Long before the major construction along highway 69 south of 365, all of that area was fields. Large fields, with no trees. Ideal for launching model rockets.
I had received a model rocket kit from my mom’s boyfriend and enjoyed it immensely. I’ve always enjoyed building models and then being able to launch them… well.
Anyway, these rockets tend to have rough lives. The occasional motor misfire, more often a failure of the parachute, some smaller rockets don’t even have parachutes and just break apart and ‘float’ back to the ground.
I had one of those breaker rockets. The whole thing was only about 8 inches tall. A small motor fit into a housing in the back. When the motor burned out and fired it’s bursting charge (that usually deploys a parachute) the rocket would break into three pieces (a nosecone, the top half with one attached fin and the bottom with two attached fins).
Well, this rocket had led a hard, but rewarding life. While having an afternoon of rocketry over in some field off highway 69, I decided that the little rocket should have one last hurrah before being retired (or completely destroyed).
So, I removed the housing unit for the rocket motor, allowing me to put in a motor that was about 8 times as powerful as before (and 16 times as powerful as recommended).
I prepared the launch and lit it up. Now, I was a careful rocketeer. I was at least 1000 yards from the highway and I always launched with about a 5 degree tilt away from the highway. But that didn’t matter today.
The rocket took off like Kirk launching the Enterprise after a ship full of alien slave girls. It went straight up… for about ten feet.
Then it made a 90 degree turn and flew parallel to the ground at very, very high speeds…
then it crossed the highway… still about ten feet up.
A passing truck either hit it or blew it off course and it crashed into the ground on the other side of the highway… with that giant motor still burning.
I grabbed my launcher and other rockets and hauled ass. I haven’t launched a rocket since then either.