USR High Power Rocket Operation Guidelines
- Operating Clearances. I will fly high power rockets only in
compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations Part 101 (Section
72 Statute 749, 49 United States Code 1348, "Airspace Control and
Facilities," Federal Aviation Act of 1958) and all other federal,
state, and local laws, rules, regulations, statutes, and ordinances.
- Materials. My high power rocket will be made of lightweight
materials such as paper, wood, rubber, and plastic, or the minimum
amount of ductile metal suitable for the power used and the performance
of my rocket.
- Motors. I will use only commercially-made motors in the
manner recommended by the manufacturer. I will not alter the rocket
motor, its parts, or its ingredients in any way, except as expressly
allowed and described by the manufacturer.
- Recovery. I will always use a recovery system in my high
power rocket that will return it safely to the ground so it may be flown
again. I will use only flame-resistant recovery wadding if wadding is
required by the design of my rocket.
- Weight and Power Limits. My rocket will weigh no more than
the motor manufacturer's recommended maximum liftoff weight for the
motors used, or I will use motors recommended by the manufacturer of the
rocket kit. My high power rocket will be propelled by rocket motors that
produce no more than 40,960 Newton-seconds (9,204 pound-seconds) of
- Stability. I will check the stability of my high power rocket
before its first flight, except when launching a rocket of already
- Payloads. My high power rocket will never carry a payload
that is intended to be destructive and flammable, explosive, or harmful.
- Launch Site. I will launch my high power rocket outdoors in a
cleared area, free of tall trees, power lines, buildings, and dry brush
and grass. My launch area will be at least as wide and long as 1/4 the
expected altitude of the rocket. My launch area will be large enough to
ensure that the distance between my launch pad and the nearest boundary
of the field is at least 1/8 of the expected altitude of my high-power
- Launcher. I will launch my high power rocket from a stable
launch device that provides rigid guidance until the rocket has reached
a speed adequate to ensure a safe flight path. To prevent accidental eye
injury, I will always place the launcher so the end of the rod is above
eye level or I will cap the end of the rod when approaching it. I will
cap or disassemble my launch rod when not in use and I will never store
it in an upright position below eye level. My launcher will have a jet
deflector device to prevent the motor exhaust from hitting the ground
directly. I will always clear the area for a radius of ten feet around
my launch device of brown grass, dry weeds, or other easy-to-burn
- Ignition System. The system I use to launch my high power
rocket will be remotely controlled and electrically operated. It will
contain a launching switch that will return to "off" when released. The
system will contain a removable safety interlock in series with the
launch switch or a removeable plug on the wire to the launch pad. All
persons will remain at a distance from the high power rocket and
launcher as determined by the total impulse of the installed rocket
motor(s) according to the accompanying Launch Distance Guidelines Table.
- Launch Safety. I will ensure that people in the launch area
are aware of the pending high power rocket launch and can see the
rocket's liftoff before I begin my audible five-second countdown. I will
use only electrical igniters recommended by the motor manufacturer. If
my high power rocket suffers a misfire, I will not allow anyone to
approach it or the launcher until I have made certain that the safety
interlock has been removed or that the battery has been disconnected
from the ignition system. I will wait one minute after a misfire before
allowing anyone to approach the launcher.
- Flying Conditions. I will launch my high power rocket only
when the wind is no more than 20 miles per hour and under conditions
where the rocket will not fly into clouds or when a flight might be
hazardous to people, property, or flying aircraft. Prior to launch, I
will verify that no aircraft appear to have flight paths over the launch
- Pre-Launch Test. When conducting research activities with
unproven designs or methods I will, when possible, determine the
reliability of my high power rocket by pre-launch tests. I will conduct
the launching of an unproven design in complete isolation from persons
not participating in the actual launching.
- Launch Angle. I will not launch my high power rocket so its
flight path will carry it against a target. My launch device will be
pointed within 20 degrees of vertical.
- Recovery Hazards. If a high power rocket becomes entangled in
a power line or other dangerous place, I will not attempt to retrieve
it. In practice, this is the most critical safety guideline.
LAUNCH DISTANCE GUIDELINES TABLE
to launch pad
Use back button.