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How to RSO an L3 flight for which you were not the TAP or L3CC

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Nick@JET

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How about real RSOs that have taking part in checking L3 rockets, what are you looking for, what have you seen as questionable or down right fail.

Thanks for the suggestion Worsear, not trying to start a fight or stir up crap here really is items that maybe I haven't thought about it missed on my checklist. Let's face it, I've heard of fliers planning, building, waiting for just the weather, driving many hours for that big flight, would hate to see something not pass an RSO inspection.

L3 attempts I would think with all the planning , suggestions from TAPs, L3CC's this would likely be rare and / or likely fixable on site, maybe something overlooked on a check list etc.

NOTE! - I trust my TAP completely, both of them actually. Probably any RSO at MWP would also trust my TAPs.

Just looking to make it easy as possible on everyone and thought it would be a good discussion.
 
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DavidMcCann

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Haven't sat and actually RSO'd an L3 cert. But when we review BFR's or any flight really someone asks about, this is what I look for-

1- is it going to stay under the waiver. Sounds crazy but this is usually the number one reason a flight gets canned.
2- is the recovery plan sound/safe for the field. Even if it's been TAP'd to death, a plan may not work for your field.
3- then on game day it'd be the usual physical inspection, if possible I'd want to watch assembly as much as possible, make sure everything fits right, doesn't stick etc etc. same stuff as any other flight....just a bigger rock to fall from the sky.

If you're talking about your own flight and not wanting to hit a snag dropping in on a field when you see a good shot at it, Communication is key. Just talk to your target launches and see what they're going to want, how much warning they need, etc. We usually keep our tower around, but it really sucks when someone calls or emails the day before a launch and we don't have it there and need to figure it out...or worse shows up day of and we don't have one.
 

Worsaer

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Note the following excerpts from the TAP Policy:

"The Range Safety Officer at Tripoli sponsored launches has traditionally been responsible for checking rockets prior to launch approval. However, because of time constraints, the RSO can only judge the essential "look and feel" of a rocket. This does not allow judicious assessment of engineering details or safety features that may be required for high total impulse motors, complex rockets, high altitude flight and recovery."

"There are many Tripoli members that are involved in professional aerospace and engineering activities that would be capable of performing "design reviews" of high impulse rockets."

"The members of the TAP shall be Tripoli Members that have appropriate engineering credentials or have proven their competency in the design, construction, pre-flight and recovery of high impulse rockets."

"Tripoli Members designing, building and planning to fly a rocket with a total impulse of M, N or O will voluntarily provide sketches, drawings, design details, materials lists, schematics, etc. to a TAP member for review and comment prior to the desired launch date."

"Results of the TAP review may also be provided to a launch sponsor for their information and review by the Range Safety Officer (RSO)."

"Prefectures or launch sponsors may highly recommend that high impulse rockets be reviewed by the TAP prior to submission to the RSO."


Has anyone ever experienced an RSO rejecting a rocket that was TAP approved?
 

Bat-mite

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Has anyone ever experienced an RSO rejecting a rocket that was TAP approved?
Not my experience, but keep in mind that TAPs, like everyone else, are human, may be distracted, etc. I could see a scenario in which an RSO overrules a TAP, but I wouldn't expect that to be a regular event.
 

Nick@JET

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I agree, plus I trust my TAP completely, both of them actually. Probably any RSO at MWP would also trust my TAPs.

Just looking to make it easy as possible on everyone and thought it would be a good discussion.
 

blackjack2564

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How about real RSOs that have taking part in checking L3 rockets, what are you looking for, what have you seen as questionable or down right fail.



Just looking to make it easy as possible on everyone and thought it would be a good discussion.

I believe you are trying to do a thread that answers questions relating to how prepared one is for their L-3 flight & will it past muster at the RSO.

For me this is a "Catch 22".
If you are ""really prepared "" for L-3, you have flown long enough, know all the in's & out's of what needed to design, build & fly one. You should have experience in all areas regarding this.

Stresses-Glues-Thrust-stability-recovery-electronics-retention-redundancy-design-wind & weather relating to flight-tracking-construction-material strength. Just a few....

If not, then you have NO business attempting a L-3.

The RSO will only find "something you forgot" on your rocket.[shear pin?] Not any major issues.

The Catch-22? If you are ready for L-3, then you know the answers.:smile:
 

rfjustin

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Nick,

"How about real RSOs that have taking part in checking L3 rockets, what are you looking for, what have you seen as questionable or down right fail."

Respectfully... you are over thinking this. :) Build the rocket well, make sure your sims indicate it will be a stable flight, ground test in flight configuration (including making sure all your vent holes are drilled), and follow your checklist and all should be well...
 

Nick@JET

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To both JF and CJ,
Well said, I get what both of you are saying.
Having asked the question I'm not portraying confidence - however In all seriousness, I do believe that I'll be fine unless something forgotten. I read too much into another forum.

Consider the thread closed
 
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rockdoc

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Nick,

I've seen the type of rockets you build and the construction methods that you use. Your L3 bird is coming along awesome and am looking forward to the flight. I've seen you fly many different types of rockets and questions that you have asked at launches. I don't think you have anything to worry about on your L3 flight as you are a very competent flier. I know your TAPS and you could not ask for better TAPS to work with. The only advice I can give you is have a checklist, so you go through each item instead of mentally, easy to forget something with everything going on. Looking forward to see you at MWP.
 

boatgeek

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I believe you are trying to do a thread that answers questions relating to how prepared one is for their L-3 flight & will it past muster at the RSO.

For me this is a "Catch 22".
If you are ""really prepared "" for L-3, you have flown long enough, know all the in's & out's of what needed to design, build & fly one. You should have experience in all areas regarding this.

Stresses-Glues-Thrust-stability-recovery-electronics-retention-redundancy-design-wind & weather relating to flight-tracking-construction-material strength. Just a few....

If not, then you have NO business attempting a L-3.

The RSO will only find "something you forgot" on your rocket.[shear pin?] Not any major issues.

The Catch-22? If you are ready for L-3, then you know the answers.:smile:
I really only have experience at one club's launches, so this may not be representative. At those launches, the RSO does a visual inspection, makes sure it looks reasonably strong, and asks a few questions about where the chutes/recovery harness/ejection charges/etc. are, and if everything is connected. I would expect that they have enough experience to look at impulse, weight, and diameter and make a quick judgement about whether they have to worry about the waiver, and whether they should ask about altitude.

So I wouldn't see that as an RSO overruling your TAP, just acting as a backstop to make sure that you did what you were planning on doing (like connecting stuff up! :) )
 

Nick@JET

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Thanks For The compliments Gary, look forward to seeing your there as well.
 

watermelonman

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Larger L2 and L3 flights are frequently RSOd more by discussion than physical inspection. I think it is simply a matter of practicality, and never saw it as that much of a problem. Typically this goes hand in hand with the builder being a known quantity at the launch site.

Show up with a huge or crazy rocket at a new site where no one knows you and it gets a little different.
 

dixontj93060

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Nick,

"How about real RSOs that have taking part in checking L3 rockets, what are you looking for, what have you seen as questionable or down right fail."

Respectfully... you are over thinking this. :) Build the rocket well, make sure your sims indicate it will be a stable flight, ground test in flight configuration (including making sure all your vent holes are drilled), and follow your checklist and all should be well...
Post your whole build thread and L3 doc on TRF like I did (https://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?8020-Level-3-Build-Diary) and then the RSO will say, "I don't need to inspect that, I know that rocket very well" and then walk right on up to the flight line.
 

rharshberger

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alex_car763

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To put a Canadian twist on the inspection thing.... At a launch everything is inspected using the same checklist whether it's a regular flier puting up their workhorse on its 20th "F" motor flight or a Canadian level 4 certification flight.

Regardless of the power same questions/oversight is done even if the answer is N/A. Our goal is to prevent bad/dangerous flights before they happen and educate newer fliers on ways to make sure they have successful flights. 95% of the time the inspection takes under 5 minutes and the "fixes" if any usually the same.

Doing these I've caught a few parachute not connected, missing vent holes and nose cones that were either too loose or too tight. Anyone who was at the Canadian LDRS would remember this process and in ten years of flying I can think of less than 5 flights I saw downright turned away.

Anyone whose interested in the CAR/ACF should go to their website and check it out. There are certainly more questions that can be asked but it gives a pretty solid baseline.
 
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