Upcoming Launch Schedule

2017 - 2018 ROCC Season

All launches are at the Midland, NC site unless otherwise stated.

Midland 2019 launch schedule (proposed)

December 8th or 9th - weather dependent

December 15 & 16

January 1st

January 19 & 20

February 16 & 17

March 16 & 17

April 27 & 28

May 18 & 19

June 15 & 16 *

Set-up starts at about 9:00, launches commence about 10:00. Field closes about 30 min. before dusk so we can clean up. Watch the site front page for specifics. Also visit us on FaceBook. 

* If field is available

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Monday
Jul092018

A note about our friends to the south...

Trip to Camden

 Since the ROCC season ended due to crops, I’ve made a few trips to our neighbor club in South Carolina, aptly named Rocketry South Carolina.  It has been a very good experience and I encourage ROCC members to consider heading down to Camden for a day or two while our flying season is on hold.  Here’s a brief summary of my personal experiences with Rocketry South Carolina.

 The first time I visited the club was in the late 2000’s, when their home was at the sod farm in Orangeburg.  It was for a little rocket launch called Freedom Launch – you may have heard of it.  I was jaw dropped at the field, the number of fliers and the size of the rockets being flown.  The experience was similar to my first visit to our home in Midland, having only previously seen a ‘Mighty D’ before and getting onsite to see that there was this thing called high power rocketry.  The event was basically epic in my mind, even though I think I only flew a G and an H, which our field would have easily supported.

 The following year, I went to a ‘normal’ launch and was surprised to see how few people were there compared.  It wasn’t a bad turnout at all, but it was smaller than our typical ROCC launches at the time.  The people who were there were still just as friendly and the field was still amazing, but it was a much smaller gathering and much more similar to what I had become used to at Midland.

I decided to go back for the next Freedom Launch with a goal in mind.  I had recently gotten my level 2 using my extended Mini-Magg at around 3200 feet at Midland and thought that should be my limit for our field, as the rocket, even with successful dual deploy ended up (miraculously) making it between the tree canopy and landing in the creek.  The video lasted all the way down and you could see it splashing down in the creek.  The rocket was recovered and completely ready to fly again, just a little damp. . .I digress.

 I decided if I wanted to try to go higher, I needed to go down to Orangeburg and fly, as the field was larger and the waiver significantly higher.  I launched my extended LOC IV with the goal of hitting a mile – 5280 feet.  While I was close (5199 feet) I didn’t quite make it and shook out the laundry at apogee to boot.  I managed to lose my rocket in the one difficult area of that site, a large bramble field.  Erica and I looked the rest of the day for it, but no luck.  The following day, we drove back and our resident bloodhound, Roy, took to the scent.  We split up and even though he didn’t see the flight, his uncanny rocket tracking ability resulted in him exiting the bramble field with my trophy intact.  So, even at that field, I could lose a rocket!

 Due to outside influences (i.e. work schedule) I missed a lot of launches at Midland and never returned to Orangeburg.  Until recently, I might make one launch a year with ROCC at best.

 Recently, though, things have become more manageable and I’ve been enjoying flying again.  The Rocketry South Carolina club relocated to a field in Camden and with out season shutting down, I decided to take the drive.

 My first trip was in May and it was almost my last!  This is also a sod farm and it is nice, big and has a very high waiver.  That day, it also had been freshly ‘fertilized’ with ‘natural’ fertilizer from our feathered friend, the chicken.  It was brutal.  There were flies, overbearing heat and the smell was overwhelming and I used to work in paper mills on occasion!  Our friend Ken Allen was onsite and I asked him if it this was common and he emphatically said ‘NO, I’ve never been here when it was like this.’  Whew.  Erica and I enjoyed our day, met/reacquainted ourselves with friends we hadn’t seen in a while and decided to make it a fairly short event.

 June rolled around and Erica and I, with mild trepidation, decided to go back.  Johnny Hoffman, former president of Rocketry South Carolina and I had been exchanging emails and I knew he was going to do some hybrid flights, which I really wanted to see.  So, we headed back, were joined by my friend Turbo and headed to Camden again, fully knowing that we might turn right around again if the field was freshly fertilized again.  Nope, we were in great shape.  The winds were nice, the air was pure, the flies were nowhere to be found and rockets were flying.  We flew a good bit of ABC stuff that day and enjoyed watching some of the other flights.  Johnny’s hybrid L-flight went over 13,000 feet, I believe.  May was a fluke, this is what I was hoping for.

 Today, July 7, we also went down.  The weather was supposed to be terrible and I expected the launch to be cancelled, but apparently the weatherman got it wrong as the all day storms turned out not to hit.  It was even cool, only getting into the mid 80’s.  There was a constant ‘breeze’ (10+ mph) that would normally limit people’s desire to fly high, but these guys know the field and had no problem putting up plenty of I & J flights a 54mm cluster etc., all recovered on the field.

 We flew a couple of G’s to guessing mid 1500’s-low 2000’s, with easy recovery.  In fact, since the field is a sod far, when the motor kicked out on the first flight, we recovered the rocket, saw the missing 29/100 case and decided to look for it.  Less than 5 minutes later, we easily spotted the case around where we estimated splashdown from apogee to be and the rocket drifted a long way from there.  Short green grass makes finding rockets pretty easy.

 So, while I know many of our long-time members have been to visit Rocketry South Carolina over the years (the clubs have a good relationship and support each other’s launches often), I encourage anyone who has not visited the Camden site to do so.  While recent Freedom launches at Camden reportedly have not been quite as well attended as the earlier Freedom launches I went to in Orangeburg, that might be a great time to go visit the club.  Their website is rocketrysouthcarolina.org and while it isn’t updated as often as our website, the pertinent information is there.  The flight fees for guests is reasonable and the club is very welcoming.  The rules are executed a little differently than at ROCC, but a 2 minute briefing at the sign in table will have you set on your way to fly.

 Anyway, I thought I’d pass along my recent experiences and encourage others to take the drive.  It might be long for some, but in my mind, it could be worth doing at least one and if you’re only likely to do it once, I recommend Freedom Launch, September 1-3.  I’d love to see a bunch of the ROCC tie-died shirts out there supporting our neighbors and helping make Freedom Launch 2018 be the best attended launch at Rocketry South Carolina’s Camden field.

 Sandy.