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Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by cwbullet, Nov 14, 2019.
I feel like I should be shooting at it...
That came off sounding more hard nosed than I intended also, but I have seen more than a few flights that well exceeded the simmed value. In one case it violated the waiver. In a more recent case a Research rocket that was simmed to go to 45k ended up nearer 60k.
So, yeah, consider me skeptical. That’s not a condemnation of the software, but how well the sims are prepared.
Our waiver this Sunday at SoAR’s new field is 6k but hard limit is 5k and I doubt anyone will go over 4k. 6k waiver at that field doesn’t make sense at all. It’s a small field for high power but perfect for midpower.
For what it's worth, I put my name and phone number on the NOMEX chute protector and hope that I get a lost rocket back (only lost one so far in 6ish years of high power). One that I couldn't find happened at MDRA a few years back and after looking for the rocket a while, my phone rang. The caller said my rocket was near the RSO table - name and number worked like a champ!
Where I fly the most, there is one known landowner that will NOT allow you on their property AND will keep your bird. With that said, know the lay of the land, especially if you're flying in unfamiliar territory (a launch site you're not familiar with), or fly lower; it's really that simple. If there is any question that I might land off the launch field, I ask those that run the launch BEFORE I fly how off-field recoveries are handled. It's really up to the flier to "fly the field"...
This past summer I was fortunate to fly for the first time in Camden, SC. I flew low altitude flights with 4" rockets and K motors, though I had a trailer full of L motors available to me. It was a new site to me, a good one at that with a lot of great fliers, and I'd like to return sometime. So, I respect the waiver, the field, the other fliers, and their desire to hold the field beyond what one careless flier might cause...
Thanks, right on! Agree completely. I have all my chutes marked name and phone number.
Sam, Great idea.
We have members who think that the risk is all on the flyer. Unfortunately, we are always one flight from losing the field and waiver.
If someone does break the waiver, intentionally or not, how would the FAA know? I assume someone would have to report it. And then actual flight altitude would have been announced post flight?
There is no defined self-report mechanism. For most launches they would never know. We’re on our honor. We work hard not to violate that trust and if we have a rocket exceed our upper limit we promise to ourselves to do better next time. I told my FAA COA person once that I’d had a rocket descend outside of our radius. I said I supposed that was a violation. She said, yes, technically it was and that I should seek a larger radius. I did. Nothing more happened as a result, but I knew not to ignore her advice.
Unfortunately, what happens in reality is that people brag and word spreads. If I received evidence that a Prefecture was cavalier about the trust the FAA has shown us I would have to go to the board. I don’t know what our next steps would be. Certainly we would have to consider revoking their insurance and cancelling the Prefecture. Rather than threatening TRA‘s entire trusted relationship with the FAA we would probably call one of our contacts and explain the situation. I would expect that the affected COA would be cancelled. I hope to never be placed in that position.
There have been some launches where nearby military bases have asked us to notify them in real-time that we are launching a rocket so they can track it on radar. I’ve never heard back from them if they were able to see it, but I suspect it was quite clear on their screen.
Yep. We all lose when we lose a field... :-(
As a somewhat newcomer to the sport and this conversation, I've a suggestion. As the club, actively brief the flyers before launch on the protocol of 1) demonstrating their flight will not exceed xx% of the FAA waiver 2) recovery method and how it is going to account for the cylinder and 3) the proper way to recover a rocket off field (e.g. some landowners won't let you on their property at all, others don't care if you retrieve your rocket, etc.) Oh, and any other known risks (power lines, swamps, rocket eating trees, etc.)
Ask me the questions before the flight and understand the risks to the club should a flight come close to any of the above-mentioned limits. Make me, the flyer, prove I've accounted for these risks. As a participant I want to obey the rules and I actively ask these questions but I'm sure some won't.
Before my first flight with one club I was quizzed about all the above (and the CP / CG calculations) and I didn't mind one bit. I enjoyed the opportunity to explain how I simmed the flight, etc. It gave the club some comfort with my knowledge, and it gave me a chance to discuss my rocket Later I was more of a known flyer and trusted to do my homework.
In short, make sure the rules are known and you've asked the flyer(s) how they're going to meet them.
P.S. love the idea of writing your contact info on the Nomex. Getting a sharpie out right now
Its called a flyers meeting/briefing and every club should have one before commencing flight operations daily.
We did that at my old field in Virginia, primarily because we always seemed to have new fliers out there. It's a good idea because there's things that get forgotten over time, even by seasoned fliers...
Separate names with a comma.