Another hobby/passion of mine is High Power Rocketry.  As a young boy and into high school, I built and flew model rockets.  Many years later (2014) as an adult, my parents gave me a box of old rocketry stuff to get it out of their house.  A few days later, I found some time to finish building an Estes Phoenix (appropriately), and my passion was reignited.  By May of 2016, I had earned my Tripoli Rocketry Association Level 3 Certification.  Today, I attend club launches with WOOSH, Tripoli Wisconsin, and QCRS.  I often post and comment on The Rocketry Forum as CzTeacherMan.  I'm a huge fan and supporter of Wildman Rocketry!  I most often use OpenRocket as my rocket flight simulator of choice to help choose rocket/motor pairings that will suit my goals.

Since earning my L3, and with a new baby, I've slowed down a bit on rocketry due to budget constraints.  However, I still love attending launches whenever possible to see my friends and help out wherever I can.  The rocketry community is one of the best groups of people I've ever met, and I'm always thrilled to spend a day or two at the fields with the smell of black powder and Ammonium Perchlorate in the air.  Our family has taken on rocketry as a family affair, often attending launches together as a way to get outside and spend time with one another.

Rocketry Volunteer Work

QCRS Secretary

     Despite my promise to myself to stay out of the organizational side of things, I accepted the position of Secretary for the Quad Cities Rocket Society in January of 2018 and left it in March of 2020.  In that position, I helped to reinstate club by-laws, took over the duties of maintaining the website, and maintained a monthly newsletter.

Level 1 - 9/28/2014, Tripoli Wisconsin

Wildman Sport on CTI H163 White Thunder

    I had planned on waiting until my first QCRS-Midwest Power launch to attempt my TRA Level 1 certification flight.  However, the skies were so perfectly calm that day, and Tim Wildman Lehr was so persuasive, that I just had to go for it.  He loaned me a tracker, sold me an H163, and we launched!  It was a perfect flight; straight up into the gorgeous blue sky and it landed about 500 feet south of the launchpad.  With my son to cheer me on, we had a great day and celebrated my success with a stop for ice cream on the way home.

Level 2 - 5/23/2015, QCRS, Mini-Midwest Power

Wildman 3" Darkstar CTI J400 Smoky Sam

  After earning my Level 1 Certification, I wasted little time starting in on my Level 2.  I purchased a 3" Wildman Darkstar kit after much discussion on TRF (The Rocketry Forum) and with some rocketry buddies.  I built over the winter, and I found it to be very challenging.  Achieving my Level 2 pushed the boundaries of my understanding.  Building one section at a time, I learned all about different epoxy, bonding techniques, and multi-part High Power rockets.  One of my favorite movies is "Donnie Darko," so with a quick several e-mails back and forth with StickerShock, I had a custom decal set and renamed my rocket the "Darko-Star."  After months of studying and building, I arrived at Mini-Midwest Power 2015 with a single goal: to earn my L2.  I took the test and passed with only a single error then set straight away to prepping for flight.  With a little friendly help from QCRS Prefect Jason Griffin, I was ready to launch.  With beautiful skies and my very understanding wife beside me, I launched and successfully earned my Level 2!

First Flight over 1 Mile & over Mach, Tripoli Wisconsin

9/25/2015 Wildman Punisher CTI J360 Skidmark

     After achieving my TRA Level 2 certification, the next milestones I wanted to hurdle were to launch a rocket above a mile high and to launch a rocket that would travel past mach speed.  After several calculations and simulations (and a quick check of my budget!), I decided that a CTI J360 Skidmark in my Wildman 3" Punisher would accomplish both!  On September 25, 2015, I leapt over those hurdles with a gorgeous flight!

Level 3 - 5/15/2016, QCRS, Mini-Midwest Power

Wildman Gizmo XL-DD-V CTI M1540 Imax

     When I first got back into Rocketry in 2014, I thought that Level 3 would happen maybe "in several years."  Never did I anticipate the friends and the support that I would have in the rocketry community.  Soon after my Level 2, a good friend, Adrian Butler, offered to let me build one of his spare kits that he had laying around for years.  The deal was that I would build it so I could earn my Level 3, and he would get a rocket built!  As a teacher with a baby on the way, I knew that if I was going to go for L3, it was then or never...  Over winter break 2015-16, I build this monstrous, 5-finned beast and then waited till a warm day over spring break to paint it.  I kept the paint simple and inexpensive, sticking with a black and white, very simple design and silver and gold StickerShock decals.  The Wildman had a great special on 75/6400 hardware with a reload, so I had to pounce.  Many hours of work later and many, many, many dollars later, I was able to get the Gizmo XL-DD-V in the air for a successful L3 flight!

Personal Record

June 4th, 2016 - Wildman 3" Punisher

Other Czerwin Family Rockets

The Immortal Rocket