The Range Head, November 2000

Jack Hagerty, LUNAR #002


We all talk about being "blown away" by some event, but our October night launch had that happen literally! I'm sorry for the disappointment, the October launch is by far our most popular, but even the LUNAR president can't control the weather! I checked with LARPD, and the next available weekend for a rescheduled launch was November 11, only a week before our regular November launch, so I just canceled it. This, of course, leads into...


This will be the "new" night launch, at least for this year. The weather has pretty awful the three weekends after the October cancellation, so I'm not expecting any great event. One thing for sure is that it's going to be cold so bundle up! Since we're back on Standard Time, we're starting an hour earlier, around 3:30 PM. We do still have some Cub Scouts who want to come out to fly, so I'll be out there at 2:00 to start setting up to give them a little head start. Any of you who want to come out early to help can start flying with them, but the general show-up-and-fly time is 3:30.

Before we get to the launch, though, we have the...


The meeting is on Wednesday, November 15 at the usual time (7:30) and place (the Carnegie Building). There are three things on the agenda:

1) This is the planning meeting for next year, so if you have any ideas or input for the calendar, this is your chance. If you have something to propose, but can't make the meeting, just contact me or any of the board members and we'll bring it up for you.

2) Nominations for next year's board of directors. This is your chance to nominate and/or volunteer for a board position if you don't like the way things are going. The election will be at the January meeting (and I promise it won't go for a week without knowing the winner!).

3) Lost & Found auction. It's the semiannual event to clean out the L&F box of things that have been unclaimed for more than six months. Actually, there's not much there compared to other times, but there are some well made kits. Bring the kids and some spare change and go home with some bargains!


The big event at our last launch in September (that seems so long ago!) was, of course, the silent auction. We sold off the large pile of items donated by Lynn Kissel (LUNAR 009) and the smaller pile from Mark Weiss (LUNAR 001) along with some miscellaneous items people had been giving us the past few months.

The big ticket items were Lynn's "Skeye H'eye" video broadcast system and his North Coast "Tomahawk," both of which went for $100. I'd like to put in a big public "Thank You" to August Flassig who not only bought both of these, but the color CCD unit for Skeye H'eye for an additional $40. A true patron of the hobby! At the other end of the scale, the two Estes Generic E2-X kits went for 1 each! (there were no minimum bids).

The only thing I came back with was the old club computer which got no bids. One kid bid 5 on it and was ecstatic until I pointed out it had no CD-ROM drive, no mouse and ran the (gasp!) DOS operating system. He scratched out his bid :-)

It was somewhat frightening to watch people towards the end, making frantic dives for the bid sheets as the clock ran down. Some folks really get into this auction thing! . After the bidding was over and we peeled the pages off of the sheets of G10 fiberglass they were on, people started asking how much we wanted for the G10. We sold it all for a buck a sheet when I couldn't give it away before!

All together the hundred or so items brought in $670! We are going to use this money to finance the order of logo T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, etc. being coordinated by Doug Blasco. With an order this large we can get some really good prices meaning they'll be cheaper for you guys.

Speaking of T-shirts...


Doug Blasco has been busily at work on not just T-shirts, but all sort of apparel and other logo stuff. He reports:

"I called on one of my accounts in Pleasanton the other day. The name of the company is Monarch Business Forms. I figured it was just another print shop. But Nooooo.... "I walk into the place and see a demo room with every kind and type of promotional/logo merchandise that you can think of! I am slating the delivery of our first set of shirts for December 15th, just in time for the December Launch. Their turnaround time is only two weeks, so if we ever run out of something, we will be able to make more in time for the next launch."

For right now, Doug is only ordering the items that were the most popular in the survey he took over the past few months. After the initial run of T-shirts he'll look into sweatshirts, polo shirts (with embroidered logos rather than silkscreened) and could even move on to coffee mugs and such (I'd buy one!).

In addition to taking care of our logo items, Doug is our new media liaison. His first outing to get us more exposure was on cable Channel 30 where he was interviewed on the program "Everything Local." The timing was perfect as the show aired the Friday and Saturday before our scheduled night launch last month. Too bad Mom Nature didn't cooperate.


One launch that did go on as scheduled was our demo at the EBRC Air Show on October 8.

Joe Heckenbach coordinated this again for the third year an pulled of a great performance. Here's his report:

"I would like to thank all of you who participated in the EBRC demo launch. You guys are the ones who made it the success it was. Bob and George of EBRC told me our act was the one that created the most talk and applause from the audience. We even had the other featured fliers watching us. In other words, we were a hit! Congratulations on a great show.

"I would like to give special thanks to Ken Busse for interrupting his busy day to drop off the equipment trailer in the morning and pick it up again in the afternoon.

"I had a high power rocket that didn't get the chute all the way out of the airframe and it came down sideways out in the field with minor damage. James Marino had a problem when his dual-deployment rocket didn't pop the main and it came down in the parking lot between two cars. Other than that, there were two igniter misfires but everything else went off without a hitch. "The fliers that showed up were: Judy and I; Tony, Cheryl and clan; James and Rose Marino and his wife; Bill and Sierra Orvis, and Geoff Stanford and his daughter. The crowd was very impressed by the high power rockets, so next year I would like to concentrate on mostly them. Believe it or not, the wind was very light during the launch and we landed nearly half of the rockets on or within fifty feet of the runway. Having the Scouts retrieve almost all of the rockets was nice."


Bryan Chuck (LUNAR 885) contacted me recently to say that he had passed his Level 2 certification, and is now willing to administer the written test to any LUNAR members who want to advance to this next step of High Power. Note that this is only the written part of the L2 certification as we can't fly anything larger than "H" on our field and Level 2 requires a "J" flight.

Bryan has already contacted Steve Lubliner (the national level high power coordinator for the NAR) who should be sending him copies of the test. Those of you interested in taking the L2 written exam should contact him at


Dave Redell, our website administrator since the very beginning (1995?) recently informed me that the bean counters at Compaq just "discovered" our website sitting on one of their machines and weren't sure if they liked it or not. Anticipating this happening eventually, last spring I had Bill Orvis and Tony Cooper look into ISP hosted web sites that we could move into quickly. They dusted off their research and found several companies that would easily fit our site, including the entire Clips archive for an amount within our budget.

The board has already approved the expenditure of moving to a commercial ISP, and we are now in the process of picking one. Bill Orvis has volunteered to be the new administrator. If we do this right, you won't notice any interruption, but if you try to log in to the website sometime over the next couple months and can't do it, that's the reason. I'll let you all know when the switch happens.


Finally, an item from Tom Hail of interest to those of you who either take the Smithsonian Air & Space magazine, or have web access.

Vern Estes and the hobby is profiled in the current issue. If you get the magazine you already know this. If you don't, and have web access, the following link provides the text of the article:

Tom is going to try to get permission to reprint the article, so watch for it in a future edition.