My rocket club SMASH held a model rocket contest last week end. The contest is called MAD Cow because we used to fly off a field called the Cowatorium. Now we fly just outside of Muskegon, Michigan at a wastewater treatment area of several square miles.
One of the events we flew was 1/8A-Parachute Duration multi-round. The idea is that a modeler gets two models and three flights. If you loose both models on the first two flights, you are out of luck. On top of that, you are only allowed to count the first forty seconds of any flight towards your total time.
1/8A engines are the smallest available, so exceeding 40 seconds for a flight time seemed improbable. Here is my model:
To my amazement it stayed up for 38 seconds. The competing team, The Spanish Inquisition, flew a similar, but more lightly constructed model with a slightly larger parachute and got 43 seconds on their first flight. That counted for a max time of 40 seconds. Their second flight using the same model caught a thermal and started drifting upward. We lost track sometime after 3 minutes as the model drifted skyward in the general direction of the Mackinac Bridge. It still only counted for 40 seconds. As Gimli commented after Legolas took down an oliphant, "That still only counts as one!"