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Shipping flown rockets?

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TheRocketNerd

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I am starting to divide my 160-some odd rockets that I am selling for a widow of a long-time rocketeer and a thought came to my mind...am I going to have any issues shipping rockets that have flown? The BP residue--is that going to cause any issues? Now of course you can smell it if you open the nose cone or sniff the tail end (like all good rocketeers do, lol) but the man died several years ago so none of these have been flown freshly...

I'm just making sure I won't have men in dark suits knocking at my door once I get to selling them cause I tripped some alarm at USPS central.

Thanks in advance!
 

billspad

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I am starting to divide my 160-some odd rockets that I am selling for a widow of a long-time rocketeer and a thought came to my mind...am I going to have any issues shipping rockets that have flown? The BP residue--is that going to cause any issues? Now of course you can smell it if you open the nose cone or sniff the tail end (like all good rocketeers do, lol) but the man died several years ago so none of these have been flown freshly...

I'm just making sure I won't have men in dark suits knocking at my door once I get to selling them cause I tripped some alarm at USPS central.

Thanks in advance!
I've shipped rockets that have been flown the day before many times. Noboby's come knocking on my door yet.
 

n5wd

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...am I going to have any issues shipping rockets that have flown?
We have not only shipped (via UPS and Fedex) rockets that have been flown, but also checked one of our TARC rockets that had flown several times into luggage through the TSA and their explosives sniffing machinery at DFW and Dulles and have had no problems. As someone explained in TRF1.0, it's not the black powder or APCP residue that they're sniffing for.
 

TheRocketNerd

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Thanks guys! I thought I remembered reading about guys shipping rockets to their hotel rooms when attending a regional launch that they flew to so I thought it was legit; just wanted to check and make sure I wasn't mistaken.

Thanks for all the help; look for some links up in the Yard Sale section by the end of this weekend for some old stock rockets for sale.
 

dcastle

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We have not only shipped (via UPS and Fedex) rockets that have been flown, but also checked one of our TARC rockets that had flown several times into luggage through the TSA and their explosives sniffing machinery at DFW and Dulles and have had no problems. As someone explained in TRF1.0, it's not the black powder or APCP residue that they're sniffing for.
I have been pulled out of line at the airport with a bag that I'd taken to a launch the day before and used to carry motors in. When the security people did the swipe, they said that it tested positive for explosives. Fortunately there was nothing in the bag other than some clothes and I explained to them that I'd been flying model rockets the day before (it helps that I said "with my kids") and they let me on through. I figured that their machine had just picked up the BP residue but who knows.
 

UMRS

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You will find your problem not with BP, but with shipping prices. To really ship a built rocket so it doesnt get damaged youneed to remember to pack it well.

Give it a good 2" cushion inside the box. Ands in a lot of cases because of the size/weight your probably going to have to use Priority mail. First class cut off is 13oz. I dont remember the parcel size for 1st class cutoff however.
 

TheRocketNerd

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Agreed Uncle Mike, I'm using the triangular mailers and I do have to be careful Some of them are a tight fit but no way around it. Three finned rockets fit fine but the four finned ones will have to wait for a bigger box to come my way... Thanks for the info on the cut-off too; it's much appreciated!!

-T
 

mjennings

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You could wipe them down with an ever so slightly damp rag, to remove some of the residue. Good luck on the packing I know how fun it was to safely transport my small fleet when I moved them 2 years ago.
 

SCE to AUX

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I have been pulled out of line at the airport with a bag that I'd taken to a launch the day before and used to carry motors in. When the security people did the swipe, they said that it tested positive for explosives. Fortunately there was nothing in the bag other than some clothes and I explained to them that I'd been flying model rockets the day before (it helps that I said "with my kids") and they let me on through. I figured that their machine had just picked up the BP residue but who knows.
I recently had a similar experience in the Norfolk, VA airport with my laptop bag. I often bring my laptop to launches, as I use it to record live video from my camera rocket.The side pocket has occasionally been used for holding motors (fired and unfired, BP and AP) and igniters.

At any rate, it triggered the sniffer test at the airport, resulting in a complete manual search of ALL my carry-ons, power up/reboot the laptop several times, a very thorough pat-down search, and the all the rest of the "security theater" measures that the TSA drones had available.

I don't know if the screeners in Norfolk are just excessively paranoid (because of the big naval shipyard and all the military personnel in the area?), but the exact same laptop bag had gone through screening at Newark the DAY BEFORE, without any questions...
 
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Peartree

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I can understand that screeners in Norfolk would be excessively vigilant but wouldn't it make more sense to obsess over people coming into Norfolk instead of people who are trying to leave?
 

billspad

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I can understand that screeners in Norfolk would be excessively vigilant but wouldn't it make more sense to obsess over people coming into Norfolk instead of people who are trying to leave?
The 9/11 terrorists didn't make it to the destination that was printed on their tickets.
 

Peartree

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Point taken but I was wondering why one particular inspection was more rigorous than others. 9/11 would indicate that *all* inspections should be rigorous.
 

billspad

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Point taken but I was wondering why one particular inspection was more rigorous than others. 9/11 would indicate that *all* inspections should be rigorous.
I remember seeing a news story where a TSA official claimed that they were done differently to keep the terrorists from picking an easy airport and he said it with a straight face.

I think it's got more to do with different equipment at different airports. The skill of the screeners comes into play too. The sniffer should be pass/fail but the X rays are read by people with varying ability.
 

mjennings

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There is definitely a variance between airports. I've been with people who've gotten wire cutters, small pocket knives, small tools etc through one airport and had them confiscated on the way home. None of this was malicious, they just forgot they were in their carry / on their key chain.
 
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