Rockets Gone Wild

The pop of a supersonic shred, scattering fins below...
and the beginning of a sparky spiral dance in the sky...
Rocket Rain

Here's a rare catch of a fleeting midair moment - the forward retention for the solid-fuel motor has failed and so it thusts forward up through the rocket, pushing the parachute and nose cone out prematurely:
Premature Ejection

Even the little Estes motors can have a forward closure failure, with glorious results:
CATO of the Day

Sometimes the nozzle pops out the back, lowering thrust dramatically... and triggering premature separation and release of the smoke grenades:
Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly Further Mishap

The early parachute deployment creates an aerial u-turn...
Aerial U-Turn Splashdown

and a convenient return close to the launch pad.

Clusters of motors offer more chances of a failure. With this one at DairyAire, one of the J motors exploded through its aluminum casing during airstart ignition. It ruptured the side of the rocket and blasted up through the body:
Flying the Flag (2 of 5) Flying the Flag (3 of 5) Flying the Flag (4 of 5) Flying the Flag (5 of 5)

A fine family flying the flag for the Fouth. =)

The supersonic shreds spread the laundry in a yard sale in the sky, here with a Q motor CATO:
Supersonic Shred - 1 Supersonic Shred - 2 Supersonic Shred - 3 Supersonic Shred - 4

Sometimes they come back hot:
Coming In Hot - 1 Coming In Hot - 2 Coming In Hot - 3 Coming In Hot - 4

At times, it looks like an arcade game of Missile Command:
Missile Command IMG_6289 IMG_6290

And makes you wonder the comprehensive policy on auto insurance:
Heads up! Supersonic Inbound

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I'll be launching this rocket again on Saturday... well, the upper half of it, which survived unscathed from this dramatic motor rupture a half-mile up in the moonlit sky of the Black Rock Desert: I just love night launches as you can get a time-lapse capture of the entire rocket flight,…
As the sun sets on a wonderful set of insect photos from the Wild... I thought I should start with a transition photo, on a photosynthetic bug bed, to a new photo theme - rockets: Many insects have served as brave cosmonauts - flying as a somewhat unwilling payload in Estes rockets. The National…
Estes is the major brand in low power rocketry, with Quest as an alternative. If you launched rockets as a kid, it was probably Estes. They make black powder motors in cardboard cases. As I have moved on to the bigger projects, the only lingering reason to consider these motors is that you can…

Always borrow someone else's car when you go to the rocket meet-up.

In the HD original, you can see it graze my car by mere inches before putting a divot in the Black Rock Desert....

than you admin