Pumpkins set to soar

What is Pumpkin Chunkin? Well, take your favorite Jack O’ Lantern, place it in a sling on a man-powered trebuchet and fling that orange squash fruit as far as it will go.

Come on out to Doc Stewart Park for all the pumpkin chunkin’ fun you can have and watch ‘em fly. The event will be held at noon on Nov. 3 at Doc Stewart Park. Squadrons, private organizations and families have built catapults and will compete for “Best Splat.” If you would like to be a part of this event, but didn’t build a trebuchet, bring your Halloween pumpkins and let them fly high. For information, call the Community Center at 784-6381.

The rules are as follows:

Adult Human Powered (16 and older)
• Pumpkins must weigh between 8 & 10 pounds.
• Pumpkin must leave the machine intact.
• No part of the machine shall cross the firing line.
• No “wadding”
• Machine shall consist of swinging, or fixed counterweights. They can be made of wood, metal, or plastic.
• Motorized winches and/ or other cranking devices may cock the machine.
These machines require back stops.

Adult Air Class (16 and older)
• Top machine with the longest distance win this class. Pumpkins must weigh between 8 and 10 pounds.
• Pumpkin must leave the machine intact.
• No part of the machine shall cross the firing line.
• No “wadding”
• No explosives are allowed. Compressed air only!
• Pumpkin must be loaded before pressurizing tanks.
• Pressure Air Lines must have a check valve near the machine end of line.

General Rules
• Machines can only enter one class per machine.
• All machines must be able to fire within three minutes. Human powered will get additional time to cock the machine.
• Pumpkins are not to be altered in any way. All pumpkins must be in their natural state.
• All machines must be set up in the assigned areas.
Any machine using compressed air must have pumpkin loaded before pressure is developed.
Safety Rules – There will be zero tolerance for those who break safety rules.
• Hoses must be in good operating condition. Chafed or cut hoses must not be used. If using Chicago type quick connects safety pins must be installed in each of the two holes. Any manufactured recommended safety equipment designed for any type of coupler must be used.
• Use of any other propellant other than compressed air will automatically disqualify your group.
• Make sure all sections of your cannon barrel are properly secured so that they will not separate and will stay stationary. Make sure you do not pinch or collapse your barrel when using aluminum barrel. All cannons not using an actuated valve powered by air or some other mechanical device must have a spring loaded normally open valve. The use of Plastic Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) will not be allowed for the use of air cannon barrels in the fire line up, due to safety hazard of this pipe.
• All portable air storage vessels used to fill their cannon must be stood up right and secured to a stationary device. Not tanks or vessels may be stored lying down on the ground or transported lying down in any vehicle. Every vessel must have a safety cap on it when not in use. All nipples, fittings, manifolds, or airlines must be capable of handling the pressure of air on them. This is your responsibility.
• All catapult and trebuchet machines must have a safety strap or mechanism to hold the throwing arm or boom in case of early fire when loading. You are responsible for making sure everyone stays clear behind your machine, in case of a misfire. Personnel handling ropes or cable should wear gloves such as sailing or repelling type to prevent burns.
• Inspect all hydraulic lines each time you cock or lift your machine. Make sure winches can handle the load and cables are in good condition. Make sure you have an automatic brake or a dog lock on winch or cocking device. Tie-downs on cannons should not be directly to the barrel. All cannons must be secured to prevent upward recoil.
• No children under 16 will be allowed to participate.
• Only one team spotter will be allowed on field per team.
• Any machine found to have structural defects will be banned from chunking until repaired and re-inspected by a member of the safety committee.
• Compressed air machines must have a bleed off device (valve) to allow for safely removing the air if the machine cannot be fired. This device should be installed such that it does not blow directly to the dirt or face level to prevent eye injury. If it is exposed to body level it should have a shield installed to deflect the air. Air lines must have a Check Valve near the machine end of line.
• Hard hats and eye protection must be worn by all fire line personnel in pit when firing. The Community Center will provide these items.
• Each group participating must provide first aid kit and have it on hand.

— Cannon Air Force Base