies: Bob Grossfeld (Sunriver Nature Center), and Scott Binder (Fusion Rocketry). Both Bob and Scott should be on site on Friday and Saturday.

Port-a-potties will be serviced for the launch, and unimproved camping is permitted on the flight line. Please note that there is no water on site, so please bring whatever you will use. Open fires will be permitted only in the two fire ring on the flight line.

Covid note: Mask mandates are no longer in place in Oregon, and masks will not be required at the launch. That does not mean that the virus cannot still spread. Please respect those who chose to wear masks, and keep appropriate distancing at the LCO table and pads.

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