HNS Rocket Rodeo 2022

Me clearing my rocket for flight (photo by Thomas Godden)

I had a great time with the Hot Nozzle Society at the 2022 Rocket Rodeo July 8-10 in Apache Pass, Texas. I flew my L1 High Power Rocketry certification on Friday, and then took the written exam and flew my L2 the next day with the same rocket.


The first flight was great: single-deploy event on an Aerotech DMS H283ST that I had drilled down to nine seconds of delay time. It went up about 1,500 feet, popped the 36” chute, then drifted back down to the field. It was a good launch!

LOC-IV going for L1 on H283ST (photo by Harry Spears)


Passed the written exam in the morning and went for the L2 later that day! The Aerotech DMS J425R would’ve pushed the rocket to well over 6,000’ – higher than I was comfortable going. I added a bunch of weight in the nose to lower the apogee to about 5,000’ (with a max speed around 550 mph) and then strapped a Jolly Logic Chute Release around the parachute to keep it from fully deploying until about 600’. The launch was one of the last ones on the day, just as the sun was getting low in the sky, and the red-flamed motor looked very striking in the dimming light.

LOC-IV on a J425R motor for my L2 (photo by Thomas Godden)

Overall, it was an amazing event with fabulous people at a great (although very hot) location. Hot Nozzle Society is the BEST!

Me setting up the LOC-IV for its L2 flight.