In the Press again

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Idaknow. I saw a couple of negative words in there :)
Seriously, I'd say favorable is quite an understatement. It's about the most positive article I've seen yet. Anytime the heading starts out "When rockets are outlawed, only outlaws will have rockets", you know you're gonna like it :)
Reply to
Doug Sams
I just had to respond to this article. These are my opinions and don't start a thread on this ... just my opinions about the article.
BROTHERS -- In the gray-green sagebrush of the Central Oregon desert, hidden from civilization, a curious cluster of men, women and children gathered one recent weekend to engage in an activity that has the federal government keeping a wary eye on them: They are launching high-power hobby rockets.
Please this is journalistic hyperbolie ... rocket people are not "hidden" ... they certainly are not "curious" ... nosy and boisterous yes, "curios" no. The feds need to keep an "eye" on any activity that could be exploited to harm or possible KILL people. Guns are regulated for just this very reason.
"I fly the biggest motors you can go and buy," says John Lyngdal, a Tektronix engineer who has been flying high-power rockets for 10 years.
Good for him ... living part of the American dream ... life, liberty, and the pursuit of rocket happiness.
Lyngdal and the others aren't terrorists. But, the feds fear, it's possible they could be.
This is more jounalistic embellishment ... the "feds" are not taping Lyngdal's phones or distributing his photo along side Usama's. Stop the grand standing!
In a letter last year to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Department of Justice laid out one of its big fears -- that terrorists could use hobby-rocket motors to power surface-to-air missiles to blow up airplanes and hit ground targets from five miles away.
High power rockets can and are USED as terrorist weapons. Please search nexus for the KNO3 sugar rockets that are used by Palastinians to fire warheads at Israelies from the Gaza strip. They are used as weapons ... please feel free to educate yourself about this.
The fears may seem plausible to some as rocket after rocket -- more than 200 flights this particular weekend -- takes off in a plume of smoke and fire, some rockets rising more than a mile into the sky.
But sport rocketeers snicker at the very idea.
As someone who lost a friend in the September 11 attacks ... I don't snicker
Jim Wilkerson, a hobbyist from Puyallup, Wash., and a Boeing airliner pilot trainer, says hobby rockets couldn't function as missiles without a sophisticated guidance system.
Wrong ... DEAD Wrong ... there was an actual model rocket built with a "sun seeker" guidance system back in the late 1970s. The model was featured in the NAR magazine at the time. With todays "off the shelf" low cost technology, simple improvements could and are made to rocket to make them track the "heat signatures" of air craft and use a radio/radar proximity warhead to detonate, i.e. AIM-9 Sidewinder ... developed in the 1950s with a very simple and low cost heat seeking guidance system ... very potent.
"There's no way as a hobbyist or even a dedicated amateur you could build a guidance system that could work," he says.
Speak for yourself ... I have the scholastic background to do just this very thing ... I guess I am now a terrorist too :( It is very simple and straight forward ... no hocus pocus ... just have to know where to order the parts from military surplus dealers ... I know of a surplus dealer in the Los Angeles California area, Norton System IIRC, that sells missile parts, engines, and guidance components. Yes, it is not ready-to-fly out of the box, but someone with the right knowlege and determination could do it.
Since 1971, hobby-rocket propellant -- the same stuff that powers the solid-rocket boosters in space shuttle launches -- has been listed by the federal government as a low explosive. Rather than explode, the propellant burns hot and fast.
In small quantities, the propellant can launch model rockets hundreds of feet into the air. In larger quantities, the propellant can send large high-power rockets -- many of them taller than a person -- miles heavenward.
Until 9/11 put the United States on terrorist alert, rocketeers were free to buy and use high-power propellant within their own states.
More missinformation ... before 9/11 the hobby was regulated. The regulations varied from state to state, but all fell under the same federal oversight ... much like fireworks are regulated/banned today.
Prior to 9/11 a rocketeer could not just run out and buy, transport, store any large motor or collection of propellant mass.
But a homeland security law clipped the fins of high-power rocketeers. When final regulations went into effect a year ago, hobbyists found themselves required to be fingerprinted, undergo background checks and buy three-year, $100 federal explosives permits.
At the same time, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) was tightening up its enforcement of storage regulations for motors.
This is a GOOD thing. I don't want my next door neighbor storing hundreds of pounds of any low, mid, or high explosives without the proper storage facility or permits.
If his house catches fire and explosions occur ... chances are my structure will sustain some damage too ... no thanks ... I love rockets too, but I really do need a place to stay.
"We're doing the best we can to be legal and comply, and we'll do what's necessary," says Dennis Winningstad, president of OregonRocketry, a 70-member enthusiasts' club that gathers for group launches about half a dozen times a year.
"We fear that the regulations will become onerous and people will leave the hobby."
People are have been leaving the hobby for years ... NAR members ships were in the ten's of thousands back in the 1960's - 70's. Now they number just a few hundred that ACTIVELY participate. High-power had it's glory days back in the late 1970's - late 1980's before regulations, cost, and personal/professional relationships caused serious rifts in the hobby.
Some say the exodus already is under way.
Jane Fossen, co-owner of Acme Rocketry and Hobbies in Jacksonville, for example, says she and her husband, Chris Beekman, spend a lot of time trying to explain the regulations to beginning rocketeers.
"Out of frustration, they say, 'That's it. I'm getting out of rocketry. Will you buy my stuff back?' "
Buyer beware?
As owner of more than 100 rockets, Lyngdal doesn't intend to quit the hobby. In fact, on this day Lyngdal launches several rockets, including one called Paint by Proffitt, which registered more than 6,000 feet in altitude. The rocket hits a maximum velocity of 650 mph only 1.6 seconds into its flight, then floats to earth on a parachute.
Well I own over 1500 model,mid-power, and amateur rockets spaning the years 1960 - the present ... and I have moved on to other activities as the regulations, costs, and petty fighting has turned me off from the hobby.
Lyngdal and other hobbyists say their early interest in rocketry influenced later decisions to become engineers and scientists. They're afraid the regulations will stifle coming generations.
"My participation in hobby rocketry and our nation's focus on science were a big part of my decision to become an engineer," says Kent Newman, a South Hill, Wash., rocketeer who attends events in Oregon. "I don't want my son's generation to lose a similar opportunity because of regulatory overkill."
Rocketry is not the "scientific stimulator" as it once was some 40 years ago. Technology is being driven by the marketplace, and not high-power rocketry. People want goods and services that have more to do with the internet, plasma screen TVs, and PDAs than they do with model rockets.
I wonder what inspired scientists before rocketry? Did a high-power rocket inspire Einstein to develope the Theory of Relativity? Did it inspire a farmer to invent the Television? Did it inspire Marconi to create radio? No. People will be inspired to study science without the flash and bang of high-power rocketry for decades and centurys to come.
Ironically, hobbyists are exempt from the rocket motor regulations if they simply build their own motors from scratch, an avenue that is increasing in popularity -- and available to terrorists.
Please use the Nexus search engine open to journalist to search on the subject of "sugar rockets" KNO3 being used by terrorist to fire rockets against Israeli troops on Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.
Terrorist have been and currently using "home brewed" rockets and propellants. I just hope we don't have an incident anywhere here in the states.
"If you roll your own, you're pretty much exempt from all this," Winningstad says.
Well not exactly ... there are still local and state laws governing the purchase, storing and manufacturing ... basically if you mix, cure, and use at the site, then you get around most of the regulation. If you mix, cure, and store in your home ... well there are laws governing that.
Meanwhile, the battle to exempt sport rocketry from explosives regulations is also being fought out in Congress and U.S. District Court, with a Senate bill and a court case pending.
"In the war on terrorism," Winningstad says, "I firmly think they're seeing ghosts in hobby rocketry."
Not sure if he meant people are leaving, or something else ... one aspect of the decline in model rockety as a science is that the populus is not interested in rockets as they once where 40 years ago. Instead, young people are interested in robots, i.e. robot wars. They are also insterested in the technology of video games, which is a 20 BILLION dollar a year industry. They are other scientific interests that young people are engaged in. The problem is that most of the 45 year old or older, grew up when rockets were the pinnicale of high tech. Now its the internet, video games, robots, and AI. I would really like to own a "thinking" machine someday before I die ... now that would be AMAZING!
Steve Woodward: 503-294-5134;
Well Steve, with all that was said in your article, I think you need to take a deep breath and really understand what is going on. Model rockets can be fun and exciting, and with a little modification, can be made into very dealy weapons. I don't want to go into detail, but puting razor blades on the leading edges of fines, and the nose cone can be nasty if fired into a crowd of people. Anthrax, Seryn, and other agents can be released in the air over dense population centers with rockets, large or small.
Yes, I realize this is doom and gloom, but we as hobbyist have to understand why we may be viewed with a certain skewed perception and WORK, yes WORK with the agencies to reach a compromise ... and this is being done in federal courts as we speak.
P.s. no spell checker, so any mistake are my own :)
Reply to
Word of Reason
Word, you have so much credibility when you hide behind anonymity. Frankly, you sound like one of those pantie-waist chicken-little ATF turds. Have you announced yourself at anyone's front door lately by shooting thru it with full auto gunfire?
BTW, I can put razor blades in a Frisbee and do the same thing. And have you noticed all those terrorist supply stores one every corner? They're called gas stations.
Do you get startled at the sudden sight of your own shadow?
Maybe you should see a doctor. You seem to have an overabundance of the hormone wimpagen.
Reply to
Doug Sams
You couldn't have said it any better, Doug.
('cept for maybe calling him turd, instead of word)
Ya know, if this guy is so darn smart, and has access to dangerous materials and weapons.... Don't ya think we should monitor his usage of automobiles?
Reply to
Demeaning the NAR and then running doens't cut it, sir. If you're going to maintain any credibility about your assertions, please read and respond.
On what factual basis do you make these assertions?
NAR membership never was more than 5,200 at its peak, and that was in 1999.
Over 2,000 NAR members maintain not only membership, but affiliation with an active section. Over 1,800 members are HPR certified. That's an order of magnitude greater than your assertion of "hundreds".
NAR and TRA members are being illegally harassed by ATF employees in the field. These harassment incidents continue despite our efforts in the court, and are not "embellishments", particularly to those members experiencing them.
I respectifully disagree. There are not professional citations which support this assertion.
My condolences on your loss.
I work in the bond business. The largest loss of life on September 11 occured among employees of the brokerage firm Cantor Fitzgerald. One of our traders here knew 42 people who died there. None of them were injured or killed by the safe, educational and fun sport rocketry hobby.
Not according the federal courts.
I don't want my neighbors storing explosives either, and since APCP isn't explosive, then I guess they're OK with my motors.
Please explain what this has to do with rocket motors being illegally classifed as explosive?
I respectifully disagree. If you had seen the 600+kids competiting at Team America last weekend, you would have seen exactly why rocketry remains a scientific stimulator. And the NASA and aerospace executives out there understand it. They recognize, as we in the NAR do,that while other activities have a place in stimulating young people, nothing beats the hands on engineering experience rocketry provides. And they want to keep supporting it.
See TARC citation above, please, then reconsider.
There is no independent factual basis for this assertion. None.
The federal court proceedings in which the NAR and TRA are involved are not compromises; they're adverserial proceedings to work out what the law actually permits a federal agency to do.
Whether compromise is possible based on our informal conversations with BATFE at TARC remain to be seen.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Mark B. Bundick mbundick - at - earthlink - dot - net NAR President www - dot - nar - dot - org
"A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets, but high above the quiet streets on the twelfth floor of the Acme Building, one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions. Guy Noir, Private Eye."
Reply to
Mark B. Bundick
Hundreds could be a dozen hundreds.
Thousands could be 1.3 thousands.
However it might be more reasonable to JUDGE such an imprecise representation in the middle of the range.
Thus it would not likely be thousands, but indeed hundreds.
In any case 5200 is unimpressive as compared to participation in school programs, retail sales or any other measure. You are a leader of zealots.
Correct. So stop encouraging it! Stop asking for ANY ATF permits in connnection with any SPORT ROCKET MOTORS whastsoever. Ever.
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"In addition, the Court finds that the ATF's pronouncement that sport rocket motors are not PADs is invalid because it was made without compliance with the notice-and-comment rulemaking procedures of the OCCA and the APA."
And if that is not black and white enough for you (which it is not), then:
27 CFR 555.141 exemptions (a) (8) Gasoline, fertilizers, propellant actuated devices, or propellant actuated industrial tools manufactured, imported, or distributed for their intended purposes.
27 CFR 555.11, "Propellant Actuated Device. Any tool or special mechanized device or gas generator system which is actuated by a propellant or which releases and directs work through a propellant charge."
Care to join me in my DOT claim??? I will pay my own fine.
God bless!
Reply to
Jerry Irvine
This would suggest that one should sympathise with, rather than moralize at, anyone who is hassled by that "broken system".
-dave w
Reply to
David Weinshenker
Can you prove they aren't :-)
Or by Ryder truck or DC10 or by UPS, FedEx, or US Mail. The BATFEs job is to regulate things that EXPLODE, not delivery methods.
Why was DuPage airport locked down for months after 9/11? It wasn't a Cessna that took down the towers, it was a commercial airliner. THose were allowed back in the air in just a few days.
Including the rectal-cranial mistakes?
Bob Kaplow NAR # 18L TRA # "Impeach the TRA BoD" >>> To reply, remove the TRABoD!
Reply to
Bob Kaplow
Well I am far from a fan of the United States Government ... the same government that conducted syphilis experiments on African Americans at Tuskegee, the same goverment that covered up the assassination of the Kennedys, the same goverment that tramples on the bill of rights every chance it can ... nope, I am no fan of Uncle Sam.
Yes, there are many ways to kill people ... its the EFFICIENT ways that have to be taken seriously ... You can be killed with a ROCKET propelled grenade ... not likely with a HAND thrown "razor" frisbee ... unless you are Master of the Flying Guiotene (masrhal arts movie that motivated Mortal Kombat).
The Master was this old blind evil dude who lauched a razor hoop attached to a long chain ... it would land on your head, then a curtain would drop down over the head. Then with a skillful jerk, he would decapitate you ... awesome! Rent the movie!
No just realistic ... thats all. All the NAR/TRA legal fund money in the world is at best going to get you a compromise with the Feds. Thats it, you are not going to win , "legal rocket freedom". Not going to happen.
With the way things are, and what people like Irvine are doing, you might just lose Amateur and high-power completely in the not so distant future.
Reply to
Word of Reason
Maybe so ... if I wanted to there is nothing to stop me going outside right now and ending another human beings' life ... nothing. I could just walk up and stick a shank under someones ribs before they ever knew what hit them.
The same can be said of a terrorist who wishes to meet Alah. All he/she has to do is walk into a crowded movie theatre with pipe bombs filled with AP rocket propellant and detonate it. I am sure at least 3,4 -5 people will be killed out right ...
You see, rocketry at any level can be twisted out of control ... and therefore since as some of us have shown recently, we can't be trusted to follow the rules, we need government oversight as we can't seem to all get on the same page together.
The very nature of our hobby can be morphed from fun family excitement, to horrific disaster very easily ... some of you just wont except this fact and work to lessen the impact of regulation ... this is why I predict an end to private amateur and high-power rocketry. You can always join "outlaw" rocket organisations I guess.
Reply to
Word of Reason
Heh and you wonder why your voices are not being heard above the public and political roar ... your stupid and not seeing the overall picture. You guys are focusing on your own belly buttons ... I wonder how long rocketry has ... I wonder.
Reply to
Word of Reason
Must have a pretty darn good source of "primary" explosives to detonate sport rocket APCP... DOT and AMW's local police department tried blasting caps and det cord and all they managed to do was either set fire to the propellant or fragment it into small pieces.
-dave w
Reply to
David Weinshenker
You missed the part where he wants you to refer to "The Sum of All Fears". He's using APCP instead of tritium, I guess...
David Erbas-White
Reply to
David Erbas-White
Dave W. replied:
I do sympathise. However, that sympathy ends when the party in question keeps insisting he is legal when he clearly is not, and especially when he blames everyone but the government for his problems.
If Jerry said, "I know my stuff's not legal to ship, but the DOT makes it too difficult and expensive to get legal so I'm forced to ship it illegally", I would have a great deal of sympathy for him. If he said, "The DOT regs (and/or ATF regs) are keeping me from legally producing, certifying, and shipping my cool motors, so I have to rely on under the table deals", I'd be very sympathetic. I'm in favor of people doing whatever they can to get around excessive government regulations.
But Jerry would rather demonize TRA, NAR, Fred, and everyone who ever pointed out the inconsistencies and outright lies in his story. That's where my sympathy ends.
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