Quantcast

NFPA vs. mass launches

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

UhClem

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2009
Messages
1,747
Reaction score
235
I recently noticed that the 2013 revision of NFPA 1127 had an error where the published version did not agree with one of the changes approved by ballot.

Somehow the word "twice" was added to the minimum safe distance requirement when launching three or more high power rockets. This doubles the required distance from that approved during the revision cycle. For example, launching three H power rockets would have to be done at 400' rather than 200'.

I notified NFPA of this problem and after much discussion they have decided that because of the late stage of the current revision cycle (the 2018 version is already done) to handle this via a Tentative Interim Agreement or TIA.

Comments are open until 23 March and anyone can submit a comment. Visit the NFPA 1127 web page to read the TIA and directions for commenting. The committee has to vote to approve the TIA.
 

rstaff3

Oddroc-eteer
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
11,759
Reaction score
14
Without mass launches, Christmas tree disposal would take too long.
 

dhbarr

Amateur Professional
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
6,985
Reaction score
1,436
It's fun, and reasonable precautions can be taken.
 

rharshberger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Messages
9,791
Reaction score
1,762
Location
Pasco, WA
It's fun, and reasonable precautions can be taken.
Fun to watch and make cool pictures, but can you watch not only your rocket but the other one-two-dozen etc? Neither can spectators ,and they are the ones being put in danger too. Last years death should have opened peoples eyes a little to the hazards associated with drag races/mass launches. Our club like Dave's has banned head to head drag races and multiple simultaneous launches due to the inherent dangers, a drag race now is simply time to altitude using the same altimeter, and comparing the times, another rocket is not launched until the first is under chute.
 

Lowpuller

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2013
Messages
2,230
Reaction score
12
I'm not aware of the death or details please share.
 

Steve Shannon

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
6,610
Reaction score
3,432
Location
Butte, Montana
I disagree with both statements ;)

the risk is is disproportionate to the benefit I believe.
That's an honest opinion. Then you should address your concerns to whichever national organizations you hold membership in. NAR and Tripoli have representatives on NFPA. Back them up with actual data showing increased risk. Also, you should really comment following the NFPA process, like UhClem did. Again, evidence and reasoning is helpful; simply saying that you think drag races are dangerous, unless that sentiment is expressed by many others, might not accomplish much.
Perhaps you've done that. If so, good for you. If your only comments are on TRF, very few changes will be made.


Steve Shannon
 

jderimig

Sponsor
TRF Sponsor
Joined
Jan 23, 2009
Messages
3,301
Reaction score
727
Mass launches = fireworks display

(not that there is anything wrong with fireworks displays...)
 

Handeman

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
7,776
Reaction score
364
Location
Stafford, VA
There is nothing there that says it was a mass launch. It sounds from the video and written article that it was a single rocket that was launched. If you are going to site that as a cause to eliminate launches, being a single rocket launch, it should to ban all rocket launches, not just mass launches.

Is there an agenda here?
 

rharshberger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Messages
9,791
Reaction score
1,762
Location
Pasco, WA
There is nothing there that says it was a mass launch. It sounds from the video and written article that it was a single rocket that was launched. If you are going to site that as a cause to eliminate launches, being a single rocket launch, it should to ban all rocket launches, not just mass launches.

Is there an agenda here?
Find the TRF thread that developed from that event, and you will find that it was a drag race, and the victim lost sight of the rocket.

Edit: I reread the thread and it makes no mention that two rockets were launched, the thread was a merger of three threads that occurred at the same time about it. Regardless, a rocket was lost sight of for a moment and struck and killed someone, a cardboard rocket, if its possible to lose sight of a single rocket and someone dies, how easy is it to lose sight of 2 or more rockets, the chances of someone getting injured or killed is small, but why take an unnecessary chance.

I have no agenda on this except safety first.
 
Last edited:

rstaff3

Oddroc-eteer
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
11,759
Reaction score
14
I don't have any problem with a two rocket drag race if you can reasonably expect to see the rockets during their whole flight. I'm much more worried about a small fiberglass rocket on a big motor that disappears in a blink and you hear the LCO say "anybody got it?"
 

jrkennedy2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2014
Messages
455
Reaction score
10
Location
Colorado
Be careful with safety first statements. The safest rocket is the one the NEVER flies...

I prefer to fly my rockets especially since I have 30' paint jobs so static displays are not very pretty.
 

Handeman

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
7,776
Reaction score
364
Location
Stafford, VA
Find the TRF thread that developed from that event, and you will find that it was a drag race, and the victim lost sight of the rocket.

Edit: I reread the thread and it makes no mention that two rockets were launched, the thread was a merger of three threads that occurred at the same time about it. Regardless, a rocket was lost sight of for a moment and struck and killed someone, a cardboard rocket, if its possible to lose sight of a single rocket and someone dies, how easy is it to lose sight of 2 or more rockets, the chances of someone getting injured or killed is small, but why take an unnecessary chance.

I have no agenda on this except safety first.
I guess that is where I have a problem. I think you do have an agenda. You want to be so risk adverse and cloak that in "safety first". Why should I have my enjoyment curtailed because you don't accept the risk involve in drag races? If you don't accept the level of risk involve when rockets are drag raced, don't come to the launch. But don't dictate to me that I can't accept that risk or enjoy the event by eliminating drag racing.

I'm sorry, but rocketry has a certain level of risk involve and cutting that down to the level where it's curtails the fun and enjoyment of the events in the name of safety is just not something I can support.
 

rharshberger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Messages
9,791
Reaction score
1,762
Location
Pasco, WA
I guess that is where I have a problem. I think you do have an agenda. You want to be so risk adverse and cloak that in "safety first". Why should I have my enjoyment curtailed because you don't accept the risk involve in drag races? If you don't accept the level of risk involve when rockets are drag raced, don't come to the launch. But don't dictate to me that I can't accept that risk or enjoy the event by eliminating drag racing.

I'm sorry, but rocketry has a certain level of risk involve and cutting that down to the level where it's curtails the fun and enjoyment of the events in the name of safety is just not something I can support.
Believe what you want, you have your opinion and I have mine, have a nice day.
 

DavidMcCann

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 15, 2016
Messages
2,656
Reaction score
166
I guess that is where I have a problem. I think you do have an agenda. You want to be so risk adverse and cloak that in "safety first". Why should I have my enjoyment curtailed because you don't accept the risk involve in drag races? If you don't accept the level of risk involve when rockets are drag raced, don't come to the launch. But don't dictate to me that I can't accept that risk or enjoy the event by eliminating drag racing.

I'm sorry, but rocketry has a certain level of risk involve and cutting that down to the level where it's curtails the fun and enjoyment of the events in the name of safety is just not something I can support.

No, I fly because I enjoy rockets. A single flight is pretty safe, and one could argue a good bit learning and knowledge can be had from this hobby.

There is valid reason to fly rockets. It's a risk, yes. There is no valid reason to drag race. NONE. The risk is therefore unacceptable.

Fun should not put safety at risk at an unacceptable level. Drag races do that. How many examples of total ClusterF's do we have to see? If people want to keep drag racing safe, maybe they should have been running the races safer, maybe RSO one or two of the rockets so you don't get a shower of FG all over the place. But, just keep carelessly tossing huge rockets hastily and poorly built into the sky and laugh when they auger in or blow themselves up.

Whatever you think that is, I don't call it rocketry, and I don't call it acceptable. I call it an episode of Jackass.

Even if they were built right, each flight is a risk. you add two in the air and there's no hope of tracking both. You add 10, 20...and you're just firing arrows in the air and hoping they don't hit you.

I absolutely and without reservation call for drag races to be outlawed by both the TRA and NFPA. Doubt I'll get far.
 
Last edited:

cerving

Owner, Eggtimer Rocketry
TRF Sponsor
TRF Supporter
Joined
Feb 3, 2012
Messages
4,162
Reaction score
1,436
Hobby Rocketry is inherently hazardous, and the good folks at NAR & TRA have bent over backwards for many years to minimize the danger, to the point that some people tend to get a little complacent. Two K's launched from 500' away are probably less dangerous than a rack of LPR's from 10' away, in my opinion. You got lots of time to track the K's... the LPR's are in your face instantly if they land shark. That's what happened to the unfortunate Boy Scout leader last year.
 

Steve Shannon

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
6,610
Reaction score
3,432
Location
Butte, Montana
No, I fly because I enjoy rockets. A single flight is pretty safe, and one could argue a good bit learning and knowledge can be had from this hobby.

There is valid reason to fly rockets. It's a risk, yes. There is no valid reason to drag race. NONE. The risk is therefore unacceptable.

Fun should not put safety at risk at an unacceptable level. Drag races do that.

I absolutely and without reservation call for drag races to be outlawed by both the TRA and NFPA. Doubt I'll get far.
Dave,
Collect data and make your case. I've never participated in a drag race. They don't particularly appeal to me, but neither am I averse to them, because I don't know the statistics.
Out of how many drag races how many incidents have there been? How does that compare with individual launches? What other factors were there?
As I recall drag races were moved farther away in order to mitigate the additional risk they introduced. What has happened to the safety record since?



Steve Shannon
 

Binder Design

Sponsor
TRF Sponsor
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
1,820
Reaction score
232
I like to watch them one at a time. Call me old fashioned.....
 

DavidMcCann

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 15, 2016
Messages
2,656
Reaction score
166
Dave,
Collect data and make your case. I've never participated in a drag race. They don't particularly appeal to me, but neither am I averse to them, because I don't know the statistics.
Out of how many drag races how many incidents have there been? How does that compare with individual launches? What other factors were there?
As I recall drag races were moved farther away in order to mitigate the additional risk they introduced. What has happened to the safety record since?
In a more controlled and serious tone- The trouble with all things in rocketry - We typically keep TERRIBLE records as a group. So, stats will be hard to come by. Obviously, when people fire off lets say, 20 skids, those photos and videos are going to spread further and get more attention than say, the previous 20 skid launches. What would the safety results be on those two groups? I can't claim to know.

Another issue is no one records near misses. and they're never investigated. someone drops a 30 pound rocket in the parking lot, everyone walks by, takes a photo, and no one every talks about why. So everyone looks at the safety record of drags and says "no one got hit! we're safe!" Perfect safety record!

So bringing any meaningful statistics to the table is nearly impossible.

So Why don't I like them? Lets say a rocket launch has a risk factor of 5. A drag race of two doesn't simply put the risk at 10. You're losing any ability to even try and track whats in the air, and just putting it all to luck that you don't get hit. I don't like that.

(if anyone doubts that I'll track all 600 launches in a day.....I've got 30,000 photos to show you ;) )
 
Last edited:

DavidMcCann

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 15, 2016
Messages
2,656
Reaction score
166
Another issue with drag races.... They typically occur in front of large groups of spectators, at larger launches. For obvious reasons. So, you're tossing more darts at the board, and tying more ducks to the board. Increasing both rockets in the air, and targets on the ground, greatly increases the odds of an incident. No stats there, just simple math.
 

kjkcolorado

Well-Known Member
TRF Lifetime Supporter
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 7, 2013
Messages
353
Reaction score
3
Location
Denver, CO
I can see the appeal to multiple rockets being launched at once. I would fall somewhere in the middle of the debate in that with reasonable precautions (such as increased safe distance from the pads, designatining at least a couple people to track each rocket) I'm OK with 2 rocket drag races. When you start getting to 3 or more, with possible flight paths criss-crossing, etc, I'm less confident we haven't substantially increased the risk of an activity with inherent risk.

Personally, I don't participate in drag races because I want to focus solely on my rocket..... what did the rocket look like under boost (spin?, wiggle?, straight as an arrow?), when did deployment occur (apogee?, early?, late?), how does it look under drogue (proper relationship between of parts?), how did the main deploy, etc, etc. These are all things I need and want to know to be a better builder and flyer. Too much distraction for me with multiple rockets going up at the same time to focus on all that.
 
Top