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FAR-101 Waiver/Authorization/Notification question

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falingtrea

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Looking at FAR-101, I noticed the following language:

"When a Class 2/3—High-Power Rocket requires a certificate of waiver or authorization"

Now a waiver is pretty clear as to when you need one, but what about authorization?? In section 101.25 it states:

"In addition, you must not operate a Class 2—High-Power Rocket—

(4) Between sunset and sunrise without prior authorization from the FAA;

(5) Within 9.26 kilometers (5 nautical miles) of any airport boundary without prior authorization from the FAA;

(6) In controlled airspace without prior authorization from the FAA"

Which implies to me that there are possible circumstances where only a notification is required to fly Class 2 and Class 3 High-Power Rockets. Does that make sense?
 

troj

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Now a waiver is pretty clear as to when you need one, but what about authorization??
I don't know why they use that particular wording, but I suspect it's due to the "prior authorization" bits in the following:

In addition, you must not operate a Class 2—High-Power Rocket—

(4) Between sunset and sunrise without prior authorization from the FAA;

(5) Within 9.26 kilometers (5 nautical miles) of any airport boundary without prior authorization from the FAA;

(6) In controlled airspace without prior authorization from the FAA"
What that implies, to me, is that a Class 2 rocket requires additional authorization, above and beyond the standard waiver process, if any of the above items are desired activities.

Which implies to me that there are possible circumstances where only a notification is required to fly Class 2 and Class 3 High-Power Rockets. Does that make sense?
No, a Class 2 or Class 3 rocket always requires a waiver. The whole notification thing went away.

-Kevin
 

falingtrea

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No, a Class 2 or Class 3 rocket always requires a waiver. The whole notification thing went away.
-Kevin
Nope. "101.27 ATC notification for all launches" specifically states:

"No person may operate an unmanned rocket other than a Class 1—Model Rocket unless that person gives the following information to the FAA ATC facility nearest to the place of intended operation no less than 24 hours before and no more than three days before beginning the operation:"

The previous FAR-101 requirement, for notification only, was for "Large Model Rockets".

Found an old copy of FAR-101 and I guess it really has not changed as much as I thought. You could conceivably still call the ATC to notify them 24-48 hours before the planned launch and if you were within the operating limits requirements, that was all you should have to do.

In the old code, a waiver was required if you want to exceed the operating limits, like a night launch or within 5 miles of an airport, or in restricted airspace. The new version now specifies authorization for some things that required waivers before, which I assume must be easier to get.
 
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troj

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Nope. "101.27 ATC notification for all launches" specifically states:

"No person may operate an unmanned rocket other than a Class 1—Model Rocket unless that person gives the following information to the FAA ATC facility nearest to the place of intended operation no less than 24 hours before and no more than three days before beginning the operation:"

The previous FAR-101 requirement, for notification only, was for "Large Model Rockets".
Notification requirements have been standard as part of my waivers for the 7 years I've been getting them. Nothing there (from my experience) has changed.

-Kevin
 

falingtrea

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I think the real trick is finding uncontrolled airspace to a decent altitude. Of the 6 airspace classes in the US, only class G is uncontrolled. Been looking at sectional maps and the first thing that jumped out to me is the note "Class E airspace exists at 1200' AGL unless otherwise designated as shown above". That implies to me that most of the airspace in the US is controlled above 1200' AGL. And that explains why you can have ultralights and hot air balloons flying in populated areas. So unless you are willing to stay below 1200' AGL, you need authorization to fly higher in much of the US.

Looking at the sectional map legend, see two markings that change class E floors, which would mean there are areas that could have higher uncontrolled airspace ceilings. The highest you could conceivable go would be 14500' MSL, which is where class A airspace starts. As I understand it, Class A blankets the US and even extends 12 miles out to sea, so that is a hard limit. So far I have found some places in North Dakota and Montana that look like they have sections of class G airspace to the max, but am not totally sure.
 
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