Rocket Hobbyists Dropping Hobby-Wired News

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As usual, completely lumped all "Hobby Rockets" together without pointing out the legally defined categories (like "Model Rocket").
The sky is falling.
-Fred Shecter NAR 20117
Reply to
Fred Shecter
Not True:
"In any case, since the federal Safe Explosives Act -- which requires permits for rockets with more than 0.9 pounds of fuel -- went into effect in late 2002, the rocketry industry has been battered. "
The Safe Explosives Act had/has nothing to do with any 0.9 lb limit...there IS NO 0.9 limit......yet? Isn't this part of the Enzi Bill?
shockie B)
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Reply to
shockwaveriderz
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Neat how they went from 62.5 grams to thirty feet in one fell swoop. True X rocketry is just around the corner, masks, video, voices altered, locations munged, acceptable loss of the entire rocket for a few short seconds of telemetry and a rush.........maybe an outlaw BASE jump and an X rocket launch all on one video. The future of reality TV.
Reply to
Chuck Rudy
out the legally
regular people can't understand defined categories Fred. they are all rockets to them.
its a good thing in a way.
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Reply to
almax
Check out the bullshit!!
increased regulation after 9/11 (not)
fuel that is now classified as an explosive (always was)
more difficult than ever for rocket hobbyists like Ebert to legally store rocket motors (they're exempt and a judge agrees!!)
To store at a house, you need to get additional storage permission (they're exempt and a judge agrees!!)
before Ebert could fire his rocket, he had to go through a six-month permitting process that included fingerprinting, a background check and a visit to his house by a government agent. (they're exempt and a judge agrees!!)
which requires permits for rockets with more than 0.9 pounds of fuel -- went into effect in late 2002, the rocketry industry has been battered. (confusing SEA with NPRM?)
Confusing EVERYTHING!
Way too much additional bullshit to deal with.
Jerry
On a recent weekend, Erik Ebert traveled to Nevada's remote Black Rock Desert to shoot a rocket 11,000 feet in the air. But before he could even think about launching, he had to cross his fingers and hope that the motor he had ordered for his rocket would also be there, hand-delivered by the vendor. That's because, thanks to increased regulation after 9/11, it is more difficult than ever for rocket hobbyists like Ebert to legally store rocket motors -- which often include fuel that is now classified as an explosive -- at home. That often means the motor has to go straight to the launch site in the middle of nowhere. Last weekend, a group of serious hobbyists launched rockets as high as 45,000 feet from Nevada's Black Rock Desert." "Some are worried that the increased regulation required by the Safe Explosives Act will result in fewer kids being involved with rockets, and that could have disastrous effects on the future of science." "Hundreds of thousands of Americans fly model rockets, but the hobby is being threatened by increased federal regulation."
"To store at a house, you need to get additional storage permission, and for me, since I live in a residential area, it's basically impossible," Ebert said. "You have to get local fire marshal approval. The fire marshal's not going to give you permission to store explosives."
What's more, before Ebert could fire his rocket, he had to go through a six-month permitting process that included fingerprinting, a background check and a visit to his house by a government agent.
To be sure, Ebert is no average rocket hobbyist. He is part of a group of several hundred enthusiasts who trek to the Black Rock Desert three times a year for launching events. On the recent weekend Ebert was there, one member of his group hit 45,000 feet.
Rocketeers up and down the skill-level range are feeling the pinch of post-9/11 regulations promulgated by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Today, thousands of people fly model rockets that range in size from about 12 inches to more than 30 feet tall. But since the ATF imposed new rules, some hobbyists have abandoned their pastime, and the next generation of engineers and scientists, some fear, is being driven away.
"If we're in an environment where the government says you've got to get fingerprinted and background checked, and spend three to four months to do it, (adults are) not going to participate in my hobby," said Mark Bundick, president of the National Association of Rocketry. "We need more kids. It helps them learn technology. It's the technological base here in the country that we need to protect, and this hobby is a good introduction for kids that are interested in technology. If I lose those adults, then I will not be able to train those kids."
Ebert agreed.
"You don't want to be discouraging kids -- you want to be encouraging kids to go into science."
The problem is also felt at the university level. One school, Kettering University in Flint, Michigan, closed its long-standing student rocketry club after the costs of adhering to the new regulations became prohibitive.
In any case, since the federal Safe Explosives Act -- which requires permits for rockets with more than 0.9 pounds of fuel -- went into effect in late 2002, the rocketry industry has been battered.
John Wickman, president of CP Technologies, an amateur rocketry supplier, said his company's sales have dropped by about 50 percent since the act passed.
"It was a major hit, because people just dropped out," said Wickman. "They just dropped out of the hobby completely."
Part of the problem, say people like Wickman, is that the ATF doesn't even understand the hobby it is trying to regulate.
"The Justice Department is committed to preventing crime and terrorism, and as we all learned on 9/11, everyday items like box cutters can be misused with catastrophic results," said John Nowacki, a spokesman for the Justice Department, in a statement. "While the vast majority of model rocketeers are not subject to regulation, high-powered rockets, which can be 30 feet long and weigh hundreds of pounds -- with some flying more than 60 miles or reaching speeds over 1,000 miles per hour -- do need to comply with the requirements of federal explosives law."
Reply to
Jerry Irvine
Well, the HSA (a direct result of 9/11) did increase regulation in the sense that it allowed the ATF to butt into in-state transactions which were formerly out of their jurisdiction.
Definitely some confusion involved here. The 0.9 thing isn't in either of those. My guess is, the reporter picked that number out of something he heard from Mr. Wickman.
Reply to
RayDunakin
Which has no effect on exempt PADS.
Point.
Nope:
"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."
ALL our motors are "sport rocket motors". SU and RL and EX.
Or Bundick!!
Jerry
Reply to
Jerry Irvine
Jerry replied:
Except that the ATF did not consider them to be exempt until we got the judge to tell them otherwise.
I wrote:
Jerry wrote:
You left out the part about "fully assembled rocket motors", a phrase which the ATF will surely latch onto as an excuse to regulate reloads.
I agree, but that's irrelevant. What you or I think carries no weight with the ATF. Sticking our heads in the sand isn't going to make them go away.

Reply to
RayDunakin
However I left in the part, "In addition, the Court finds".
IN ADDITION.
"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."
IN ADDITION.
Not only are you stupid, you are an advocate adverse to the (legally and judicially supported) position of sport rocket users and manufacturers.
Jerry
You are EVIL.
Reply to
Jerry Irvine
Ray, what the ATF thinks is irrelevant unless _they_ can get it to carry some weight with the judge.
Or are you living in some "post-9/11 dreamworld" wherein you would feel like you were already "guilty of the crime of being the target of government suspicions" if they even raised the issue?
-dave w
Reply to
David Weinshenker
You're trying to convince the wrong person. I already agree with you that rocket motors are PADs and that even reloads are exempt. I'm saying that the ATF is going to make as much trouble for rocketry as they can, and will twist and distort the meaning of judge's ruling. Just like they ignored or twisted the CFR's you love to quote.
Reply to
RayDunakin
Of course. But they have the power to enforce their twisted "interpretations" of the law and the judge's ruling, just as they've always done. We've won a battle, not the entire war. I believe we'll win that war in the long run, but we have more battles ahead of us before we do.
Jerry thinks he can get there by taking shortcuts. He'd have us use the same tactics with the ATF that earned him a $40k fine with the DOT.
Reply to
RayDunakin
Jerry asked:
When they said motors weren't PADs; and when they said people needed LEUPs to buy motors. Come on Jerry, I know you've been out of the mainstream of the hobby for a long time, but surely you can't be that clueless.
Reply to
RayDunakin
Jerry asked:
That's the problem with people who have guns and badges -- they don't have to take action because the costs of being a "test case" is too high for most individuals. But if you're still willing to be a test case, go right ahead.
Reply to
RayDunakin
theres no such thing as a "sport rocket motor" ...this has no legal meaning.....the NFPA codes define model rocket and high power rocket motors but not "sport rocket motors"...
shockie B)
Reply to
shockwaveriderz
It does now.
This is ATF and Federal Court. Different jurisdiction.
Deal with it. Just like you guys ask me to deal with ATF never knowing which side of the law they are on. It is what it is.
Jerry
Reply to
Jerry Irvine

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