USR High Power Rocket Operation Guidelines
  1. Operating Clearances. I will fly high power rockets only in
    compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations Part 101 (Section 307,
    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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
    total impulse.
  6. Stability. I will check the stability of my high power rocket
    before its first flight, except when launching a rocket of already
    proven stability.
  7. Payloads. My high power rocket will never carry a payload
    that is intended to be destructive and flammable, explosive, or harmful.
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.

Installed total
impulse N-s
motor type
Minimum Distance
to launch pad
0-40 A-E 15 feet
41-320 F-H 30 feet
321-2,560 I-K 50 feet
2.561-20,480 L-N 100 feet
20481-40960 O 300 feet

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