MDRA and flyer certifications

Just to clear the air; Quoted from the MDRA membership application: >
> (Membership in MDRA will allow a member to fly sport rocketry, powered by both
> Certified Motors and Experimental Motors and work on Certification of TRA and NAR
> Levels 1, 2, or 3. Certification is not required to be a member of MDRA, but all
> members must follow the motor certification rule for flying both Certified and
> Experimental. The rule is, Level 1 H-I, Level 2 J-L, Level 3 M and above. If a
> member is not Certified Level 1, G motors or below are allowed to be used.) >
> The bottom line, in order to launch rockets at MDRA launches above G impulse, all
> MDRA members will attain and maintain the appropriate TRA and/or NAR HPR
> certification levels: the requirement is not debatable and vigorously enforced.
> Fred
I plan on joining and flying with MDRA this year. Technically, I am
a level 0 flyer, but I am currently building my level 3 project
(a 1/3.9 scale model of Consolidated-Vultee's MX-774 Hiroc project
vehicle designated RTV-A-2). Anyway, both my NAR and TRA memberships
are in the process of lapsing. I would prefer not to rejoin either
organization. Why cannot I still certify Level 1, 2, and 3 (all
on the same day) with MDRA and not maintain membership in NAR and TRA?
This is not a hypothetical, it is a serious question. I got into
rocketry several years ago with my son and daughter when we attended
an MDRA launch as spectators. It was the time when N-Sane was supposed
to fly.
Another question for the general RMR audience. Do you think it is
possible for a person to build exactly 3 model rockets, fly each of
them exactly 1 time and attain 3 certifications 1, 2, and 3? If so,
what does this say about the certification process (or this person)?
Ferrell Wheeler
Sunderland, MD
Reply to
Ferrell Wheeler
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It's certainly possible in principle, but unlikely in practice, unless the individual has a lot of other experience... I just started building rockets that I wanted to fly, and did a "certification flight" on the relevant occasions when I first had something of applicable size.)
I know some folks like to build a rocket of a certain size to "do the levels" but it was kind of the other way around for me.
-dave w
Reply to
David Weinshenker
This has been a point of debate for many years. The original purpose of Level 1 cert was to break people of their Estes construction mentality by forcing them to fly a motor that exceeds Estes materials in almost all cases: an H.
It has been morphed over the yerars as the lovers of rules have romanced their lover.
But there is no inherent reason and apparantly no rules reason why you cannot do L1, 2, 3 certs all in one day if: 1. You can pass the tests 2. You have done your homework.
I claim the final line says it all. Do your homework and do the flights and you DESERVE the attained level.
Legally someone can fly a Q for their first motor. It may not be HPR but it is perfectly legal.
That MX-774 project sounds great!
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Reply to
Jerry Irvine
Too easy. I still maintain one rocket, a modified LOC Bruiser, will do all three levels. And I "aims" to prove it one of these days.
What does what say? If you build rockets that pass muster, then you evidently have some knowledge, even if you only built 3 rockets. It could mean that person is a genius, or an idiot, or maybe they design "real rockets" for a living. It could mean they are lucky (if they have no previous experience and need to get a TAP/L3CC to work with them for a L3 shot on their 3rd launch ever, I think they are gonna need some luck...or a whole lot of knowledge...or a world class ability to BS).
I doubt someone who designs sounding rockets for a living would have much of a problem with L1-L3 certification. Someone who stayed at the Holiday Express last night, however, might find it more difficult.
Reply to
Kurt Kesler
I was wondering about this myself. Given their independent status, there seems to be no reason to not do their own equicalent certification for those nto a member of either group.
Yes, it is possible. But not all flown on the same day. Technically, you could build something like a LOC Magnum, fly it wiht an I357 for your L1, then a J350 for your L2 in one day. But L3 requires that you work with a committee (L3CC/TAP) during the construction process. You can't just show up at a launch with an L3 rocket and fly like you can with L1 and L2.
And one would hope that you spent some time flying rockets, learning about the hobby, and maybe even having some fun between L1 and L2, and between L2 and L3.
Bob Kaplow NAR # 18L TRA # "Impeach the TRA BoD" >>> To reply, remove the TRABoD!
Reply to
Bob Kaplow
You could fly with other certified folks as big as you wish and get practice. Once ready and after the TAP committee has reviewed your report you can go out to the field and fly 1-2-3 all in one launch day.
Reply to
Jerry Irvine
good point, Ferrel
yes, this scenario is possible
and it the resulting cert says very little about their ability
apart from the fact that
the L2 flight must be preceded by successful completion of a written examination
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and the L3 project must be documented, that documentation must be approved by a TAP member, and the actual rocket must be inspected by a TAP (I expect more rigorously than an RSO would during a non-cert flight)
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- iz
Reply to
Ismaeel Abdur-Rasheed
"Ferrell Wheeler" asked : Why cannot I still certify Level 1, 2, and 3 (all on the same day) with MDRA and not maintain membership in NAR and TRA?
The answer is simple Ferrell-NO..... Why? Well because Maryland has adopted NFPA 1 which adopts NFPA 1122/1125/1127......via NFPA Chapter 65.......
which means unless you are either an NAR or TRA member you cannot even legally purchase L1/2/3 engines to even begin with.... (well there is a loophole to purchase/use a single engine for any Level cert flight if purchased and used at the field) so since you cannot legally purchase the required engines, you cannot obviously Certify.....
Besides the Certfication levels are NAR/TRA constructs, outside these 2 organizations,and the NFPA codes, Certs mean essentially nothing....
shockie B)
Reply to
The following should explain, MDRA's position on individual certification:
When we were in the process of establishing MDRA, there was debate amongst the group; concerning individual certifications, and other issues such as minors, insurance, land owner liability considerations, and what our relationship would be with the national organization. I will try to briefly explain certifications.
Certifications: Achieving and maintaining individual certifications is a good concept, as it gives at least the perception of a structured environment, with a point of entry and a level of demonstrated HPR progression and competency. Also, as our members are individuals with TRA and/or NAR membership there was/is no reason to reinvent the certification process for MDRA. In addition, we did not wish to appear in competition with the national organizations, as that was never our intent and it was felt that a separate MDRA certification process would give such an appearance. So, you are stuck with belonging to one or the other, (NAR or TRA), if you wish to maintain a certification level and launch HPR, either certified commercial or EX motors at MDRA.
Levels 1, 2, and 3 can and has been done in one day. If you are serious, put a plan together and present it to the TAP of your choice. I believe doing it all in one day or even a weekend launch, is a challenge I would not personally do or recommend someone attempt.
Fred Wallace TRA 5763, TAP MDRA BOD ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ferrell Wheeler wrote:
Reply to
W. E. Fred Wallace
However, you allow EX motors so the launches are not HPR launches. NFPA doesn't apply in this case or you wouldn't be able to fly EX. As you are flying outside NFPA, you can choose any certification system you like, even none. I do believe there needs some way to indicate ability to fly large motors safely.
Reply to
Tom Binford
Only for "consumers". Not for "industrial" users.
BUT a CONSUMER should be able to get the material OVER THE COUNTER.
Reply to
Jerry Irvine
I meant flyer certs like L1/2/3 not motor certs... make your own H and do an L1, make your own J and do an L2..etc shockie B)
Reply to
My question was, why can't MDRA certify me so that I can buy high power motors from the on site vendor. I don't want to maintain a membership in NAR or TRA just to buy motors. OTOH, I greatly appreciate the work of MDRA -- getting flying fields, FAA waivers, insurance, etc. So I'll gladly stay a member of MDRA if I'm gonna fly with em. But you seem to be saying that Maryland LAW requires me to be a member of either NAR or TRA to buy a high power motor? I find that silly.
What if I build my own motor? It seems I can only fly it at a MDRA launch if I'm also a member of NAR or TRA. I would like MDRA to change that unnecessary (IMHO) requirement.
They mean that I can buy high powered motors, right?
Reply to
Ferrell Wheeler
"Ferrell Wheeler" But you seem to be saying that Maryland LAW
Yes you have to be a member of either the NAR/TRA to purchase HPR motors in NFPA/IFC states....
Well I don't know if its silly or not, thats the way the NFPA codes work...
Again this is a result of the NFPA/IFC codes.... If you build your own motor you are then engaged in AMateur Rocketry( some call it EX Rocketry, I consider them basically one and the same thing) then you are under NO obligation to follow the NFPA codes which are state law in your state, as they do not apply to AR/EX activities..... But since AR/EX rocketry in this sense is outside the scope of the Maryland state laws based on NFPA 1127, you still could not Certify as Flyer Certs are a NAR/TRA construct ONLY..... Its a Catch-22:
You can't purchase HPR motors unless you are NAR/TRA certified using NAR/TRA certified motors.....You can only Cert L1/2/3 with NAR/TRA certified motors....You can't cert L1/2/3 with homebrew motors....which is AR/EX rocketry..
Yes, the NAR/TRA certs mean you can purchase and use HPR motors......... per the applicable NFPA code 1127
Reply to
There have been several interpretations of my question which I never thought of....
1. Has anyone ever certified 1,2,3 using only one rocket with three flights (H, J, M for example)? Kurt seems to want to do this. 2. Has anyone ever certified 1,2,3 using only one rocket with three flights (H, J, M for example) where that rocket is the ONLY rocket the person has ever built? 3. Has anyone ever certified 1,2,3 using only one rocket with exactly one flight (M, for example) which can be legally used for all 3 qualification flights? 4. Same as 3 but where the rocket is the ONLY rocket the person has ever built. 5. Has anyone ever certified 1,2,3 using a different rocket for each flight and these 3 rockets are the only rockets the person has ever built and these are the only 3 flights the person has flown. (This was my original question). 6. Has anyone ever certified 1,2,3 using 3 different rockets but all 3 flights where done on the same day. (This was also one of my questions, distinct from 5).
To come clean.... My wife is a Level 2 flyer. Her L1 flight was with a Binder Design "Spike" kit. She flew it exactly once on an H motor and certified L1 with the great bunch of folks at Tripoli Minnesota. This was the first rocket she ever built. Her L2 flight was with a PML "Matrix" kit. She flew it exactly once on a J motor at LDRS last summer in Kansas and certified L2. So she has built 2 rockets and flown each once and is now an L2. She passed the L2 written test at a Tripoli Minnesota launch. I simply went over all the questions with her on the drive to the launch site. For Christmas, I gave her (among other gifts) a SkunkWorks 7.5" V2 kit. She will probably start on it this Spring. It will be the 3rd rocket she has ever built and on her 3rd rocket flight she hopes to certify L3.
As for me, I've built scores of rockets and if I want to fly one with a high power motor I simply have her buy it for me. The downside is that she constantly tells everyone that she's a Level 2 flyer whereas I'm just a ZERO! :-)
Now for the "all in one day" question. This is my goal if I ever get around to certifying. I plan on having 3 scratch built rockets: a minimal diameter 38mm high flyer (L1), a 15' 4.5 in diameter carpet roll rocket (L2), and a 9' scale model of MX-774 where I construct and fiberglass the ogive boattail and ogive forward section and turn the conical nosecone (L3). I would like to fly/certify these 3 rockets on one day. (BTW, I plan on entering the 15' rocket in the DESCON 13 design contest, it will be hilarious). I just don't want to have to MAINTAIN a membership in either NAR or TRA.
Side note... One of my goals in life is to achieve my Master Bladesmith rating from the American Bladesmith Society. There is a membership requirement to take the Journeyman and then the Master tests. These tests are extraordinarily rigorous, but once achieved, your master status is NOT removed if you do not maintain membership in ABS. (Just like I don't have to maintain membership in the American Mathematical Society to keep my PhD in Mathematics :)
I'll enjoy everyone's comments.
Take care,
Reply to
Ferrell Wheeler
If the guy wants to fly big rockets without certs and without supporting sport rocketry organizations, he can still get himself a pyro ops license or whatever else the state requires for professional rocketry.
Reply to
It's a LAW NAR and TRA wrote. It may be silly but it is FAR from surprising and 15,000 people JUST LIKE YOU have faded away.
Partially because of the reasons you have cited, and partially because of malfeasance, that is well known at one of the associations, people just do not want to support and be associated with.
People vote with their feet.
I begged hard from day one when they were developing rules. I suggested an entirely different compliance regime that was initially agreed to but Tripoli members as they often do, ascimilated the process and imposed their will.
One of the consequences is that many motors available on the East coast were stranded even when AT burned down and there was a pandemic shortage.
Tripoli puts power over consumer access or desire and most certainly over "just having fun and flying rockets".
Reply to
Jerry Irvine

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