A modest proposal... or Jerry Irvine saves the Universe

Ismaeel Abdur-Rasheed wrote:


Nope, but any organization that grants you that certification is gonna get their arse dragged into court, along with you, if you later utilize that certification and have an accident causing injury or damage.
TANSTAAFL
-Kevin
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Kevin Trojanowski wrote:

Has this _ever_ happened to NAR or TRA regarding an accident involving a "certified" user or motor?
-dave w
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<< Has this _ever_ happened to NAR or TRA regarding an accident involving a "certified" user or motor? >>
Even if it hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it can't happen eventually.
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David Weinshenker wrote:

Consider it this way... How 'bout I put my house on YOUR insurance policy. I've never had a claim against my homeowner's insurance. Do you want to assume the risk for me?
I bet not.
There's really no difference. And we all know full well that should something happen, the lawyers are going to look to sue anyone and everyone they can, including the organization that "certified the individual and enabled him to buy these devices!"
-Kevin
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Won't matter if the certifying organization is bankrupt already.
    Bob Kaplow    NAR # 18L    TRA # "Impeach the TRA BoD"         >>> To reply, remove the TRABoD! <<< Kaplow Klips & Baffle:    http://nira-rocketry.org/LeadingEdge/Phantom4000.pdf www.encompasserve.org/~kaplow_r/ www.nira-rocketry.org www.nar.org
Save Model Rocketry from the HSA! http://www.space-rockets.com/congress.html
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Don't know if it's gone to court, but NAR insurance has paid out on claims in the past. Bunny has often quoted "one serious accident" in NAR history.
    Bob Kaplow    NAR # 18L    TRA # "Impeach the TRA BoD"         >>> To reply, remove the TRABoD! <<< Kaplow Klips & Baffle:    http://nira-rocketry.org/LeadingEdge/Phantom4000.pdf www.encompasserve.org/~kaplow_r/ www.nira-rocketry.org www.nar.org
Save Model Rocketry from the HSA! http://www.space-rockets.com/congress.html
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<< there is no membership requirement specified in NFPA 1127 to obtain or maintain certification >>
Hey, if you think you can provide certs for free, go ahead and do it. No one's stopping you.
Oh wait, you'd rather gripe about TRA than actually do anything constructive yourself.
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one's
Free? Who said the manufacturer wouldn't/shouldn't pay for certification?
Joel. phx

constructive
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<< Free? Who said the manufacturer wouldn't/shouldn't pay for certification?

Why would manufacturers pay for flyer certs? That is what we were talking about.

one's
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That is the single best suggestion I have read on RMR, yet. User certifications are wrong IMHO, but if we must have them, then they should not expire when membership dues lapse. That is just wrong. ARSA could make this happen.
Ferrell
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Ferrell Wheeler wrote:

lets take a step back for a minute ...
at present, some states have their own licensing for users of experimental and high power rockets. For example, California requires a Pyrotechnic Operators license of the appropriate class for the manufacturer or use of experimental high power rocket motors of solid or other propellants. As the AHJ, licensing by the California State Fire Marshal's Office constitutes certification in that state. The requirement having been so satisfied, does in and of itself qualify licensees to acquire and use motors of the appropriate class.
no additional certification is required for the purchase and use of rocket motors. TRA/NAR certification does not add value other than to satisfy requirements of these organizations (not based in law) ostensibly established to address issues of insurability and liability.
other states which have not adopted NFPA 1127, either not having adopted the International Fire Code [IFC], NFPA 1 or which have specifically excluded or superseded NFPA 1127, rely upon their own state law to determine the form, if any, requirements for purchase and use of rocket motors may take. TRA/NAR may or may not be recognized as organizations whose certification satisfy their requirements.
the following 19 states and regions have NOT adopted the IFC as of 1/07/04
California Connecticut D.C. Delaware Florida Hawaii Kentucky Louisiana Maryland Massachusetts Montana New Jersey New Mexico Oregon Rhode Island S. Dakota Vermont West Virginia Wisconsin
the following 16 states have only limited adoption of the IFC (specific localities or state agencies within the state)
Alabama Arizona Colorado Illinois Iowa Kansas Maine Mississippi Missouri Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire N. Dakota Ohio Tennessee Texas
only the following 16 states have adopted the IFC state-wide
Alaska Arkansas Georgia Idaho Indiana Michigan Minnesota New York N. Carolina Oklahoma S. Carolina Utah Virginia Washington Wyoming Pennsylvania
in the latter 16 states, and limited areas within the preceding 16 states, NFPA codes have been adopted. It is only these areas where NFPA 1127 applies, and with it it's requirements for user certification as follows.
NFPA 1127 - Code for High Power Rocketry, 2002 Ed. (excerpted for editorial review)
=3.3.5* Certified User. An individual, a distributor, or a seller who has been tested or otherwise examined by a recognized organization that is acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction and has been found to be qualified to purchase, possess, and use high power rocket motors.
A.3.3.5 Certified User. A certified user includes, but is not limited to, an individual who has licenses or certificates from Tripoli Rocketry Association, Inc., the National Association of Rocketry, or their successor organizations.
5.4.1 Certification of a user shall require both of the following:
(1) Proof that the user is at least 18 years old (2) Proof that the user possesses a level of knowledge and competence in handling, storing, and using a high power solid-propellant rocket motor and high power rockets that is acceptable to the certifying organization =
the sole requirements for certification are age and demonstrated competency. However, the definition of a certified user is one whose certification has been licensed or certified by "a recognized organization that is acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction", which includes, but is not limited to "Tripoli Rocketry Association, Inc., the National Association of Rocketry", etc.
the practical issue here is for an alternative organization to establish itelf as "acceptable" to the AHJ, given that the AHJ is typically the State Fire Marshall's' office [SFM], or other state regulatory agency which has delegated responsibility for fire safety (which is what the IFC, and by reference, NFPA codes address).
by virtue of their relationship to the NFPA, TRA and NAR enjoy that recognition in the 16 state-wide plus 16 limited-adoption states. Any alternative organization would either have to be recognized by the NFPA, or would have to be recognized by each of the individual states.
IMO it is unlikely that TRA and NAR, as NFPA committee members, would endorse ARSA or any alternative organization to the committee for it's recognition as a certifying authority. I say this because TRA/NAR perceives any organization which does not subscribe to their particular standards of rocketry practice as a liability to them should any incidents occur; i.e.; that the conduct of an alternatively certified user reflects on rocketry in general and by implication, their own activities; with the anticipated consequence of heightened regulation and increased insurance premiums
whether a certification from TRA/NAR with the satisfaction of ongoing membership dues to maintain that certification, vs. the certification from ARSA or IEAS would be qualitatively different is purely speculative. I am merely offering my observations regarding their positions in the matter.
for ARSA or IEAS or any other organization not currently recognized by the NFPA to achieve recognition by the 16 state-wide plus 16 limited-adoption states would certainly be a time consuming and even possibly a costly endeavor; and not one which is a practical reality in the near term.
in any case, ARSA's position is that neither user nor motor certification is a requirement for the safe, legal and rewarding practice of amateur rocketry.
from http://www.space-rockets.com/arsa
"The Amateur Rocketry Society of America's (ARSA) goal is to enable US citizens to enjoy all forms of amateur rocketry. Our local societies permit amateur rockets to fly along side high power and model rockets at the same site and at the same time. There is no certification process or requirement for rocket motors or flyers."
ARSA is an enabler. It's function is to work towards the elimination of barriers to the practice of amateur rocketry, and to encourage safe and constructive involvement in it.
historically the NFPA codes were formulated to mollify the regulatory agencies and to assure insurers that the risks of rocketry can be managed within acceptable limits.
but rather than working to address their fears by educating them in the merit and methodology of experimentation, they reinforced those fears by minimalizing both available materials and extent of practice. What NAR and later TRA did was in effect to say, 'yes, rocketry is indeed too dangerous entrust to laymen, so we will commercialize motor manufacture to reduce the variables and limit the risks to within designated facilities, and formalize motor use to they may only be used under tightly controlled conditions'. And thus was born the commercial motor industry and the NAR (and later TRA) dominance over the practice of rocketry.
now we are struggling against regulatory agencies and insurance underwriters whose education has been neglected, and whose hystrionics have been rewarded with in excess of fifty pages of finely crafted codes. Codes which constitute shackles that these organizations themselves have helped create, while they voluntarily self-impose still more restrictions beyond those already in the codes, while imagining what more restrictions they might offer in the next revisions all in a vain effort to secure a safe haven for the practice of rocketry. I say 'vain effort', because as far as I can see there is neither security nor safe haven for rocketry today, and I and others are challenging the mindset that brought us this reality.
in the short term, any actions that TRA/NAR can take to make rocketry available to more people are positive ones. Any actions that restrict access to rocketry materials and its practice are negative ones. I understand that they feel that they cannot significantly alter their own practices without losing access to insurance. But what they can do immediately is
- certify users on the basis of their demonstrated competency, allow those certifications to stand without expiration unless "cause" is established (e.g.; illegal acts are committed through the abuse of rocketry materials)
- advise all motor manufacturers and dealers that in their [non-legal] opinion all restrictions based on user or motor certification in all but those states who have adopted NFPA 1125,7 are unwarranted as they have no basis in regulation
- advise all motor manufacturers and dealers that in their [non-legal] opinion all restrictions based on BATFE positions in contradiction to the positions taken by the joint TRA/NAR lawsuit are unwarranted as they have no basis in regulation
this fulfills the current requirements of NFPA 1127 WRT user certification; i.e.; proof of competency enables access to motors and their use, while empowering manufacturers and dealers to make their own decisions regarding motor sales based on their interpretation of the law and their own tolerance for risk of BATFE harassment
in the longer term, TRA/NAR should renounce their historical role as regulatory advocacies or surrogates and embrace a new role as a rocketry advocacy. As enablers, they would work toward educating both regulators and insurers in the merit and methodology of experimentation
- all stipulations in any NFPA codes not directly related to fire safety should be removed, as they exist outside the scope of authority granted by the states in their adoption as fire codes
- renounce any role as a regulatory enforcer
- redefine motor certification as a voluntary process whose objectives are limited to the assessments of reliability, safety and performance
- remove all restrictions on the use of any motors whose sole constituents are any legal materials (e.g.; not true explosives except as exempted under law), regardless of the source of manufacture
I believe that it is possible to reverse the trend of oppresive regulation. I also believe that doing so will require taking a stand for that which is objective and rational, and a stand against that which is based on ignorance and fear. The future of rocketry is in our hands, what organizations will be in the vanguard is still an open question.
references:
California Fireworks Handbook, 2002 Ed. http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/pdf \fireengineering\fw\FireworksHandbook2002.pdf [ http://tinyurl.com/2ucwc ]
International Code Adoptions as of 1/07/04 http://www.iccsafe.org/cs/adoptions/adoption.html
- iz
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<< IMO it is unlikely that TRA and NAR, as NFPA committee members, would endorse ARSA or any alternative organization to the committee for it's recognition as a certifying authority. I say this because TRA/NAR perceives any organization which does not subscribe to their particular standards of rocketry practice as a liability to them should any incidents occur; i.e.; that the conduct of an alternatively certified user reflects on rocketry in general and by implication, their own activities; with the anticipated consequence of heightened regulation and increased insurance premiums >>
Of course, you'd never actually bother to test that theory. It's much more convenient to blame everything on some vast TRA/NAR conspiracy.
<< I believe that it is possible to reverse the trend of oppresive regulation.

So get a seat on the NFPA and do it. Oh wait, that would require actual effort, and would mean working with the people who make the laws instead of griping about the laws from the sidelines.
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On Tue, 20 Jan 2004 08:34:37 GMT, Ismaeel Abdur-Rasheed

snip
Because most AHJ's (probably NONE) have any inkling who TRA, NAR or ARSA are, it would be reasonable to assume that if ARSA began issuing certifications NOW, that by the time anyone questioned who they were they would have grown into a sizeable organization. I believe that most would want to cert in an organization that alowed you to keep your cert for life.

I disagree. see above.

Not necessarily. ARSA should begin by issuing certs to all current holders of certs by the other organizations. Then issuing certs to others. Soon TRA members will begin dropping their TRA membership, NAR members will do the same, and people will keep their ARSA cert because it's for life.

Then JUST DO IT!!!
Bob

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Art says,
wow, that's really going to help us now won't it ? Lets get everyone to quit the NAR and the TRA cause they can hold certs for life with ARSA.
humm... very short term goal thinking here. Nothing aganist ARSA, but having the major associations lose members is not what we need right now.
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<< humm... very short term goal thinking here. Nothing aganist ARSA, but having the major associations lose members is not what we need right now. >>
Short-sighted indeed. The folks promoting this issue don't care about the future and the long-term effects of this. They just want either screw TRA, or save buck, or both.
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On 21 Jan 2004 06:34:13 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (RayDunakin) wrote:

Then perhaps it's time for TRA/NAR to adapt.
Bob
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<< Then perhaps it's time for TRA/NAR to adapt. >>
Adapt to what?? Idiots and cheapskates who want a free ride??
Anyone who wants to have flyer certs without having to pay dues can go start up their own rocketry organization and pass out certs to anyone they want, free of charge. But of course, that would mean having to do all the work that NAR/TRA have already done, and which the whiners are trying so hard to avoid.
Or they can fly under the rules for amateur or professional rocketry -- but then, they'd still end up having to put in some effort and expense.
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(RayDunakin) writes:

We don't have to screw TRA. They are doing\\\\\\\\\ have done it to themselves.
    Bob Kaplow    NAR # 18L    TRA # "Impeach the TRA BoD"         >>> To reply, remove the TRABoD! <<< Kaplow Klips & Baffle:    http://nira-rocketry.org/LeadingEdge/Phantom4000.pdf www.encompasserve.org/~kaplow_r/ www.nira-rocketry.org www.nar.org
Save Model Rocketry from the HSA! http://www.space-rockets.com/congress.html
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Agreed. If Izzy wants to fly 1-grain Pro-38's for life because of some silly moral objection to HPR user certification, then hey, so be it. It's his loss if he does not want to explore this most excellent hobby to it's fullest potential.
When I got in to this hobby, I was surprised that one was allowed to keep their current certification level so long as they kept their membership active, no re-cert. I don't have a problem with this process. I think it is an excellent tool for the NAR and TRA to keep the membership numbers up.
-- Joe Michel NAR 82797 L1

having
or
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On Tue, 20 Jan 2004 08:34:37 GMT, Ismaeel Abdur-Rasheed

OK, but why not take a giant leap forward instead?

Yes, we know ARSA is mainly located in California, but I see now reason the ARSA cannot expand its mission to all states.

In other words, the door is open for ARSA to certify users.

In practical terms, "acceptance" to the AHJ(S) can be had for the asking.

ARSA needs no such endorsement from the NAR and TRA. The NAR and TRA do not hold veto power over ARSA "acceptance" as certifiers of HPR users. Furthermore, ARSA need not have a seat on the NFPA committee, nor bear the expense of attending committee meetings.

ARSA should care less about what NAR/TRA thinks or does, and simply look at how certifying users so that they can purchase and fly HPR motors helps fulfill the mission of ARSA.

I don't care if the NAR/TRA does not recognize ARSA user certifications for flying at NAR/TRA launches. Their position is irrelevant to the matter of ARSA user certifications to fulfill its mission by enabling more rocketeers to purchase and fly HPR motors in their experimental (and perhaps recreational), educational rocketry endeavors.

Yes, the "asking" will take a little effort. The cost are not great and can be easily covered by a modest certification fee. The certifying org does need to maintain a list of certified users and make it available. It could also provide wallet size certification card, and a resource packet, for that modest fee.

Apparently ARSA is unwilling to enable rocketeers to purchase and fly HPR motors in their amateur rocketry endeavors by certifying users. If the ARSA cannot be persuaded to certify users, who can, IEAS?

You should be less concerned about the NAR/TRA does and more concerned about what ARSA can do to fulfill its mission.

Indeed!
Iz, although my response is rather argumentative, I do thank you for your reply, and I hope that ARSA will give user certification further consideration.
Alan Jones, ME Aero.E., former NAR member, L0.
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