Kids flying mid power at high power launches...Model Rocket Launch Area...but!?

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GrouchoDuke

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Hey all. My kids are at a little corner of rocketry where I think it'd be easy to mess up the rules regarding who can go to which launch area. This potential gotcha also applies to any adult, non-certified flier who flies mid-power. I know I've seen this messed up. I've probably messed this up. There are photos of it happening that many of us have seen. So, how about some discussion/thoughts/etc on this? I'm not trying to throw spears - just hoping for some brainstorming, sharing some best practices, and maybe through this a few more people will help catch errors at launches.

I have twins. They started building their own rockets at age 4. They're now 11. They can lay a mean set of Proline 4500 fillets and are pretty dang good at building fiberglass rockets. They like designing their own rockets and my son recently told me that he wants to beat all my records. :) They don't much like flying low power motors anymore, so they lean toward mid power. No problem, right? Well...

As fliers under age 12, they only have access to the Model Rocket Launch Area per the Tripoli Unified Safety Code. Their rockets, however, typically have rail buttons on them. At most of the launches I've been to, there aren't rails in the Model Rocket Launch Area - only rods. Thinking about it, the Model Rocket Launch Area is typically referred to as the "low power pads" or a similar variation. It seems that maybe we think of two main categories of rocketeers at launches: kids who fly low power and adults who fly a mix of everything.

Kids under 12 are clearly not allowed in the High Power Launch Area. (Older kids that fall under the TMP or NAR Junior L1 can go to the High Power Launch Area when supervised.) Adults who are not yet certified HPR fliers can't go to the High Power Launch Area either.

For an adult non-certed example, suppose someone has built a rocket for their L1 but wants to do a test flight on a G80 first. Rail buttons, high power-capable rocket...head out to the high power pads with the rails that fit your buttons, right? No!! I think that'd be super easy to mess up on both the flier expectation side of things and the LCO/RSO/Launch Director side. I know clubs' launch teams are knowledgable & know the rules, but it's still easy to brain fart this, I think.

So. Techniques.
  • I almost always bring a JawStand with a 1010 rail & adapter to launches. I've had zero pushback at any launch when I ask to put up my own rail or tower. It does, however, create some extra "which pad on my launch controller do I select for your launch pad" burden for the LCO. There's some added safety risk that the club is buying by allowing an outside launch pad to be used. It's also more work for the flier and adds cost to their rocketry gear pile. Still, having your own dedicated pad is really nice.
  • Since many clubs have a sawhorse with rods setup for their Model Rocket Launch Area ("low power pads!"), I feel really bad about asking for a club rail there since it seems like I'd be asking for something special just for my kids. Any club LCOs/RSOs/Launch Directors care to chime in on your thoughts if someone asked for a rail on the Model Rocket area?
Brainstorms/thoughts.
  • Are any clubs putting rails in the Model Rocket Launch Area?
  • If you bring your own rail to put in the Model Rocket Launch Area (for example, if the club doesn't have enough to put one there), then do you share it with everyone? If so, do you just get the word out through the LCO? If you don't share it, do you get any grumbles from anyone for that?
  • Since this mid-power corner is maybe an edge case, is it worth pre-coordinating with the LCO to arrange a rail in the Model Rocket Launch Area?
  • Do any clubs have a separate mid-power area that falls under the Model Rocket Launch Area, but has a mix of big rods and rails?
I'd love to hear what people do to stay in line with the safety rules. Maybe there are some ideas others could share that I haven't thought of...? (Other than just "don't mess it up" please.)


Pix of my then-6 year old daughter laying her first set of epoxy fillets on a fiberglass rocket, just for fun:

IMG_2851.jpeg
IMG_2857.jpeg
 
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I’ve seen clubs include one or two rails in the low power area. It’s not hard, and keeps a clean line between low power and HPR. My son is in a similar situation. At this point his builds use rail buttons, and he’s always been able to fly them on his own, from a rail in the low power group.
 
NAR doesn’t have the same rules, but my main NAR club has low power pads for A-E motors. That’s set up for rods, with various sizes of rods, and it’s close to the flight line. Then there’s the midpower pads for F and G motors. That’s a bit further out, and has a mix of bigger rods and somewhat short 1010 rails. Then the main high power areas for H-K rockets under a certain weight limit. Those are the sturdy HPR pads with 1010 rails of 6-8 feet length. That’s out an appropriate distance for K motors. Then there’s the one massive away pad for L and M flights or any very large rockets or flights deemed risky enough to be sent out there. That one has the 10-foot or more 1010/1515 rail on it. That’s a pretty good site setup, with something for everyone.

I also fly with a Tripoli club that is more like what you describe. They are high-power focused, for sure. They have two banks of high-power pads, and those are out at 300’ or 500’, all with 8-10 foot 1010 and 1515 rails, and then more and bigger pads even further out. The low-power pads are kind of an afterthought and are set up pretty close in. I’ve flown F motors off of rods at those pads. When I’ve checked in a G motor at the RSO, I’ve been sent out to the high-power pads. So that’s not ideal. First, if the person with a G motor isn’t certified, that would be a rule violation (I’m certified). Also, it’s just not that fun to watch a G motor flight from 300’ away. Now I seldom bring anything that’s not high-power to that club’s launches.

I think the thing to do would be to raise the issue with your club leadership and ask if you can have some pads with rails set up for a mid-power area. Something for F and G flights off of pads with 1010 rails that is not in the HPR area so non-certified people can use them. If there’s an issue with lack of rails or pads to devote to it, you could volunteer to bring a pad, and I think it would help if you offered to allow anyone to use it.
 
We set up a rail at the end of the low power pads for my TARC teams. We just take the last clips from the end of the rack over to the rail and coord with the LCO as needed. It's worked well for us.
 
Back in the day we always just did our own thing and launched from a hay field or a harvested corn field in the fall. Have you considered that? Your NAR membership still covers you for that.

We used the battery of the pickup truck we were driving as the power source. Bailing hay was typically 3 times a year... and I always knew that meant I'd be launching rockets shortly thereafter. Good times. Farm life.

I'm still launching "lonewolf", just my wife and I. We take a picnic lunch and just do our own thing.
 
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The clubs I fly with put up some 1/8" or 3/16" pads (one uses a sawhorse type setup, the other has individual pads on metal fencing posts lined up in a circular pattern), and then an 1/4" rod and 1010 rail pad further away. Neither club is set up to fly above G motors (no high power launches/stuff that requires waivers). As long as a kid/teen is supervised, nobody cares what pad they fly off of. Mainly the kids fly off of the 1/8" or 3/16" pads, but we do get some TARC teams, who use their own pad further away.
 
I get permission from the RSO to set up my own rail in the LPR area and take the electrical leads from one of the LPR guide wires and use it temporarily for the rail launcher. It works out fine. I have a rail launcher that I built from the ideas on the DynaSoar Rocketry website.
 
Are any clubs putting rails in the Model Rocket Launch Area?
  • If you bring your own rail to put in the Model Rocket Launch Area (for example, if the club doesn't have enough to put one there), then do you share it with everyone? If so, do you just get the word out through the LCO? If you don't share it, do you get any grumbles from anyone for that?

No grumbles at our club, we have a healthy mix of flyers that covers the entire spectrum of our little hobby, and we all actively support each other. The Austin Area Rocketry Group not only makes 1010 rails available for low/mid power flyers, we actively encourage flyers to convert launch lug-equipped rockets to rail buttons. The primary driver years ago was a TARC rule change that mandated rail buttons rather than launch lugs, and rail button use has spread widely among those flying E through F impulse since that time. (We are also seeing more micro rail button use in the A-D impulse range, but that's a different challenge and a different discussion.)

You mentioned the Jaw Stand pad option in your post, that's a great solution. Another might be this solution we developed a couple of years ago: https://www.rocketryforum.com/threads/inexpensive-mid-power-launch-pads.166776/

James
 
Our club is small so we can adapt to the needs of everyone of any age.
a parent or one of our experienced flyers will go out with the younger kids.
to keep thins safe.
 
Tampa Bay Rocketry Association has a 6' 10-10 rail on the LP pads. It is the furthest to the right, #8. It gets used frequently. I use it myself. MP and away are all rails.
 
I fly at a Tripoli Site (METRA) and a NAR Site (CENJARS). I'm building my mid-power rockets with both rail buttons and launch lugs, because that simply makes it easier for me to get my rockets to fly because we have a limited number of rails at both sites, but we seem to have enough rods because -- you guessed it, everyone else makes for the rails and rather than wait, I'm OK with flying off a rod.

Now admittedly, I'm not building fiberglass rockets yet, but neither are most of the folks with their 4 and 5 inch tubes that I'm out in the field with. The vast majority of fliers are using shipping tubes painted flat black and, I'd swear have just hot-glued the fins on. I've seen some pretty sketchy contraptions, but they all seem to go up OK, although I'm not keeping track of their condition after recovery as I've got my own rockets to retrieve.

At CENJARS, we cannot do HPR at all due to our field, so upper mid-power is the limit. And we have a single 1010 rail, although once summer starts, I may start trying to monopolize that, as I've built some bigger mid-power birds that I'm itching to try out there. However, most of my rockets can fly off a rod, so I don't worry too much.
 
Now admittedly, I'm not building fiberglass rockets yet, but neither are most of the folks with their 4 and 5 inch tubes that I'm out in the field with. The vast majority of fliers are using shipping tubes painted flat black and, I'd swear have just hot-glued the fins on. I've seen some pretty sketchy contraptions, but they all seem to go up OK, although I'm not keeping track of their condition after recovery as I've got my own rockets to retrieve.

The lack of effort to even attempt something like workmanship I've observed evident on some college student-built rockets at local launches has been astonishing. At that age, I'd already been building pretty nice looking model airplanes without supervision for 12-14 years and spent a summer internship building composite parts in a NASA-funded project, so my perspective might be a little out of the ordinary. But still, it brings to mind, "That's it, Private Pyle, don't even try..."
 
The lack of effort to even attempt something like workmanship I've observed evident on some college student-built rockets at local launches has been astonishing. At that age, I'd already been building pretty nice looking model airplanes without supervision for 12-14 years and spent a summer internship building composite parts in a NASA-funded project, so my perspective might be a little out of the ordinary. But still, it brings to mind, "That's it, Private Pyle, don't even try..."
There are many, many of us who would agree with you (regardless of your background achievements at that age). And their conduct at the field is usually somewhat as abysmal as well.

With regards to children being where they shouldn't be at the pads, I often see that more at large, regional launches than I do at the local individual clubs. My local club is pretty good about it, and the kids are relatively well behaved and parents adhere to the safety code.
 
Hey all. My kids are at a little corner of rocketry where I think it'd be easy to mess up the rules regarding who can go to which launch area. This potential gotcha also applies to any adult, non-certified flier who flies mid-power. I know I've seen this messed up. I've probably messed this up. There are photos of it happening that many of us have seen. So, how about some discussion/thoughts/etc on this? I'm not trying to throw spears - just hoping for some brainstorming, sharing some best practices, and maybe through this a few more people will help catch errors at launches.

I have twins. They started building their own rockets at age 4. They're now 11. They can lay a mean set of Proline 4500 fillets and are pretty dang good at building fiberglass rockets. They like designing their own rockets and my son recently told me that he wants to beat all my records. :) They don't much like flying low power motors anymore, so they lean toward mid power. No problem, right? Well...

As fliers under age 12, they only have access to the Model Rocket Launch Area per the Tripoli Unified Safety Code. Their rockets, however, typically have rail buttons on them. At most of the launches I've been to, there aren't rails in the Model Rocket Launch Area - only rods. Thinking about it, the Model Rocket Launch Area is typically referred to as the "low power pads" or a similar variation. It seems that maybe we think of two main categories of rocketeers at launches: kids who fly low power and adults who fly a mix of everything.

Kids under 12 are clearly not allowed in the High Power Launch Area. (Older kids that fall under the TMP or NAR Junior L1 can go to the High Power Launch Area when supervised.) Adults who are not yet certified HPR fliers can't go to the High Power Launch Area either.

For an adult non-certed example, suppose someone has built a rocket for their L1 but wants to do a test flight on a G80 first. Rail buttons, high power-capable rocket...head out to the high power pads with the rails that fit your buttons, right? No!! I think that'd be super easy to mess up on both the flier expectation side of things and the LCO/RSO/Launch Director side. I know clubs' launch teams are knowledgable & know the rules, but it's still easy to brain fart this, I think.

So. Techniques.
  • I almost always bring a JawStand with a 1010 rail & adapter to launches. I've had zero pushback at any launch when I ask to put up my own rail or tower. It does, however, create some extra "which pad on my launch controller do I select for your launch pad" burden for the LCO. There's some added safety risk that the club is buying by allowing an outside launch pad to be used. It's also more work for the flier and adds cost to their rocketry gear pile. Still, having your own dedicated pad is really nice.
  • Since many clubs have a sawhorse with rods setup for their Model Rocket Launch Area ("low power pads!"), I feel really bad about asking for a club rail there since it seems like I'd be asking for something special just for my kids. Any club LCOs/RSOs/Launch Directors care to chime in on your thoughts if someone asked for a rail on the Model Rocket area?
Brainstorms/thoughts.
  • Are any clubs putting rails in the Model Rocket Launch Area?
  • If you bring your own rail to put in the Model Rocket Launch Area (for example, if the club doesn't have enough to put one there), then do you share it with everyone? If so, do you just get the word out through the LCO? If you don't share it, do you get any grumbles from anyone for that?
  • Since this mid-power corner is maybe an edge case, is it worth pre-coordinating with the LCO to arrange a rail in the Model Rocket Launch Area?
  • Do any clubs have a separate mid-power area that falls under the Model Rocket Launch Area, but has a mix of big rods and rails?
I'd love to hear what people do to stay in line with the safety rules. Maybe there are some ideas others could share that I haven't thought of...? (Other than just "don't mess it up" please.)
[/QUOTE]
First, model rocket motors may be flown from the high power pads. That’s covered in 12-2 of the Tripoli Unified Safety Code.
Second, the intent is that non-certified adult members of both NAR or Tripoli are allowed on the high power range, at least to certify L1. I think we might need to reword 6-3 to clarify that. I’ll discuss it with the board to see what we want it to say.
Third, great job with the grandkids!!!
 
Thanks for all the replies, everyone! It's great to see some discussion on this.
I’ve seen clubs include one or two rails in the low power area. It’s not hard, and keeps a clean line between low power and HPR. My son is in a similar situation. At this point his builds use rail buttons, and he’s always been able to fly them on his own, from a rail in the low power group.
Keeps a clean line between low+mid power and HPR, right? ;) It sounds like lots of clubs do have rails in the model rocket area, so maybe those with fliers that need rails shouldn't feel shy about asking for one there.

Also, it’s just not that fun to watch a G motor flight from 300’ away. Now I seldom bring anything that’s not high-power to that club’s launches.
Yeah, I agree. A G flight from up close is great to watch. Hundreds of feet away, not so much. I might have done a G flight to 9,000' once from the min distance away. Pretty cool to see it leave the pad.
Beyond awesome. What a great Father you are. :bravo: :goodjob:
Thanks, my wife & I try to expose them to lots of new things - rockets are just one of those. We're aiming to build new rockets of their design this month for a Memorial Day launch. Looking forward to it! (They still would rather play video games than do just about anything else though.)

Back in the day we always just did our own thing and launched from a hay field or a harvested corn field in the fall. Have you considered that? Your NAR membership still covers you for that.
Yeah, I've launched from similar places too. When we lived in Vegas, it was super easy to just go to a dry lakebed & launch all the mid-power we wanted. There's some drawback to that though - the kids learn a lot by being around others too. They also get a kick out of seeing other peoples' flights. Trade off, I guess.

First, model rocket motors may be flown from the high power pads. That’s covered in 12-2 of the Tripoli Unified Safety Code.
Second, the intent is that non-certified adult members of both NAR or Tripoli are allowed on the high power range, at least to certify L1. I think we might need to reword 6-3 to clarify that. I’ll discuss it with the board to see what we want it to say.
Third, great job with the grandkids!!!
Steve, thanks for chiming in. You're right that it's ok to fly model rockets from the high power area, but non-high power fliers do not have access to that area. 6-4 & 6-5 only give access to under-18 fliers to the model rocket launch area. I'm not saying my 11 year old kids should be allowed to go to the high power pads by themselves, of course... I like your idea of some possible clarifications in this area though.

I understand the safety thoughts behind keeping non-certified fliers away from the high power pads, but I would love to see it in the rules to be able to bring non-certified people to the high power pads at least as helpers/support team. For example, my dad, a retired engineer with a lifetime of designing and testing machines, loves to come to the launches where I'm doing record attempts. Under the TRA rules (as I understand them?), he is not allowed to go to the high power launch area with me to help with setup, tracker config, last minute wind measurements, dad/son launch pad photo, etc. "Sorry dad, you're not cool enough to come with me to set up my rocket." Ouch. Is there a chance for more wiggle room in the rules for someone accompanying a high power flier as a helper?

It's great to hear everyone's experience & thoughts. I love kicking the can around about this kind of stuff. (Well, not as much as I love flying...you know.)
 
Under the TRA rules (as I understand them?), he is not allowed to go to the high power launch area with me to help with setup, tracker config, last minute wind measurements, dad/son launch pad photo, etc. "Sorry dad, you're not cool enough to come with me to set up my rocket." Ouch. Is there a chance for more wiggle room in the rules for someone accompanying a high power flier as a helper?
Look at the rule for Range Personnel. The rule was specifically added to address situations like this. He would have to be approved by the Launch Director, but there is a way.
 
Look at the rule for Range Personnel. The rule was specifically added to address situations like this. He would have to be approved by the Launch Director, but there is a way.
Ahhh, thanks. I didn't understand what Range Personnel meant. I assumed it meant people associated with the launch club, like the non-certed spouse of someone who helps with setup, etc.
 
Hey all. My kids are at a little corner of rocketry where I think it'd be easy to mess up the rules regarding who can go to which launch area. This potential gotcha also applies to any adult, non-certified flier who flies mid-power. I know I've seen this messed up. I've probably messed this up. There are photos of it happening that many of us have seen. So, how about some discussion/thoughts/etc on this? I'm not trying to throw spears - just hoping for some brainstorming, sharing some best practices, and maybe through this a few more people will help catch errors at launches.

I have twins. They started building their own rockets at age 4. They're now 11. They can lay a mean set of Proline 4500 fillets and are pretty dang good at building fiberglass rockets. They like designing their own rockets and my son recently told me that he wants to beat all my records. :) They don't much like flying low power motors anymore, so they lean toward mid power. No problem, right? Well...

As fliers under age 12, they only have access to the Model Rocket Launch Area per the Tripoli Unified Safety Code. Their rockets, however, typically have rail buttons on them. At most of the launches I've been to, there aren't rails in the Model Rocket Launch Area - only rods. Thinking about it, the Model Rocket Launch Area is typically referred to as the "low power pads" or a similar variation. It seems that maybe we think of two main categories of rocketeers at launches: kids who fly low power and adults who fly a mix of everything.

Kids under 12 are clearly not allowed in the High Power Launch Area. (Older kids that fall under the TMP or NAR Junior L1 can go to the High Power Launch Area when supervised.) Adults who are not yet certified HPR fliers can't go to the High Power Launch Area either.

For an adult non-certed example, suppose someone has built a rocket for their L1 but wants to do a test flight on a G80 first. Rail buttons, high power-capable rocket...head out to the high power pads with the rails that fit your buttons, right? No!! I think that'd be super easy to mess up on both the flier expectation side of things and the LCO/RSO/Launch Director side. I know clubs' launch teams are knowledgable & know the rules, but it's still easy to brain fart this, I think.

So. Techniques.
  • I almost always bring a JawStand with a 1010 rail & adapter to launches. I've had zero pushback at any launch when I ask to put up my own rail or tower. It does, however, create some extra "which pad on my launch controller do I select for your launch pad" burden for the LCO. There's some added safety risk that the club is buying by allowing an outside launch pad to be used. It's also more work for the flier and adds cost to their rocketry gear pile. Still, having your own dedicated pad is really nice.
  • Since many clubs have a sawhorse with rods setup for their Model Rocket Launch Area ("low power pads!"), I feel really bad about asking for a club rail there since it seems like I'd be asking for something special just for my kids. Any club LCOs/RSOs/Launch Directors care to chime in on your thoughts if someone asked for a rail on the Model Rocket area?
Brainstorms/thoughts.
  • Are any clubs putting rails in the Model Rocket Launch Area?
  • If you bring your own rail to put in the Model Rocket Launch Area (for example, if the club doesn't have enough to put one there), then do you share it with everyone? If so, do you just get the word out through the LCO? If you don't share it, do you get any grumbles from anyone for that?
  • Since this mid-power corner is maybe an edge case, is it worth pre-coordinating with the LCO to arrange a rail in the Model Rocket Launch Area?
  • Do any clubs have a separate mid-power area that falls under the Model Rocket Launch Area, but has a mix of big rods and rails?
I'd love to hear what people do to stay in line with the safety rules. Maybe there are some ideas others could share that I haven't thought of...? (Other than just "don't mess it up" please.)
Ask your club to put a couple HPR pads with the low power pads.
 
Look at the rule for Range Personnel. The rule was specifically added to address situations like this. He would have to be approved by the Launch Director, but there is a way.
From the first organized launch I attended, I've learned a lot from helping with high power flights. I'm not exactly sure the official rule before last year's changes regarding pad access, but no Tripoli field I flew at had any problem with my being at the high power pads as an adult L0 Tripoli member.

Since the new rules were defined, I am permanently range personnel at one Tripoli field where I fly and have regularly been range personnel at another, but the ambiguity of that status and the possibility of flying at other fields and not being able to help at the pads is leading me to attempt certs sooner than I had planned. It's not that I think I'm not capable of building and flying an L1 rocket, it's just taking things out of order on my list of milestones. Not a big deal in the end. Rules change, approaches have to evolve.

(Some of my rocketry friends who've been twisting my arm to cert already for a couple of years are probably secretly delighted with this consequnce. 🤣 )
 
It seems to me that children (of all ages) are the future of our hobby. If we don't bring in new blood, where will the hobby be in 15 or 20 years?
I've passed on my rocketry interest to my son, who, yesterday, flew one of his E powered rockets at his high school as a demonstration for his science class.

I think we need to do absolutely everything we can safely do to encourage kids to come to our launches. Maybe re-writing the Nar and Tra rules to allow them supervised access to WHATEVER pad has rails in order to fly midpower rockets is a good step forward. After all, high power pads are not dangerous in and of themselves. (I can certainly understand NOT having a bunch of children running loose around a high powered rocket actually sitting on the pad, but one child supervised directly by an Nra or Tra adult member should not be a problem). Having a couple dedicated pads for midpower would be a great thing, too, if budgets allow.
 
I think we need to do absolutely everything we can safely do to encourage kids to come to our launches. Maybe re-writing the Nar and Tra rules to allow them supervised access to WHATEVER pad has rails in order to fly midpower rockets is a good step forward. After all, high power pads are not dangerous in and of themselves. (I can certainly understand NOT having a bunch of children running loose around a high powered rocket actually sitting on the pad, but one child supervised directly by an Nra or Tra adult member should not be a problem). Having a couple dedicated pads for midpower would be a great thing, too, if budgets allow.
I understand and appreciate the simplicity of the (mostly) hard line drawn as to who can go to the high power pads and I understand that not all supervised people (kids or adults) will behave the same. Still, I tend to agree that if escorted by a HPR certified person it'd be nice if anyone could go to any pad. The insurance lawyers may see things differently.

Maybe to get more people to think about this, I could start attending random launches with my kids to everywhere we can get to...then requesting a rail at the model rocket launch area. :) Honestly, it's awesome to hear that quite a few clubs are already doing this.
 
I understand and appreciate the simplicity of the (mostly) hard line drawn as to who can go to the high power pads and I understand that not all supervised people (kids or adults) will behave the same. Still, I tend to agree that if escorted by a HPR certified person it'd be nice if anyone could go to any pad. The insurance lawyers may see things differently.

Maybe to get more people to think about this, I could start attending random launches with my kids to everywhere we can get to...then requesting a rail at the model rocket launch area. :) Honestly, it's awesome to hear that quite a few clubs are already doing this.
I won’t go into details, but the worst insurance incident in Tripoli history was due to a person being on the range where they shouldn’t have been when a rocket motor ignited. Since then we have had rules that are very specific for range access. With the release of the TUSC we tried to make the language simpler, but we didn’t intentionally change the meaning of the rules, with one exception. We specifically put in a rule (6-6) that authorizes launch directors to allow uninsured children to launch model rockets.

As far as children accessing the HPR pads, I still occasionally see pictures where a little boy or girl is standing fascinated with their faces and eyes right at blast deflector height while their parent is connecting igniter leads. It happens less frequently than it used to, but it sends chills down my spine every time.

Personally, I would like to see every club make available some special low level pads with rails available for the model rocket range. I’d much rather have spectators see their children’s rockets fly from 50 feet than the 100 foot minimum for HPR.
 
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As far as children accessing the HPR pads, I still occasionally see pictures where a little boy or girl is standing fascinated with their faces and eyes right at blast deflector height while their parent is connecting igniter leads. It happens less frequently than it used to, but it sends chills down my spine every time.
That is definitely chilling to see and it brings up a good point. It's not just the behavior of the non-certed people, the guidance of the certified people matters too.

Personally, I would like to see every club make available some special low level pads with rails available for the model rocket range. I’d much rather have spectators see their children’s rockets fly from 50 feet than the 100 foot minimum for HPR.
I totally agree. Thanks Steve.
 
As far as children accessing the HPR pads, I still occasionally see pictures where a little boy or girl is standing fascinated with their faces and eyes right at blast deflector height while their parent is connecting igniter leads.
I agree that's a VERY VERY bad thing, but really, what's the difference if that happens at a high power pad with an F powered rocket or at a midpower pad with an F powered rocket?

What my comment was saying, a child should be allowed access to fly off a rail at a high power pad (if no other rail option is available), but only in order to fly his or her own rocket and only under direct supervision. I agree children should never be allowed at any pad as spectators. And probably should not be allowed at mid or high power pads even as helpers.

My son is 15 and hooks up his own ignitors no matter what size motor he's using. So of course his face is going to be right where the ignitor leads are. Is there another way to hook up those leads? For real, no sarcasm intended, if there is another way, please let me know. I don't really like having my own face in that position...
 
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I agree that's a VERY VERY bad thing, but really, what's the difference if that happens at a high power pad with an F powered rocket or at a midpower pad with an F powered rocket?

What my comment was saying, a child should be allowed access to fly off a rail at a high power pad (if no other rail option is available), but only in order to fly his or her own rocket and only under direct supervision.

My son is 15 and hooks up his own ignitors no matter what size motor he's using. So of course his face is going to be right where the ignitor leads are. Is there another way to hook up those leads? For real, no sarcasm intended, if there is another way, please let me know. I don't really like having my own face in that position...
I assume he’s bent way over if his eyes are that close. Also he’s old enough to participate and have a certain degree of experience. He can straighten up and get out of the way.
An eight year old whose eyes are at the same level as the blast plate, while mom or dad are connecting the igniter on a high power motor, doesn’t have either the experience or the ability to physically get out of the way if something bad happens.
My eyes are about three feet higher than the blast plate when I connect the leads. I don’t put them down by the motor.
 
My eyes are about three feet higher than the blast plate when I connect the leads. I don’t put them down by the motor.
The last time I flew a G motor, the ignitor leads came out only maybe 8 or 10 inches beyond the motor nozzle. So yeah. My face was pretty close.

I edited my previous comment after you posted yours, Steve
 
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