Perhaps. And if someone hadn't pushed the BoT for clarification on the
issue we probably would have been left with "don't ask, don't tell".
Sometimes its better to not ask for clarification on an issue.
That was not the impression that I got from that *debate*. It was to
require ANY rocket to have a active recovery system(ie, not tumble out
of the sky).
Regardless one individual had a total meltdown and basically just
insulted anyone that disagreed with him.
I've heard several prefects who won't allow saucers for certifying.
Gotta do at least 3FNC and a parachute. I don't take issue with that
personally. Do the basic certifying and then fly all the K powered
helirocs, saucers, boost gliders or monocopters you want. Nobody
had outlawed these ships (obviously) but the basic certifying skills
with parachute packing is what is being tested. (My interpretation)
They're not banned if they include a recovery device. :)
I personally think it's stupid that they had to add this to "ban"
saucers and spools. If you can demonstrate the ability to build one,
fly one and show why its stable and safe, then you understand the
reasons for a cert. Why can't I build a rocket out of carbon fiber
that is so light it can tumble-recovery on a small H motor? That is
now banned as well, even if it's safer than a parachute recovery(not
saything that it would be, but that it's possible)
Rocketry should be safe and fun, in that order. Too many regs start to
remove the fun part.
I have read all these responses and tried to understand why the
organizational bodies would want to take this approach. It appears to me
that the NAR/TRA, in the midst of their legal battle with the BATFE, are
trying to posture themselves as "self-policing" organizations. This is the
same reason the certification process was put into place to begin with -- to
regulate ourselves (or at least give the appearance) before Big Brother
stepped up and did it for us.
Based on that, it's understandable that the NAR/TRA want to mitigate
potential damage to the public's perception of the hobby. Boosting a flying
saucer, or a cable spool, or an outhouse into the sky without any recovery
device onboard is just asking for the media, followed by the regulatory
agencies, to step in and say we are acting irresponsibly. Even with a
recovery device, given the high power hobby's record of recovery failure
(it's the #1 cause for flight failure), it's questionable.
If the NAR/TRA taking a stand on this insures that our grandchildren will be
able to launch a rocket 20 years from now, we should all applaud.
You forget that the weight of an empty motor casing itself, falling from
3000' hit not be a good idea. Then add the weight of the bird.
This doesn't ban spools, saucers, pyramids, or other oddrocks. I've seen
plenty of oddrocks fly in the last 10 years, but they included some type of
recovery devices, other than "let it fall out the sky and hope there is
I was thinking more along the lines of a 6 inch diameter, 5 foot long
3FNC all carbon fiber rocket using a small H motor. The amount of drag
on the rocket compared to it's weight would be about the same as coming
in on a smaller parachute (I think, I would have to sim, build, test
this all myself first) I seem to recall a similar rocket by PML that
was launched on a G motor. It was so light, it could be held up with 2
fingers. Its first flight was on an H-180 and the booster came in
without a parachute (not by design) with no damage to the rocket.
This is not the method I choose when I got my level 1 (I-435 with dual
deploy on a 7 pound AMRAAM) or my level 2, but it doesn't mean that a
good builder (read strong but light) couldn't do it.
This seems like regulation for the sake of regulation to me. If a
builder can explain WHY a rocket with no active recovery is still a
safe recovery, then that would mean to me that he understands the
physics of flight and would be a safe flyer. If they can't explain to
me why its safe, then more than likely, they don't know why its safe
and in that case, I would agree that they shouldn't be flying a rocket
without active recovery (cert or no cert). This feels more to the
spirit of the certification process to me. Almost anyone can but a LOC
or PML kit, slap on some epoxy and an H motor and cert level 1.
This may not ban any type of rocket, (spool, saucer, oddroc,
what-have-you) but it does ban a type of rocket for certification, one
that uses passive recovery.
I guess it really doesn't matter at this point. The time for
discussion on this has already passed. The rule is in place and to
change the rule would take more than just my voice.
AZ Woody wrote:
Not true. Saucers can still be used to make cert flights, as long as
they use active recovery. I've seen many HPR saucers -- and spools --
used for certs and non-cert flights, and they all had parachutes. No
A certain saucer kit manufacturer prefers "inactive" recovery, and has
pushed his kits for cert flights for people who can't quite grasp the
complexity of a parachute, some wadding and an ejection charge. ;)
Apparently people in both TRA and NAR felt this was not permitted under
existing cert rules, and the new rule is supposed to eliminate any
confusion as to what is required -- i.e., active recovery.
Mind you, I don't entirely agree with the need for this change, nor do
I entirely disagree. I'm just trying to explain what brought it about,
in a nutshell.
On 31 Jul 2006 21:35:47 -0700, " firstname.lastname@example.org"
But why should they need active recovery, provided that the descent
rate is limited?
Yeah, I heard about that. I'm not totally in favour of those saucers
that are little more than a skirt around the aft closure of a motor
I just think it's a pity that a potential class of vehicles that do
not possess "active recovery" and yet have a safe terminal velocity
has been ruled out of use for certification. What ought to matter in a
cert flight is the demonstration of a safe flight, from launch to
What's next - you can't certify on a single use motor, because it's
too easy? Maybe ban those Proxx motors for cert flight - they're a bit
easy to assemble (except that I've seen people get it wrong) too.
Perhaps cert-flights should be like driving tests. You pass your test
in an automatic, you can drive an automatic, you pass your test with a
stick shift and you can drive those too. Want to drive a motorbike or
truck? Different test. Is it actually like that in the US? It is over
here in the UK.
Maybe the "grand certification flight" should be done away with
completely - perhaps everything a flier does for the first time should
be certified. You could have a membership card with little ticks for
- each class of motor flown
- single use flight
- reload assembly
- hybrid motor
- streamer deployment
- parachute deployment
Darren J Longhorn http://www.geocities.com/darrenlonghorn /
NSRG #005 http://www.northstarrocketry.org.uk /
It's interesting to compare different hobbies and the way they self
regulate. It seems like rocketry and ham radio hobbies are forever
ensnared in rules, and debates about rules, arguments about rules, ad
Of course the point can be made (about rockets) that we're dealing with
potentially dangerous devices and some level of regulation is needed,
I'd contrast that point by mentioning the R/C hobby and it's rules and
regulations. I competed on the national level as well as participating
in large air shows with nothing more than a morning pilot's meeting and
a single page of rules.
We flew everything from micro lite planes to giant scale, all within
the same regulations. L1 and L2 certs with the same rocket? What's
the real difference here- motor size? Does that require some leap of
technical ability to change motors? If not, then why differentiate?
I think a dose of common sense is needed because the constant bickering
about rocket rules is unnecessary and left unchecked will eventually
degrade the hobby.
Our safety code is a one page document too.
When you get into the High Power R/C, i.e. Gas Turbines, you will find
16 documents of rules, regulations and certification procedures on the
AMA web site. That's a whole lot more than what we've got and they don't
go nearly as fast.
I've been in high power R/C, my point is their rules don't split hairs
inasmuch as rocketry seems to.
Granted rockets are faster than R/C aircraft, but the risk isn't wholly
defined by speed and saying so is an oversimplification.
It just seem ridiculous to place so much emphasis on different power
levels for certification when essentially you're performing the same
task sometimes on the same rocket.
Can anyone define why there is a need for the differential between L1
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