Southern Area Rocketry – The National Association of Rocketry chartered club for model rocket enthusiasts in North Georgia.

At the September 22nd launch event in Dawsonville we had nineteen participants launch sixty-one rockets. Light southerly winds, a few puffy clouds, and summertime temperatures made for ideal conditions that encouraged many to reach for the higher altitudes at SoAR’s mid-power field. Taking a few risks set the stage for some fun rocketry, but there were some launches that didn’t go quite as planned, so it is with a degree of empathy to those who lost a prized rocket that we must still mention how exciting the day turned out to be.

The Jolly Logic chute releases are becoming more common on the mid-powered rockets and this proved to be both thrilling to watch (as many selected their chute release to occur at 200 feet) and very advantageous for those who were retrieving their rockets.

There were numerous outstanding launches like Allen Isdell’s LOC IV launched on a G67 Redline and Kevin Scholberg’s majestic Silver Surfer that went up on a G74. Joseph Barrett launched his North Coast Rocketry Archer XL on a G64 and Jim Cain launched an Estes Nike Smoke powered with a G64. There was also this thing called Decaffeinator (FlisKits) that Leaor Schwartz boldly sent up on a D12-3 with great success, and then reloaded another D12-3 and attached a parasitic glider for another wild ride, but very successful. Great stuff!

Chris began the day’s action with his Fliskits “Nell” launched on a C6 with impressive results. Kevin filled his Estes “Dude” with air and launched it on a D12 to the delight of all spectators. More impressive flights by Kevin included his scratch-built saucers (DT-08, Black Web, and Safety Disk) on E6 and E7 motors with 7 and 6 second burn times – very fun to watch. Joseph launched his Madcow Phoenix on an E39 which streaked over the adjacent field with authority and David used a parachute tether (set to release at 100’) to get his Space X Falcon 9, launched on a E13, back to the field safely. Allen brought out his LOC IV and flew it with a G54 for very impressive flight.

Chris also made an outstanding presentation under the rocket prep tent of the OSIRIS-REx NASA mission that will travel to a near-Earth asteroid called Bennu and bring a small sample back to Earth for study. He demonstrated how the sample will be acquired. Fascinating! The mission launched Sept. 8, 2016. The spacecraft will reach Bennu in 2018 and return a sample to Earth in 2023. [NASA Link]

First of all, know that most park systems in the metro area have rules against flying objects of all types. Sometimes you can go fly a rocket or two in your local park, but at some point a friendly police officer will come by and say you can’t do that. That said, there is one park where we have gotten assurances that model rockets are allowed: Garrard Landing Park on Holcomb Bridge Rd near the Chattahoochee River. The entrance to the park is in front of the Johns Creek Environmental Campus; just follow the signs back to the park. Garrard Landing is suitable for the average Estes beginner rockets.

The best advice we can give is for you to wait and attend one of SoAR’s launches, where you don’t have to worry about permission, or even whether your launch equipment works, since we provide it, along with free recovery wadding! We try to have two launches a month, usually one in Alpharetta for smaller model rockets, and one at another location for all model rockets. And then we have our GRITS launch in south Georgia at Thanksgiving for rockets of all types.