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Dick Stafford
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Dick with the Grand WhazooHow long have you been into Sport Rocketry?
"I began building rockets in the late '60's while in high school, but largely dropped out of the hobby in 1972 when I entered college. I only launched a couple of times between then and the mid-80's when I began building rockets with my son. After 7 years or so, other interests and commitments caused our fleet to begin gathering dust. Then in 1996, I stumbled across an issue of 'High Power Rocketry' magazine and became a BAR for the second time. My wife has accused me of being obsessive-compulsive ever since." - 12/01

What organizations are you a member of?
"I am a member of NAR (#47992) and the Maryland-Delaware Rocketry Association (MDRA). I also fly with the National Association of Rocketry Headquarters Astro Modeling Section (NARHAMS) and Northern Virginia Association of Rocketry (NOVAAR)."

What level are you certified to?
"I obtained my Tripoli Level-2 certification at LDRS19 in Orangeburg, S.C. My certification rocket was the scratch-built, 8" diameter, 6' long "Great Googly Moogly", which successfully flew on a J350. My certification status is also registered with the NAR."

What is your all time favorite rocket?
"My favorite rocket is currently my Sweat-Stained Clifton Tracking Station Hat of Death. This oddroc has become my signature rocket at MDRA and elsewhere. It has 36 flights on lots of different motors, ranging from a cluster of nine A8-3s to the G80."

Tell me an interesting rocket related experience?
"I guess my most memorable rocket experience was attending LDRS. I was totally overwhelmed by its size. Although there were some long lines, I saw a ton of rockets, talked to a bunch of like-minded people, and met several vendors I do business with. It was even more pleasurable because I brought the family. I'm not sure they liked it as much as I did, but they at least humored me. Oh, and did I mention I got my L-2?

"Also, I thought I'd say my most embarrassing rocket related experience: My wife usually accompanies me to launches to keep me company, help chase/spot rockets, catch loose chutes that may try to blow away, etc. She really isn't into rocketry at all, which makes me appreciate her effort all the more. Not long ago, I was prepping my Rocketman Explorer-7. I had tested the ejection charge igniter, prepped and loaded the G-Wiz, installed my Nomex 'chute protector, and carefully folded the 'chute. I was in the process of packing the 'chute when my wife asked "don't you need to hook that up?" I looked down, grabbed the end of the 'chute, and hooked it to the recovery harness. Well, I thought "that was what she was talking about" and she must have thought "I guess that isn't important". The boost was nice and ejection occurred at apogee as it was supposed to. However, it didn't take long to realize there was a problem, and it immediately dawned on me what my wife was talking about! I had neglected to hook the recovery harness to the payload section, which came down in a free-fall. Sometimes you just have to say "DOH!" This was doubly embarrassing since I not only forgot a critical item, but I ignored the advice that would have avoided the disaster. I guess my wife knows something about rockets after all. (turning red, again)"

Anything else you would like people to know?
"My cyberspace activities include maintaining EMRR's RockSim, CP, and recommended motors libraries. I am also a moderator at The Rocket Forum (TRF) as well as for several Yahoo groups: microhybrids, MicroMaxRockets, night_launch, and OddRocs. I am an avid blogger. Please drop by my Rocketry Dungeon.

"Remember

"Getting your Level-2 is easier than building a skill level 5 modroc, you just have to prepare properly.

"Get your kids involved. You will all have fun - together.

"It is your duty to recycle trash into rockets!"

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