We have a rocket launch scheduled tomorrow, Saturday, September 12, at Dodds Park in Champaign.
Setup will begin at 12:00 noon, probably in the south half of the soccer field parking lots. Our waiver allows flying motors through "H" class up to 4,000' MSL (about 3,250' from ground level). The waiver expires at sunset at 7:04 PM, but we plan to stay later tomorrow for our annual night launch. This is a chance to try out your rockets equipped with lights, beepers, glow-in-the-dark parachutes or anything else you can think of to aid in tracking and recovering them. Night flying rockets are limited to 3.3 pounds liftoff weight and 125 grams of propellant.
Since we started flying again after the lockdown in July, we've had excellent weather for four launches in a row. Alas, it looks like tomorrow will put an end to that lucky streak. Here's the forecast from the NWS:
Saturday - A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers and possibly a thunderstorm after noon. High near 81. Southeast wind 8 to 11 mph becoming west southwest in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.
I don't think the chances are good that we'll be able to fly. As always, I'll try to stay optimistic and won't post the final decision about the launch here until shortly after 11:00 AM tomorrow. You can also call me after that time at 217-840-1678 for an update.
Our next launch will be Saturday, September 26 at Dodds Park. We have designated that as our "mini-GARLO" for this year and will be handing out the usual awards for best flight, best looking rocket and best theme entry ("2020 Vision"). We'll also try the night flying again if it doesn't happen tomorrow.
We will be enforcing our physical distancing and masking requirements at tomorrow's launch.
Greg Smith N9LHI
NAR 15881 * TRA 1974
Director of Operations, Central Illinois Aerospace