NAR Board votes to violate Safety Code!


Ask Mark Bundick. Preferably face to face!
--
Bob Kaplow NAR # 18L >>> To reply, there's no internet on Mars (yet)! <<<
Kaplow Klips & Baffle: http://nira-rocketry.org/Document/MayJun00.pdf
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Bob,
Are you saying that the FAI certification process is inferior to the NAR process? Or that FAI-certified motors are inherently more dangerous than NAR-certified motors?
Also, in what way are DOT regs being violated? Are you aware of any actual infractions where FAI-certified motors were shipped illegally within the U.S.?
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malcolm:
this is what our Vice-Presidenr, one of the NARBOT members has stated in the section manual guide which is online:
MOTOR CERTIFICATION
Both NAR safety codes and both NFPA Codes require that fliers use only-certified "motors" . This certification requires passing a rigorous static testing program specified in the NFPA Codes. The NAR safety codes and insurance require that NAR members use only NAR certified motors ; and since the NAR currently has a reciprocity agreement with TRA on motor certification, this means that TRA certified motors also have NAR certification. The NFPA Codes recognize certifications granted by any -approved testing laborato y or national user organization", bu only the NAR and TRA can rovide this service in most parts of the country . The California Fire Marshal has his own testing program for motors in that state. Motors made by private individuals or by companies with out proper explosives licenses , and motors not formally classified for shipment by the U.S. Department of Transportation, are not eligible for NAR certification and may not be used."
Now either Trip doen't mean what he says above, or he has completely changed his mind.
Also on the NAr website is this Insurance question:
Will the NAR insurance cover claims related to use of non-certified motors?
No. NAR insurance is null and void if the accident involves a Safety Code violation. Use of uncertified motors is prohibited by the NAR Safety Codes.
IS this Clear enough?
Yes I will say that the FAI so called certfication process is inferior to the NAR certfication process. Let us review:
The FAI certfication process is not the same thing as the NAR S&T certfication process. The FAi certfication process is slightly different than the NAr S&T one;or the TRA one; or the CAR one, in one important respect: The NAR/TRA/CAR certfication proces bestows upon an engine a 3-5 yr cert status. The FAI certification process who certfies that the motors being tested are suitable and adhere to the FAI motor requirements for the FAI CONTEST in which they are about to be used. What this means is that the FAI certification is basically a temporary test of motors to make sure nobody is trying to cheat with over impulse motors. The motors are then IMPOUNDED for the duration the the FAI event. These same motors must undergo a FAI cert by the countries representative NAC(National Aerospace Control, ie the AMA here in the US) EVERY time prior to use in the respective FAI contest.
Yes I will say that I personally think that FAI motors in genral rather they be "FAI certfied" or not have always been more dnagerous than comparable modle rocket motors made here in the USA or Cananda, due to the fact that some or most aren't even made by manufcaturing concerns. They are hand-pressed using formulations of chemicals that over here we wouldn't dare use, for example like picric acid or nitrocellulose..... the old CZech Adast motors were called "Widow MAkers" due to their tendency to explode rather violently due to use of picric acid.... I might add that picric acid is on the BATFE's list of explosive substances, and therefore to pocess or use or sale such a motor in the USA<> you would required to have LEU with storage and use by minors would be prohibited.
Ok heres how Certfication goes donw in the USA, it pretty simple and strightforward:
1. motors are imported into USA under temporary import license.....they are given a temporary UN number based on what the manufacturer says their constitute ingredients are. 2. they go to 1 of the 4 DOT approved testing laboratories where they undergo basically a set series of tests. These test are used to determine if the motor will be classed a a 1.3 or 1.4 explosive OR a 4.1 flammable solid. 3. assuming that the motors in question pass the DOT testing process, the DOT then issues whats called an EX number for this specific motor formulation. and applies a UN number. It is this UN number designation that determines if it is a 1.4S motor or a 1.4C motor and this designation determines its ability to be shipped and also it detrmines the packaging requirements. 4. Once the motor has this DOT EX number/UN designation number, they are then accepted by the NAR S&T where they are then subjected to the NFPA certfication requirements for sale and use in the USA. 5. Asssuming they pass the NAR certfication process, they are now legal to be sold and used in the USA.
Now there are additional requirements from the CPSC:
A model rocket motor sold in the USA to be Exempt from the FULL marking,instruction and labeling requirements of the Federal Banned Substances Act , must also adhere to specific packaging,marking and labeling requirements. This is verfieid in the NAR Certfication step above.
Now lets take a special case: Lets assume for the sake of argument, that foreign motors do not undergo any of the above, and lets aslo assume that these foreign motors have a explosive ingredient like picric acid or nitorcellulose or other ingredient that is on the BATFE explosives List. DO you see the potential problems allowing such motors without the full DOT/NAR tetsting process as is required for all other motors. And then there is the Liability issues. Manufactureres here in the USA are required to have product liability insurance. Will the manufacturer of these foreign motors have this liability insurance if his motors hurt someone?
Ok lets get specific shall we?
Am I aware personally of any potential infractions where FAI certfied motors were shiped "illegally" into the USA?
well yes and no...I guess it all depends on your ethics and moral compass now doesn't it? One thing I have learned since I rejoined model rcoketry over 4 years ago, is that most rocketeers have very liberal definition of illegal. But let me throw out a scenario that may be real or speculation on my part, and you be the judge.
Lets say that prior to a FAI WSMC (World SPace Modeling Championships) members of the USA Team contact one Jiri Taborsky in the Czech Republic. Never heard the name Jiri Taborsky? well Mr. Taborsky is sorta like the "engine maker to the stars", the stars in this cas ebeing members of various national FAI spacemodeling teams. His business is to provide "top-of-the-line", "state of the Art model rocket motors to the FAi competitiors. He creates motors to customer specification in small batches. He is a "boutique" motor maker. Theres NO DOUBT that his Czech Delta motors are the very best in the world. Ok so now we know who Mr. Taborsky is and what service he provides.
So the USA Team tell Mr. Taborsky , Hey we need 450 motors total, 225 each of A2-0, A2-7. So Mr.taborsky takes the order, and produces these motors to order. When the USA team arrive at the FAI event, the motors are turned over to Mr. Taborsky, and the USA Team pays him for these motors. These motors are then offered up to the FAI certficiation(motor testing) people and are impounded as described above. Now lets say that only 100 of these motors are actually used in competition. That leaves 350 motors. Well the USA Team members just place the excess motors into their range boxes, and allow them to be flown back to the USA. Where they are not DECLARED to customs. And since customs wouldn't know a czech model rocket motor from a canadian model rocket, everthing is kosher.
Now its up to you whether or not bringing back into USA, czech motor in large quantities and not declaring them is a crime or not;whether it is illegal or not. An arguemnt will be made that they are just bringing back "souviners". well a souviner would be a 3-or 5 pack of motors not 350, or 20, or 500 whatever the number might be.
I didn't bother to post the applicable NFPA 1122/1125 code snipets that verify what I have said above is correct. The decision facing NAR members is are we going to allow the really bad policy decsion stand. It obviously is in direct violation of the NAR Model Rocket Safety Code, the AMA Model Rocket Safety Code, the NFPA 1122/1125 regulations that all other model rocket motors are required to adhere to.
Let me give you my take on why this policy was brought forth.
The USA FAI Spacemodleing Team has traditionally been at a severe competitive disadvanatge to other FAI member state competitiors because of the motor situation. The Czech deltas are 10mm motors that as I said above are no doubt the best in the world. Alot of other countries use these motors on a regular basis not only in the WSMC but in the 20+ FAI World Cup event competions held every year mostly in eastern europe. The USA team has been forced to use Estes A3-4T motors which are 13mm in FAI Team Flyoffs and past FAI Practice sessions. SO the modelers make 40/13mm off optimum models and practice with them, and the they don't get to use the Czech deltas until they hit europe. These motors are used for S3A, S4A,S6A,S9A and potentially S1B(PD/BG/SD/HD/ALT) . THIS is the driving reason behind this policy : the ends justify the means. The NARBOT basically has decided that to help the USA FAI team do better than they normally would, we will "bend" the rules for them.
I have an alternate suggestion: there are 2 ways to skin cat: the right way and the wrong way. My recommendation to the NAR would be to ante up $5-10K and legally import these mototrs and allow them to go through the DOT tetsting and NAR cert tetsting reginmes. If they pass, then the NAR itself, can sell these motors to its own members ONLY for FAI competition Use only. The NAR has the funds to accomplish this. The NAR can sell "specialty" motors to its own members just like it sells other merchandise. We are not talking about large quantities here.
The only reason I can see for that the NAR will not even consider that is as follows:
1. What is we order a batch of motors that we pay up front for, and they fail the DOT testing? 2. What if we order a baych of motors and we pay up front for, and it turns out they are labeled such that because of propellant ingredients, they would require an LEUP to sale and posses? I mean you know the FAI guys aren't going to sit by and have to do the BATFE thing like HPR guys are forced to do? 3. This would set a BATFE precedent: imagine having to have a LEUP and Storage doe 2 gr proprllant A motors....
terry dean

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That was quite a verbose reply.
I'm glad we have people like you around to ensure that every i is dotted, and every t is crossed, properly and without exception, to the exact letter of the law.
I see your point - IF we permit a small number of international competitors the LUXURY of practicing with motors legitimately certified and tested by an authority outside our own borders, in order to give them an even chance of competing in an international venue, then chaos and disorder will surely follow. Dogs and cats living together! MASS HYSTERIA!
PUH-LEASE.
You look like a nit-picking fool.

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What you both seem to be oblivious to is the almost certainty that the motors were transported illegally. If they did not have DOT numbers (which are required for certification in the US) they can not be transported legally - either inter or intra nationally. If you doubt this check oout previous threads related to Jerry Irvine owing 40 GRAND TO THE MAN for exactly that.
It seems that NAR may have become a party to shipping illegal motors. With this kind of behavior, Jerry will fit right in on the BOT. Was it 3 years ago I suggested he run? I think he got 3 write in votes.
At least they publish their data on delays - aye Bob.
Phil
On Sat, 20 May 2006 12:35:23 -0400, "Malcolm Reynolds"

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Phil,
What you are saying is true, "if" the motors were imported through a commercial business. However, if individuals brought the motors back for there own personal use, declared them through customs, and the individual motors weigh less than 62.5 grams, there is no DOT or ATFE issue. Now if they brought the motors back in there luggage, without declaring them, and receiving permission to transport on a commercial airline, that is a big time NO! NO! Also, if they declared them as "Model Airplane Parts", they are right up there with "Big Time-Big Fine"..(:-)
Fred
Phil Stein wrote:

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Considering the morons at the airports, I don't think there is any chance that anyone in their right mind would declare the stuff. Also, motors you would use for rocket tricks shoould have less than 62.5g - is it ok that fly with them as carry on or checked luggage?
Phil
On Sat, 20 May 2006 17:22:37 -0400, "W. E. Fred Wallace"

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Nope. Can't be anywhere on a commercial airliner.
--
Bob Kaplow NAR # 18L >>> To reply, there's no internet on Mars (yet)! <<<
Kaplow Klips & Baffle: http://nira-rocketry.org/Document/MayJun00.pdf
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On 21 May 2006 08:16:12 -0500, kaplow snipped-for-privacy@encompasserve.org.mars (Bob Kaplow) wrote:

That's what I thought. IMO, this is a bigger problem that wether the motors are NAR certified. NAR didn't bother Jerry but DOT sure did.
Phil
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i'LL MAKE SURE TO VOTE FOR HIM AGAIN THIS YEAR.

Not for these uncertified motors they don't!
--
Bob Kaplow NAR # 18L >>> To reply, there's no internet on Mars (yet)! <<<
Kaplow Klips & Baffle: http://nira-rocketry.org/Document/MayJun00.pdf
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Phil Stein wrote:

Hmmm... I'm wondering, do these flyers already have the motors? If so, how did they get them if they can't legally be shipped here? If they were illegally shipped, why don't these guys just do their practice flying at a private, non-sanctioned launch, and not involve the NAR at all? I don't know much about NAR/FAI competition events, so I'm just curious.
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All EXCELLENT questions. They have them, because the plan is to fly them next weekend at NSL in Texas. You are absolutely correct: they should go off on their own and fly their uncertified motors without NAR involvement, seperate from an NAR event. If they need insurance, they should secure their own, just as several independent clubs have done.
--
Bob Kaplow NAR # 18L >>> To reply, there's no internet on Mars (yet)! <<<
Kaplow Klips & Baffle: http://nira-rocketry.org/Document/MayJun00.pdf
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The fools are the ones who think that the board can waive portions of the safety code. The fools are the ones that think the board can waive NFPA and DOT regulations. The fools are the ones wo think they will still have NAR insurance coverage while flying these motors.
The reason our hobby has survived for almost half a century is that we DO have people who make sure every j is dotted and every f is crossed, to the exact letter of the law.
Please explain for me how allowing selected members to violate the NAR Safety Code advances our organization? Why even bother having a safety code if the board can authorize waiving it whenever it gets in the way. That's the kind of logic I used to expect from TRA, not from the NAR.
One more question for everyone: W.W.G.H.S.D?
--
Bob Kaplow NAR # 18L >>> To reply, there's no internet on Mars (yet)! <<<
Kaplow Klips & Baffle: http://nira-rocketry.org/Document/MayJun00.pdf
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Bob Kaplow wrote:

So.....we are to understand that those who must religiously follow the NAR code to the letter to cover their ass as far as distance and impulse and certified status in this country are not the same as those who are at a disadvantage overseas in international competition following the same rules?
The peons in this country must toe the line but when international status becomes a major concern (read that the status quo puts Americans at a huge competitive disadvantage) the rules aren't so important?
I see an amazing conundrum here.
Mr. Bundick, please explain this slight of hand.
Chuck
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You see correctly. Some members of the internats team has been quietly violating the safety code under the radar screen. This was an attempt to legitimize their actions. A poorly thought out attempt. Any one else who might similarly violate the safety code would be subject to expulsion. Especially if your initials were Jerry Irvine.

Mark and several other board members are a bit occupied this weekend, but I would expect to hear from him soon. I would suggest an email to him will get a faster response than a post here.
--
Bob Kaplow NAR # 18L >>> To reply, there's no internet on Mars (yet)! <<<
Kaplow Klips & Baffle: http://nira-rocketry.org/Document/MayJun00.pdf
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Bob Kaplow wrote:

WTHDIMWGHSWD?
(What The He** Does It Matter What G. Harry Stine Do?)
David Erbas-White
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Or he had his fingers crossed behind his back.

I have verified something that did not show up in the board minutes as posted on the yahoo group: Even though the board has authorized selected members to violate the safety code, that violation will invalidate thier insurance coverage. Only the site owner coverage will remain.

The FAI certification process is about performance, not safety. Yes, they will reject a batch if a motor catos. But it's common practice to submit motors not as one single batch, but as several smaller batches, so that if irregularities are found there are still some motors that slip through.
These motors are also not subject to any long term testing or monitoring. They only need to function properly for a week. We don't know what their long term storage properties might be.

These imported motors have no DOT paperwork. That alone is enough to make them uncertifyable in the USA. nd there is no business license or insurance behind them. This lack of paperwork is exactly the reason that neither NAR nor TRA will certify Jerry Irvine's motors. I guess Jerry should go into business making specialty motors for selected members. He's offered to do so before.

That's not quite correct. The REAL reason that this was done was to legitimize the underground actions that the FAI team has been using for years. How's that for a double standard! Any other member gets kicked out of the NAR for violating the safety code. But the NAR board grants "selected members" the right to violate the Safety Code at NAR events.

Either these motors are NAR certified or they are not. If they are, any member can use them at any time. If they aren't then no NAR member may fly them at any time. There is no "selected" class of NAR members granted rights above other members. NAR policy has long established that no one other than NAR S&T has the right to control what motors can and can not be used at an NAR event. We went down this rathole when some contest directors wanted to limit say B SD to 18mm BP motors. The board said no.
--
Bob Kaplow NAR # 18L >>> To reply, there's no internet on Mars (yet)! <<<
Kaplow Klips & Baffle: http://nira-rocketry.org/Document/MayJun00.pdf
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You are correct Bob in that no business license is behind them.
If they were brought in legally as personal import, no DOT paperwork would be needed if not for commerce or resale.

If you don't resell them or ship them in commerce , you don't need to spend the 10k to legally import them for non-commerce use.
I certainly don't want the NAR spending 10K so a few contest top dogs can fly motors that can be sold for $40 each after all the taxes, importation and the rest of the red tape is done.
Talk about subsidies ;)
Cranny "looking for Brandi" Dane
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cranny responses inline...
terry dean

I'm not sure theres any such thing as a "personal import"....

This assumes that the motore would be given freely to all people to use; in practice, they are sold.

Cranny, the reason I suggested this route is that the NAR would eventually make their money back from reselling these motors to NAR FAI Spacemodeler contestants. It would also allow for the growth of FAI Spacemodeling competitiors by having a reliable,continous source of FAI competition quality motors(well at least until Jiri Taborsky who is in his 50's at least ,croaks). The motors that we are talking about are A size mototrs and might cost $5-8 per; yes thats expensive, but take into consideration that FAI Spacemodeling competition is voluntary.

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shockwaveriderz wrote:

B.S.
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Steve Humphrey
(replace "spambait" with "merlinus" to respond directly to me)
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