The Next Scheduled Launch is CATO 257

Please See Launch Schedule for Details

Saturday May 19, 2018

White's Field, Durham CT

Directions Flight Limits

Click here to see the Durham Weather Report

Launch Status Hotline: (641) 715-3900 Ext 51475#



Picture of the Month for April 2018
(click on the picture to see the full resolution version)
We had not one, but two successful L1 certifications at the April CATO launch!

First, Normal Cole flew a Mad Cow Torrent on an CTI H143-SS. The Torrent weighed 5.4 lbs on the pad and had a projected altitude of 1060 ft. Congratulations Normal!
Normal Cole L1 Launch Normal Cole L1 Recovery

Next up was Paul Levesque, who flew the venerable LOC IV on an H123W motor. Congratulations Paul! Paul Levesque L1 Launch

Both Norman and Paul have now earned the right to spend even more money on rockets!
CATO Announces High Power Limits Change

At the annual meeting, the CATO board proposed that we no longer permit high power 'odd rocks' (pyramids, stealths, etc). The membership present approved this change, which is effective immediately.

The stability of large odd rocks was becoming an issue, with several such rockets becoming more horizontal than vertical during flight. This created an unacceptable safety hazard.

Picture of the Month for February 2018
The St Monica's Rocket team is participating in the NASA Student Launch. This is a REALLY big deal and requires an enormous amount of time and dedication.
At the February 2018 CATO launch, the team successfully tested their rocket in preparation for a Flight Readiness Review with NASA. Courtesy of Al, we have these pictures of the launch and recovery.
The rocket was 20 lbs on the pad and launched with a J1299 Warp 9 motor. (Yes, CATO will allow a J motor launch on occasion with prior special review by the board of directors.)
Congratulations to the St Monica's team for their successful fight and progress thus far.
What goes up ...    ... must come down!
Announcing the Goodrich Rocket Works 2018 CATO Rocket Contest

Brian Goodrich came across a bunch of 3" X 24" tubes that were being thrown away. Well, what do we do when we find spare cardboard tubes? Turn them into rockets, of course!

Brian is running the 2018 CATO Scratch Build Contest Challenge. Participating is easy. Just get a tube from Brian and turn it into a rocket. All contest rockets will be flown at the July 2018 launch.

Scoring for this contest will be similar to TARC. Basically, the target altitude is 1000 ft and the target time of flight (from launch to the rocket coming to rest) is 60 seconds. You get a point (which is not a good thing) for each foot you miss 1000 ft by, AND each second you miss 60 seconds by. LOWEST score wins! Note that since this is an altitude contest, all entries must have altimeters that must function at the end of the flight to indicate the altitude to the judges.

Da Rulz

  • Rocket must be scratch built from one of Brian's 3" X 24" tubes
  • Rocket must stay within field restrictions (i.e., no high power flights over 2000ft)
  • Rocket must be returned, in flyable condition, to the RSO table after flight, and before the end of the launch
  • Rocket must fly with some kind of altimeter for proof of altitude
  • Contest flights must be timed by at least two judges. Flight time is average of the two, unless there is a timing failure.
  • The decisions of the judges are final

Brian will have the required tubes at upcoming launches. Contact Brian at with any questions or to get a tube.

Prizes (Holy closure failure Batman, there are actually prizes for this contest!)

  • First Prize : 38mm fiberglass rocket kit
  • Second Prize : 1/4 Sphere chute

CATO Announces 2018 Officers
  • President: Eric Henderson
  • Vice President: Brad Oestreicher
  • Treasurer: Ray DiPaola
  • Secretary: Karen Gloer
  • TRA Prefect: Sean Hogan
  • NAR Section Advisor: Al Gloer
  • Director at Large: Ross Tracey
  • Director at Large: Dave Cannell
Punkin Chunkin Report

Dateline, November 18th, White's Farm Field, Durham CT.
Article by Al Gloer

Once again large orange objects quivered in fear as CATO held our annual Punkin Chunkin contest. Yes, once again it was time for the flaming gourds of doom. A good turnout this year with flyers ranging from the mundane, to the unusual, to the downright weird.

An early flyer was Karen Gloer with her Blueberry on an I200W. She got a beautiful up, but lost on two accounts. First we lost sight of the pumpkin (DQ time) and second, Blueberry is nesting nicely in the way top of a tree on the north side of Route 68.

A few others failed to qualify including Ed Lakatos and one of his trademark rockets where the air-frame serves as a recovery system for the parachute, and our own Captain Extreme, Rick Comshaw, and his crack team of rocket crazies. Actually Rick had the best time, however bringing it back a few days later is not in the real spirit of things. Though he did get the Linus Van Pelt award for creativity in using an RDF beacon to find the darn thing after the rest of us lost interest.

The contenders included Dave Cannell with a 13 second time on Pumpkin Chunker with a G78BS, Travis Newman of Middletown with his new Mega Der Red Max (even though it was white) on a G40 (C'mno Travis we can jam something bigger in there!) at 25 seconds, and Brian O'Shea of Stratford with Purple Pumpkin Chunker on a classic, the H238 Blue Thunder, at 44.57 seconds.

Surprising all in attendance, our exalted leader, Eric Henderson, is this year's Great Pumpkin with 46.62 seconds after flying Mr. Bill on a G38 Fastjack and actually recovering the rocket in roughly the same condition as when it flew. Seriously, all the fins were still attached.

In dead last place chickening out and not showing up was a tie for Brad Oestreicher and Ross Tracey. [Ed. Says the guy who was there and didn't fly a pumpkin!!]

Official Results

Name		Rocket			Motor(s)	Wt (oz)	Notes
Karen Gloer Blueberry I200 71.5 DQ Eric Henderson Mr. Bill G38-7 FJ 26.2 46.62 sec Brian O'Shea Purple Pumpkin Chunker H238-T10 67.5 44.57 seconds Travis Newman White Shadow MDRM G40-3 38.5 25 seconds Edward Lakatos 9-Foot Foamy I140-14A 51 DQ Rick Comshaw Project Farther Up G80 (x2) 63.5 DQ Dave Cannell Pumpkin Chunker G78-6 BS 56 13 seconds
Picture of the Month for October 2017
Your faithful webmaster flew this LOC Big Cletus. As you can see, I got the 'UP' part right. Sadly, the 'DOWN' part proved more of a challenge. The chute did not deploy and the rocket is now lots and lots of itty bitty pieces :-(
There is goes!   Got the UP part right ...
Video of the Month for September 2017
Al's got a new toy! It a drone, and Al shot video of our September launch as he got used to the drone's control.
Next, an ealier video where Al stuck a camera to the TOP of a launch pad so we can see the rocket as it launches.
CATO Announces Price Reduction for Pre-Paid Launch Fees!!

You read that right, the membership decided at the annual meeting to reduce the pre-paid launch fee rate to $60 (in addition to your membershp fee). Pre-paid launch fees were previously $100. So you get $40 to buy more motors with.. woo hoo!!

Membership dues remain $20 for an individual and $25 for a family. Launch fees, when paid at the launch, remain $10 for members, and $15 for non-members. Of course, kids flying low power rockets never pay lauch fees.

CATO Announces 2017 Officers
  • President: Eric Henderson
  • Vice President: Brad Oestreicher
  • Treasurer: Ray DiPaola
  • Secretary: Karen Gloer
  • TRA Prefect: Sean Hogan
  • NAR Section Advisor: Al Gloer
  • Director at Large: Ross Tracey
  • Director at Large: Dave Cannell
Punkin Chunkin Winners 2016!!

Al Gloer was kind enough to file this report on the Punkin Chunkin contest ...

We had our annual Punkin Chunkin at the last launch. Multiple eager participants showed up and there were all and sundry Rube Goldberg ideas marched up to the LCO (who was, for some reason, in a suit of armor). Several flights less than 20 seconds resulted pumpkin pie filling. There were successful flights from 2-5 minutes. At first it looked like Eric was going to win with a bit over two minutes and then Rick stepped up with an impressive flight of over four minutes. Sadly Rick was not able to recover his gourd (the parachute was later found). In a surprising move from the outfield, Al Gloer stepped up with a half of a quarter scale Patriot [editor's note: What the heck is a half of a quarter scale Patroit?] and pulled off about three minutes. Of course Al had to tree the air frame so we are going to call it a draw this year, if you were out of your gourd enough to fly a gourd, you were part of a fun and winning event.

Next year we will try to keep better score.

Congratulations to Jack Sweeney On His L1 Cert!
Jack successfully flew his rocket named 'J Bar 1' on an H123W motor to earn his Level 1 certification. Being a particularly brave soul, Jack participated in the Punkin Chunkin contest by flying a pumpkin in his L1 flight!
Ready for L1   There is goes!
Picture of the Month for September 2015
Dan Nocera rejoined CATO after a several year hiatus and brought along some extra help.
Ready to fly
Dan and his daughter flew this beautiful Mega Der Red Max on a G80T.
Der Red Max
Picture of the Month for June 2015
Congratulations to Karen Gloer on a successful L2 certification flight! On May 23, Karen flew a 5 inch Jart on a J350W motor at the National Sport Launch in Orangeburg, SC.
Karen Gloer's L2 Flight
Picture of the Month for September 2014
Edward Lakatos flew this amazing scratch built foam rocket on two G40W motors. Edward's rocket is ten feet tall but only weighed 36 oz on the pad!
Scratch built foam rocket
Picture(s) of the Month for June 2014
Special Edition : CATO Cert Flights
We had one Level 1 certification at the June CATO launch, and three CATO members flew certification flights at URRF 2 in Potter, NY. (What, you weren't at URRF? You missed great weather and a 23500 ft ceiling!)
Congratulations to all who certified and who now qualify to spend evern more money on motors.
Richard Haufman flew his Wildman Jr on an H152BS to earn his L1 at the June CATO launch.
Wildman Jr on an H152BS
Christian Manasoiu earned his L3 at URRF with his scratch built Patriot.
Christian L3
Brad Oestreicher flew his Nike Smoke on an M1297W to earn his L3 at URRF.
Nike Smoke on an M1297W
Jeanne Hogan flew a rocket named "Autism Speaks" on a J335RL to earn her L2 at URRF.
(Jeanne Hogan and 'Autism Speaks')
Picture of the Month for April 2014
(OK ... It's really a video)
This amazing video is submitted by our illustrious president, taken from his Formula 54 flying on a CTI G88SS.
Now, there are plenty of rocket videos. What makes this one truly amazing it that it is Al's rocket, and it didn't blow up, crash, or burst into flames for no apparent reason at all!
Awesome Pic from CATO 207
First time visitor (and photographer) Roy took this picture at our March launch. Thanks Roy!
Sparky motor from CATO 207