Much as I hate to admit it, I find myself agreeing with this sentiment. EVERYONE in the hobby (in my mind) should be working towards three major goals: 1) ensuring REASONABLE safety, 2) providing disclosure and/or insurance for liability purposes, and 3) growing the hobby.
I haven't seen ANY discussion about any of the motors that Jerry has tried to certify being a safety problem. None, in any thread I've read over the past several years. So, I'm going to assume that's not any issue.
There isn't any question that the vilification of Jerry and the prevention of not only his motors, but those from other vendors who have been put out of business due to either 'excessive regulation' or 'the old boys club', has caused a contraction of the hobby. If more motors were available from more vendors, there would be lower prices, more rocket kits, and an overall healthier hobby. Nothing that I've seen in relation to ANY of these motor certification issues has been to 'grow the hobby'--interestingly enough with the exception that the 'supposedly uncertified' motors that John Cato says were never tested, probably DID serve to grow the hobby at this time. This actually serves to prove the point that the existing motor certification structure is far to onerous for the available business environment, and the lack of any (to my knowledge) safety issues that arose from said certifications would tend to bear that out.
Lastly, the disclosure/insurance information for liability is the ONLY (again, in my mind) peg that NAR or TRA have to hang their hat as far as not certifying Jerry's motors. However, what I see is that EXTRAORDINARY lengths are gone to in order to 'prove' that Jerry is a 'wascal' who can't be trusted. I do NOT understand why that is occuring, lacking the safety problems, and frankly given the problems that Aerotech has evidenced over the last several years, I don't understand why those issues don't seem to be addressed AT ALL. For example, from a liability standpoint, the 'appearance/claim' is that TRA or NAR must be assured that they're doing business with a legal entity. The problem is they don't want that entity to be Jerry Irvine. Let's hypothesis a moment -- Aerotech just filed for bankruptcy. They could go under at any time. They've just started a new plant, in a new location, and we've discovered how humidty (environment) is a factor in engine manufacture. Have the new engines been re-certified? If Aerotech were to go out of business tomorrow, and Aerotech engines produced this year were to suddenly start CATO'ing, where would the liability fall? The answer is that it would fall squarely on the consumer, and the consumer would have to take up his recourse as he sees fit, and NAR/TRA would have absolutely no involvement in it (as the rules are currently in place). So, again I ask, WHY do the national organizations go to such great lengths to PREVENT more motor manufacturer's, and WHY do so many hobbyists seem so dedicated to keeping one certain vendor out of the market (especially when those who've used Jerry's motors say they are quite good)?
And as far as that goes, I don't see that NAR/TRA assume any "liability" in the course of the certification process in any case. (In fact, I would tend to suspect that, as part of the process, the entity requesting the certification testing has to agree to disclaimers all over the place that explicitly let NAR/TRA out from under assuming any such "liability" anyway!)
There are a few bottom line truths regarding motor availability and the national organizations for folks like me. Someone (I don't remember who) in another thread on this forum mentioned that most rocketeers are lone ranger types (paraphrasing). This describes myself and, I suspect, many others. I am a BAR who belonged to NAR last year- then let my membership go when they wanted $70 or so for services I realized I would never use.
I don't care about NAR/Tripoli. I want to improve my knowledge and skills and build and launch progressively bigger, more complex rockets with progressively bigger motors.
I want more rocket manufacturers making more motors. I want this hobby to grow. I want to be able to purchase safe, reliable motors from several different companies.
I don't care if Jerry is a prick or the savior of rocketry. If his company makes good motors at a fair price I want to buy them.
What I don't want is a national organization to which I do not belong somehow influencing what motors I can purchase and from who. This is not an anti-NAR/TRA post. I don't know or care about their internal political wrangling.
I am an American male over the age of 21 with no criminal record and at least average intelligence. I want to enjoy this hobby. I want to fly rockets.
As a trecent BAR, and hopefully setting the politics aside for a moment, can you explain to me why your motors are not "certified?" I'd like to think, perhaps naiveley so, there is some non-political standard they fail to meet. I just joined NAR so I could do the whole certification thing and then be able at, group launches where I live, launch higher powerd rockets. I am not currently interested in EX so the Tripoli thing is not germaine to me.
Is there some NFPA or other regulatory (not legal) reason why your motors are not certified? I am interested even if you don't agree with the reasononing.
As NaCl wrote, I want to fly the rockets. I really do not care one bit about whether you and the folks at NAR, Tripoli, or any of the manufacurers like each other. However, I have found a hobby I enjoy and would rather those non-technical reasons do not get in the way of what I am sure a whole bunch of people would rather do: Build and launch rockets.
While I would prefer to see more technical and less political postings here, I am willing to open the door on my part to some discussion.
I'll now step off the soapbox for anyone else who wants it.
That position is so true and so radical I have difficulty seeing how to make it so in the current environment of ever stricter rules and ever closer to zero tolerance. Actual hazard is apparantly no longer a factor. Ignore the tests, ignore tradition, ignore pattern and practice.
If a rule can be created, create it. If a vague rule can be applied, apply it. If a punishment can be construed to be even remotely related, try like hell to apply it. Nobody is not a criminal. Most just have not yet been caught and convicted and we are catching and convicting as fast as we can. We slowed down for a while but we went into production mode with plea bargains (with exemptions for prosecutor extortion). Then we improved efficiency with the Patriot act. We are making progress. Soon we hope to have criminalized 30% of the population and our 5 year plan is for 40%.
Criminality cannot be tolerated and laws that allow behavior that can possibly be criminalized MUST NOT BE TOLERATED.
The other thing we might think about is trying to paint a better picture for the new crowd attracted by the "Save Rocketry Now" campaign. This in-fighting serves no good purpose. I think we should change our focus to see what we can do to help. Buy motors, regardless of who supplies them to you. If you have private launches and the cert. issue doesn't matter, consider USR motors. If you can access Aerotech motors, and like them, buy them. If CTI, AMW, Ellis or anyone else turns your crank, so be it. Launch rockets and have fun. As soon as I can get to a local launch, I'm there. If I could get USR motors where I am located and a launch would allow for their use, I would try 'em out. Make them yourself if you are into it and ready to embrace it with the appropriate safe methods. Above all, get out there and buy motors, rockets, accessories and launch!
Each claim that has been made has been affirnmatively disproved. So I would say it is indeed 100% political whether it is anti-Jerry or anti-Jerry.
My advise is to form an indy club, no matter how small or large and buy from whatever supplier you can find and not deal with NAR or TRA at all so you get off their rollercoaster. They keep spitting in the eye of giants and you probably do not want to be standing very close when they get stepped on.
FAA waivers are only needed for motors over 240ns and even then they are FREE.
No other restrictions apply except permission from the landowner. Pick up your trash. They invite you back that way.