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 :)
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
or possible KILL people. Guns are regulated for just this very
"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
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
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
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,
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?' "
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
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
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
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
"If you roll your own, you're pretty much exempt from all this,"
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
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; email@example.com
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 :)
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.
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?
Demeaning the NAR and then running doens't cut it, sir. If you're
going to maintain any credibility about your assertions, please read
On what factual basis do you make these assertions?
NAR membership never was more than 5,200 at its peak, and that was in
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
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
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."
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.
"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),
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
ACT LIKE IT
Care to join me in my DOT claim???
I will pay my own fine.
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!
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
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
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.
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.
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. 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