# Looking for a bit of information for someone new to rocketry

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#### MERector

##### Member
Hello, everyone. I'm a new member here, and I'll start off with a quick bit of information about me.

When I was a kid in elementary school I was part of a space club, and part of our space club included building an estes rocket and launching them on a field at our high school. Ever since then I have always wanted to do it again, but never had the chance. Six years ago I got my first telescope and have been a hardcore amateur astronomer ever since. I love math, space, and physics so I was bound to get a model rocket at some point to launch. Well, it just so happens that I just turned 33, and my fiance (who is the one that bought me my first telescope) just happened to get me some model rockets to toy around with. She got me the Estes Tandem X with the launch pad, and two rockets. I'm still waiting on these to show up, along with the engines she got me. I'm a bit curious about launching though, I live in Plattsburgh, NY and we have an airport here. There is a field close to my house that I was considering using, but I'm not sure if I can just use a city field to launch, or what I need to do in order to launch these puppies. Included are 3 screenshots I took of Google Earth with length and width measurements of the field, and then a measurement of the distance from the airport. I would love to avoid getting in trouble, so I signed up to the forums to ask for any assistance in launch locations and/or permissions I may need. I'm sure, if I have to, that I would be able to find another field much further away from the airport, but I picked this one because it is less than a 5 minute drive from home.

#### crossfire

welcome
I am not sure where your from? But there maybe a NAR or TRA club close to your area. Its a lot more fun flying with a group of flyers.

#### Rex R

##### LV2
welcome to the fun house (we like pics )
depending on wind you might get away with a C motor...however you are a bit close to the airport(last I heard was 5nm). glancing at the NAR find a club; http://www.nar.org/find-a-local-club/nar-club-locator/ I see 6 clubs located in NY state.
Rex

#### les

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Welcome back. You should check with the field owner for permission.
You show you are about 5 miles from the airport. So long as you are only flying low power, and don't fly when an aircraft is overhead you should be OK

Keep us posted with your builds and pictures of launches!

#### MERector

##### Member
Thanks everyone for the quick responses.

crossfire: I'm from Plattsburgh, NY, and was planning on doing my launches from just outside the city, but less than 5 miles from the airport, which is what made me question it.

Rex R: thank you. Currently I only have a B motor as my strongest (not entirely sure of the exact number as I'm still waiting on all of my new toys to be delivered). I read 5nm also, and since that roughly converts to about 5.8 miles I figured I'd ask here on the forums. I have looked at the NAR club finder and saw the clubs in NY state, but would probably travel to the club in Vermont since it is technically closer than any of the 6 clubs in NY. I may join a club in the future, but would also like to be able to launch without a club if possible.

les: thanks! A little less than 5 miles from the airport, my most powerful motor is a B, and would definitely be on the lookout for airplanes. I use a green laser pointer for my astronomy hobby for pointing at objects in space, so I'm used to keeping my ears and eyes open for any potential planes. Don't want to shine lasers at them, and I also don't want to send a rocket towards them either, haha.

#### BRS Hobbies

##### Well-Known Member
One useful tip - if launching model rockets at a local park or a school field, it's best to do it at off hour times meaning the place is fairly empty with no organized sports going on.

Best regards,
Brian

#### KenECoyote

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
...my fiance (who is the one that bought me my first telescope) just happened to get me some model rockets to toy around with.
My advice is marry her as soon as you can...that's one great catch! :clap:

#### Zeus-cat

##### Well-Known Member
A woman bought you rockets AND motors. She is a KEEPER!!! Give her a foot rub tonight! And marry her ASAP.

#### Exactimator

##### Well-Known Member
Someone from your area can help you with launch sites better than I can. I just wanted to say your fiance sounds like a wonderful person.

Welcome back.

#### ActingLikeAKid

##### Well-Known Member
One useful tip - if launching model rockets at a local park or a school field, it's best to do it at off hour times meaning the place is fairly empty with no organized sports going on.

Best regards,
Brian
also dawn and dusk tend to be the least-windy times of days.
on that note: almost every Estes rocket I've flown has a chute that's on the big side. Cut a 2" hole in the middle of the chute and your rockets will come back a lot quicker and more often.

#### rharshberger

##### Well-Known Member
To all the other advice you will receive....Always remember we are the biggest group of rocketry enablers around! The only time we recommend against something rocketry related is if its unsafe or against the law. If you ask about a rocket, motors, electronics etc and whether or not to buy it our answer is usually yes AND we will lead you down even deeper rabbit holes ( into your wallet) in search of rocketry zen.

#### DavidMcCann

##### Well-Known Member
From- http://www.nar.org/find-a-local-club/section-guidebook/laws-regulations/

Airspace Clearance:
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has jurisdiction over the airspace of the U.S. and whatever flies in it. Their regulations concerning who may use it and under what conditions are known as the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR)which are also called Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR). Chapter 1, Subchapter F, Part 101 of these regulations (14 CFR 101.1) specifically exempts model rockets that weigh 16 ounces or less and have 4 ounces or less of propellant from FAA regulation as long as they are operated in a manner that does not create a hazard to persons, property, or other aircraft. When operated in this safe manner, model rockets may be flown in any airspace, at any time, and at any distance from an airportwithout prior FAA approval. Rockets larger than these specific limitsi.e. all high-power rocketsare referred to as unmanned rockets by the FARs and are subject to very specific regulations. Such rockets may not be flown in controlled airspace (which is extensive in the U.S. even at low altitudes and includes all airspace above 14,500 feet), within 5 miles of the boundary of any airport, into cloud cover greater than 50% or visibility less than 5 miles, within 1500 feet of any person or property not associated with the operation, or between sunset and sunrise. Both NFPA Code 1127 and the NAR high-power safety code require compliance with all FAA regulations. Deviation from these FAR limits for unmanned rockets requires either notification of or granting of a waiver by the FAA. Such a waiver grants permission to fly but does not guarantee exclusive use of the airspace.

#### DavidMcCann

##### Well-Known Member
You're good to go brother.

In general, anything under 3.3 pounds and less than 4oz of propellant and you're fine. (and under 80N ave thrust)

When you want to go bigger.... We fly out of a tiny speck of a town 5 hours from you called Potter NY.

EDIT: Someone should tell NAR they're out of date up there (I'm not a member) The weight has been changed to 1500 grams/3.3pounds per CFR 101.22 (http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?rgn=div5&node=14:2.0.1.3.15)

[h=2]§101.22 Definitions.[/h]The following definitions apply to this subpart:
(a) Class 1&#8212;Model Rocket means an amateur rocket that:
(1) Uses no more than 125 grams (4.4 ounces) of propellant;
(2) Uses a slow-burning propellant;
(3) Is made of paper, wood, or breakable plastic;
(4) Contains no substantial metal parts; and
(5) Weighs no more than 1,500 grams (53 ounces), including the propellant.
(b) Class 2&#8212;High-Power Rocket means an amateur rocket other than a model rocket that is propelled by a motor or motors having a combined total impulse of 40,960 Newton-seconds (9,208 pound-seconds) or less.
(c) Class 3&#8212;Advanced High-Power Rocket means an amateur rocket other than a model rocket or high-power rocket.
[Doc. No. FAA-2007-27390, 73 FR 73781, Dec. 4, 2008]

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#### MERector

##### Member
BRS Hobbies: I definitely plan on making sure I don't launch during sporting events or gatherings of many people. Thanks for the tip, always appreciated.

KenECoyote: Definitely going to marry her, she also might be just as excited to launch rockets as I am since she's never had the pleasure.

Zeus-cat: Foot-rub and a shoulder massage (always go the extra mile).

Exactimator: She is definitely the best woman I could ever choose to spend my life with.

ActingLikeAKid: I had read somewhere on the forums about the parachutes needing a bit of adjustment. I'm also considering streamers instead of parachutes to save it from landing in trees on slightly breezy days. Thanks for the advice!

rharshberger: I always seem to get into hobbies that are filled with enablers. The folks on the astronomy forums were bad for my bank account, I'm sure rocketryforum will be just as evil to my wallet.

DavidMcCann: excellent info, thank you so much! I must have skipped over that section while skimming through the regulations. I remember seeing something about a distance from airports which is when I started questioning how deep I was going to get into this hobby. Now I'm even more excited to get all the items in so I can get to building and launching ASAP. I will stick to smaller rockets for personal use near home, and I'll have to visit some rocket clubs to get my big rocket fix. Curious, do these clubs charge money for people just interested in visiting and socializing?

#### ActingLikeAKid

##### Well-Known Member
ActingLikeAKid: I had read somewhere on the forums about the parachutes needing a bit of adjustment. I'm also considering streamers instead of parachutes to save it from landing in trees on slightly breezy days. Thanks for the advice!
I'd use the chute on the Amazon - it's a relatively heavy rocket. Cut a spillhole but still use the chute. The Crossfire, though....you might want a streamer for that. I painted mine beautifully in purple and gold and promptly lost it in a tree.

rharshberger: I always seem to get into hobbies that are filled with enablers. The folks on the astronomy forums were bad for my bank account, I'm sure rocketryforum will be just as evil to my wallet.
Goodness, yes. You start with "This is FUN! This is NEAT! And it's really not that expensive - the rockets are like $10 or$20 and I can spend $30 on enough engines for a fun Saturday morning of flying". Then you put a few rockets together and you realize that the Estes Pro Series II kits (the Argent/Ventris/Partizon) are$22.50 each and wouldn't THOSE be fun to build? So you do, and you find a club, and then you're up to $15 for a flight. But WOAH it's cool. And then you get into fiberglass. And then you get into dual-deployment. And before you know it, you're staying up late soldering connections on your backup altimeter because your Level 3 certification is coming up.... Curious, do these clubs charge money for people just interested in visiting and socializing? I would be shocked if any did. My experience with the clubs here is that there's a launch fee of some nominal amount (like$10 or something); if people want to throw a little more toward the club to help out, that's always appreciated. If you show up to socialize/visit/watch rockets, you will probably find people who are willing (and excited) to talk your ear off about just about any topic.

#### samb

Welcome to the party. I'll add my congrats on being gifted the Tandem-X starter set. In all but dead calm air, I've found that the 18 inch chute included with the Amazon keeps that model in the air a long time, which means a long recovery walk. Spill holes have already been mentioned and another technique is reefing the shroud lines. Taping the lines together halfway or more up their length effectively decreases the size of the canopy allowing for a faster descent rate.

As far as the city field you mentioned, how do you feel about the "easier to beg forgiveness than ask for permission" methodology ? Our city parks and rec has specific, posted rules prohibiting model rocket launches. In the absence of anything posted on your field you may be alright. It is a "your mileage may vary" situation with local jurisdictions having the final say. Keeping landowners happy is a very big concern with our hobby.

#### DavidMcCann

##### Well-Known Member
DavidMcCann: excellent info, thank you so much! I must have skipped over that section while skimming through the regulations. I remember seeing something about a distance from airports which is when I started questioning how deep I was going to get into this hobby. Now I'm even more excited to get all the items in so I can get to building and launching ASAP. I will stick to smaller rockets for personal use near home, and I'll have to visit some rocket clubs to get my big rocket fix. Curious, do these clubs charge money for people just interested in visiting and socializing?
Our club's link is in the bottom right of my signature. We fly in the finger lakes just south of Rochester. Anyone is welcome to stop by at any time during our launches, and we all enjoy talking to people. Especially new people we can corrupt The only thing we ask of spectators is to not approach anyone building motors or getting charges/electronics ready. Not a good time for a chat . Everything else you need to know you'll hear over the PA.

Also, We'll be having our annual Upstate Research Rocketry Festival the end of this month- http://urrf.us Expecting about 100 fliers and some seriously large projects that should knock on the door of 18,000' You're more than welcome to come out and watch, it's a great way to learn a ton in a very short time span. During these launches we typically put up around 300-600 rockets a day...From little tiny A motors, to O's

#### MERector

##### Member
I'd use the chute on the Amazon - it's a relatively heavy rocket. Cut a spillhole but still use the chute. The Crossfire, though....you might want a streamer for that. I painted mine beautifully in purple and gold and promptly lost it in a tree.

Goodness, yes. You start with "This is FUN! This is NEAT! And it's really not that expensive - the rockets are like $10 or$20 and I can spend $30 on enough engines for a fun Saturday morning of flying". Then you put a few rockets together and you realize that the Estes Pro Series II kits (the Argent/Ventris/Partizon) are$22.50 each and wouldn't THOSE be fun to build? So you do, and you find a club, and then you're up to $15 for a flight. But WOAH it's cool. And then you get into fiberglass. And then you get into dual-deployment. And before you know it, you're staying up late soldering connections on your backup altimeter because your Level 3 certification is coming up.... I would be shocked if any did. My experience with the clubs here is that there's a launch fee of some nominal amount (like$10 or something); if people want to throw a little more toward the club to help out, that's always appreciated. If you show up to socialize/visit/watch rockets, you will probably find people who are willing (and excited) to talk your ear off about just about any topic.
Thanks for the information. I'm sure after a few runs with these two rockets I'll be looking for the next one to add to my collection. I'm now definitely looking forward to visiting a club gathering one of these days over the summer to see some of the big rockets in action.

Welcome to the party. I'll add my congrats on being gifted the Tandem-X starter set. In all but dead calm air, I've found that the 18 inch chute included with the Amazon keeps that model in the air a long time, which means a long recovery walk. Spill holes have already been mentioned and another technique is reefing the shroud lines. Taping the lines together halfway or more up their length effectively decreases the size of the canopy allowing for a faster descent rate.

As far as the city field you mentioned, how do you feel about the "easier to beg forgiveness than ask for permission" methodology ? Our city parks and rec has specific, posted rules prohibiting model rocket launches. In the absence of anything posted on your field you may be alright. It is a "your mileage may vary" situation with local jurisdictions having the final say. Keeping landowners happy is a very big concern with our hobby.
Great tip for the chutes, taking note. I really don't want to lose these rockets on my first launch with them! Not afraid of a long walk to recovery, but don't want to get it stuck in a tree. I have a state trooper friend that I can ask his opinion of launching the rocket at the field in question. I'm sure he'd know if I'd get in trouble or not, heck, maybe he can keep me from getting in trouble, haha! The only thing that is posted at the field is that it closes at 9pm (I've been there into the wee hours of the morning with my telescope with no issues), and dog leash laws along with notices to pick up after your pet; nothing about launching rockets, so either it's okay, or no one has tried to launch a rocket from there... yet.

#### noffie79

##### Well-Known Member
Welcome to the madness that is TRF! I highly doubt that anyone will have a problem with the rockets you're wanting to launch. In my town, I launch Estes stuff in the park behind the police station and have even had them watch a few launches. No one has ever complained. I think "most" people consider it a piece of Americana and a bygone era. You never know, you may catch a few eyes and even get more people interested in this great hobby!

#### rharshberger

##### Well-Known Member
Some clubs have yearly membership fees, for example our club has a $10 personal membership, or a$20 family membership, I am also a NAR member $62 iirc per year ( total yearly memberships is like$82 for me). However our club does not charge launch fees, due to the generosity of our facilities landowners, most of our ground support equipment ( gse) comes from donations.

#### DavidMcCann

##### Well-Known Member
Some clubs have yearly membership fees, for example our club has a $10 personal membership, or a$20 family membership, I am also a NAR member $62 iirc per year ( total yearly memberships is like$82 for me). However our club does not charge launch fees, due to the generosity of our facilities landowners, most of our ground support equipment ( gse) comes from donations.

#### rharshberger

##### Well-Known Member
Welcome to the madness that is TRF! I highly doubt that anyone will have a problem with the rockets you're wanting to launch. In my town, I launch Estes stuff in the park behind the police station and have even had them watch a few launches. No one has ever complained. I think "most" people consider it a piece of Americana and a bygone era. You never know, you may catch a few eyes and even get more people interested in this great hobby!
Thats what I get for being tired and not reading posts thoroughly enough. &#128562;

#### Rex R

##### LV2
Woosh has a launch fee for those wishing to fly F and above impulse(at our HPR launches), low power launches no fee. spectators can watch all they like (provided they have a state park sticker) for free at the hpr launches. low power launches are not held at the state park hence no park sticker needed...though if I understand correctly the sticker is only needed for motorized vehicles.
Rex

#### smugglervt

##### Vermont BAR
TRF Supporter
When your ready to go bigger and higher (which you will) come on over across the lake and join us every third Saturday (or Sunday depending on the weather). Spectating is free. Check out our club webpage or Facebook page listed in my signature.

Hope to see you there someday.

#### Bat-mite

##### Rocketeer in MD
If your rockets have upswept fins, consider replacing your parachutes with streamers. Or cutting spill holes in your chutes.