|DATE:||Saturday, July 20, 2013|
|LAUNCH:||5:09 PM PST, Indian Route 6135 Terminus, Navajo Nation, Arizona [ 35.97926, -111.64079 ]|
|WEIGHT:||6 lbs, 5.5 oz (including chute, lines, and radar reflector)|
|BURST TIME:||7:17 PM PST|
|LANDING:||7:28 PM PST, Near Camp 5 Road, Boquillas Ranch, Hunting Unit 10, Arizona [ 35.99264, -112.66716 ]|
|DURATION:||2 hours, 21 minutes|
In June John Flaig’s Grand Canyon HAB flight nearly ended in disaster as his recovery parachute was ripped from his payload as it reached it’s peak altitude. John was aiming to get some stunning photos of the canyon from an array of action cameras and Cannon Powershot models using CHDK.
At the moment the balloon burst, the cameras show intense shaking of the payload before the package plummeted to the ground. Thankfully the polystyrene absorbed most of the impact of the landing and only one camera lens was damaged. The SPOT tracker was intact.
On reflection, John said, “The camera package was contained in a polystyrene box, 1 inch thick. I used an eye-bolt through the center of the lid. There are large washers both inside and outside to distribute the load. However, this box was the thinnest I’ve ever used, the side-walls being only an inch think, but the lid was probably 1.5 inches. In the past they’ve been 2 inches thick. On my first launch I had the line going through holes in each corner of the lid like a pyramid, but have used the simpler setup since. If you watch the video the box really got knocked around when the balloon burst and I can only imagine that is when the parachute got ripped out.”
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