# So, what is the biggest thing holding you back from getting your Level One HPR Certification?

### Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

#### hobie1dog

3. I’m always amazed that people complain about recertifying level 1, which simply consists of flying a level 1 rocket safely. Isn’t that why a person gets certified in the first place?
It's fine if you have a fair amount of disposable income like most people in rocketry do. But when you live on SS Income with lots of medical bills and leaving almost no money for rocketry, then having to buy another motor just like the one you used before, and driving a couple hours to launch again, gas, etc. The people who make all these rules are not in my position and they literally have lots of money to burn. They make their decisions based on the fact that they have good jobs providing them with lots of spendable income with absolutely no concern over people who are financially strapped and having medical collections calling them weekly. I got my Level 1 back in 2012 before I lost my health, lost all my money in savings, and then going 5 months with ZERO income, try that out.... selling all my personal things I spent a lifetime buying. But this is pointless in my position to even mention this to everyone who is oblivious to this kind of life, when they are living the good life.

#### Steve Shannon

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
It's fine if you have a fair amount of disposable income like most people in rocketry do. But when you live on SS Income with lots of medical bills and leaving almost no money for rocketry, then having to buy another motor just like the one you used before, and driving a couple hours to launch again, gas, etc. The people who make all these rules are not in my position and they literally have lots of money to burn. They make their decisions based on the fact that they have good jobs providing them with lots of spendable income with absolutely no concern over people who are financially strapped and having medical collections calling them weekly. I got my Level 1 back in 2012 before I lost my health, lost all my money in savings, and then going 5 months with ZERO income, try that out.... selling all my personal things I spent a lifetime buying. But this is pointless in my position to even mention this to everyone who is oblivious to this kind of life, when they are living the good life.
I’m very sorry for what you’ve gone through. When you’re ready to recertify let me know and I’ll have a vendor send you an H motor.
The financial crisis for many this past year is exactly why we extended the time to five years.
Best wishes,

#### hobie1dog

I’m very sorry for what you’ve gone through. When you’re ready to recertify let me know and I’ll have a vendor send you an H motor.
The financial crisis for many this past year is exactly why we extended the time to five years.
Best wishes,
Thank you, I appreciate it.

#### FlyBy01

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
The folks not to happy with Tripoli dues please start recruiting more members to spread the costs over a larger amount of members; thus reducing costs. I think Tripoli set the 5 year limit to encourage folks to stay active or as a way to encourage them to become active. High Power does cost more than low power but is comparing apples to oranges. A single-engine Cessna is about $130.00 per hour (low power rockets); a King Air Twin Engine is about$1,000.00 per hour. I justify my unjustifiable expenses in rocketry as the fact I don't golf ($100 to$400 per weekend) so...
BUILD THAT ROCKETY AND HAVE SOME FUN!!!
Disclaimer: I am a member of both NAR and Tripoli. I like the insurance coverage just in case.

#### Damien

##### Member
We’ve all been there at one time or another. So, what is the biggest thing holding you back from getting your Level One HPR Certification?
I cant fly without driving over an hour away !i flew b c and a few d motor rockets when i was 13 years old now im 61 and cant fly anything anymore without going around an hour or so away (i live in Vallejo Ca i just built 6 rockets from 1\2 a b c d e f and yes g composite motor and no place to launch HELP

#### SteveNeill

##### SNG Studio Ventura
TRF Supporter
For HPR the long drive is unavoidable. In most states there are only a few places safe enough and allowed by law. That's just the way it is. I drive 3-4 hours each way to the ROC launch site in Lucerne CA once a month. We fly locally Low Power only with my section 855 group. That's a 10 minute drive and it benefits the youth of my town in Ventura CA.
I'm 69 now. The drive is long for HPR but you either do it or not. I'm always glad once I get there and have a blast literally. I know it is a hardship for many. I hear it all the time and wish something could be done to help.

#### Mach_Seven

##### Well-Known Member
Confidence in your build(s). Picking/simming the right motor and recovery systems for safety. These were my two biggest hinderences for my L1. Learned an enormous amount of "model rocket science" in the process, which has given me confidence to begin experimenting with altimeter electronics and trackers to take on the next step. Oh...and time!
THIS. I could have written the exact same response.

#### prfesser

Lack of enthusiasm, $70.00 to Tripoli,$20.00 to local club, H87 Reload cost.
Such a load of crap having to re-certify for something you've already proven you can do. Do you have to take a driving test again if you haven't driven a car in 5 years?
Not the best example, especially in the US. Both written and driving tests are a joke, as is the driving ability of a majority of Americans. Many/most either don't know the proper use of something as simple as the little lever to the left of the steering wheel, or don't bother using it. IMHO Americans SHOULD have to take a proper driving test, something close to what is done in much of Europe.

Considering the number of unbelievable rocketry errors** I've seen in certification attempts, re-certing is probably a good idea. Perhaps not for the majority, but it is hardly a painful requirement. If one wants to fly high-power after a long hiatus, just make the first flight of the day with an H or I motor, in front of a prefect.

Best -- Terry
**L1 attempt, the guy assembled his rocket with a lot of hot-melt glue. When he showed me the assembled motor, I pushed the nozzle with a finger and it fell off. It works much better when the nozzle is inside, not outside, the motor..... Another guy had two consecutive failures at L2 on the same day, destroyed two rockets and two J-casings because he thought Pyrodex was the same as BP for motor ejection. And those are the two who stand out in my swiss-cheese memory. Assuming no loss of necessary skills over a five-year period seems a dangerous assumption, especially for those who never really had the skills to start with.

Last edited:

#### thom9894

##### Member
TRF Supporter
Drooling over the LOC Precision website cured me of resisting getting my L1. They make some beautiful 3" kits that are pretty affordable IMO. I barely scratch the waiver at Argonia. Because I want to, planning on my L2 at Airfest with a 4" LOC Nike-Zeus. Too many fun rocket ideas in my head to not get L2 eventually, and my boys got me the kit for Christmas.

#### C.O.B.H.C.

##### Well-Known Member
Nothing. I'm certified L3. Getting your L1 certification isn't that expensive.

NAR/TRA Membership: $60 LOC/PML/MadCow/WildMan Rocket Kit:$70 to $150 AeroTech DMS:$37 to $75 So L1 on the cheap end can be achieved for$167 and on the high end for $285. You could probably go even cheaper if you went with one of the LOC 1.6" kits. The only possibly negative about using a LOC 1.6" for your L1 is the altitude it is going to achieve likely 4K plus. The way I view of getting your L1 certification is like buying a bottle of a nice Scotch Whisky (Lagavulin 16) but not overly expensive (Dalmore 25) either. #### heada ##### Well-Known Member You should already be a member or TRA/NAR so membership cost is moot. Next, you can get a CTI/RMS 38mm 3 grain case and use spacers in it for G-H loads. No special investment for HPR. Since you can fly a 1.6"/1.9"/2.1"/2.6" and even some 3" kits on G(and lower) and H(and higher) motors, get and build one of those kits. Fly it as MPR as often as you want. No special investment for HPR. CTI 1G reload is$30.(G motors) CTI 2G reload is $40.(H motors) Cost difference to fly HPR =$10
AT 38/120 reload is $29. (G motors) AT 38/240 reload is$35. (H motors) Cost difference to fly HPR = $6 So the cost to get your HPR L1 cert vs flying non-HPR,$6 to \$10

All that said, you don't have to go into HPR if that's not your thing. Fly MMX. Fly LPR clusters. Fly LPR staged. Fly contest. If you want to get into HPR, there is no reason why you can't. An Estes SatV kit cost more than lots of LOC/PML/Madcow/Wildman kits that you can cert on.

#### ballen

##### New Member
Been lurking for a while, but not posted much.

Covid... Joined TRA last Feb. & started building my L1 (Madcow Sport-X) in March, stopped when all the launches were cancelled, finished building last month, now all involved in getting ready to retire and move. Hopefully later this year when we get settled in Oregon. Already joined OROC in anticipation of that.

And thus it drags on....

Bill

#### tjkopena

TRF Supporter
Latest email said:

NAR Membership 7,846
Junior: 546
Senior: 6,326
Life: 114

High Power Certified
Jr. Level 1: 166
Level 1: 1,565
Level 2: 1,460
Level 3: 616

#### Rory Gin

##### Well-Known Member
1238 L0
1011 L1
1585 L2
1157 L3

According to TRA Certification page

Wow, what a difference we (CAR) have up north in Canada. I guess I wasn't too far wrong when I mentioned that rocketry is 1/100th the size in Canada vs the US. More like 1/200th!
• Model (84)
• Level 1 (12)
• Level 2 (16)
• Level 3 (46)
• Level 4 (18)

Last edited:

#### llickteig1

##### KLOUDBusters Chief Logistician
3. I’m always amazed that people complain about recertifying level 1, which simply consists of flying a level 1 rocket safely. Isn’t that why a person gets certified in the first place?
Right? The logic escapes me as well. Boo-hoo, my membership/L1 cert expired. What can I do? Ummm ... fly an L1 rocket!

If memberships and L1 motor are beyond one's economic reach, better take-up ... going on loooooong walks or TV watching,

#### Steve Shannon

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Right? The logic escapes me as well. Boo-hoo, my membership/L1 cert expired. What can I do? Ummm ... fly an L1 rocket!

If memberships and L1 motor are beyond one's economic reach, better take-up ... going on loooooong walks or TV watching,
An L1 Certification flight is really just a flight with someone watching over your shoulder. If I drop out for a period of time I would like to have someone keep an eye on me that first flight. I’m pretty sure I could do it, but why not have an extra pair of eyes to watch for something stupid. I would fly exactly the same flight I would fly if I didn’t have to re-certify so there would be no difference in cost.
I do understand that money is tight for many people and I do sympathize, but you’re right, a person cannot have it both ways. Flying anything is an economic decision, but L1 recertification does not cost one more cent than simply taking up flying again. In both cases you fly a rocket. Nobody has ever been charged to have a Prefect, TAP, or director watch and sign.
Similar points for the other two levels.

#### Simon Auty

##### Active Member
So biggest thing getting in my way- probably transport costs.
I’m in New Zealand so any of the kits I want to build for level one are going to cost pretty much double due to shipping.
So I have to pick something I’m going to really want to fly again and again, something that’s going to be strong enough to do that, and something that can expand with me as I learn more and want to explore the possibilities

#### NateB

##### Well-Known Member
I recently got my L1, but money and time (not just motors, but PTO too) is the main deterrent from flying HPR too often. I can fly low and mid power rockets in a park by my house, but anything high power or much over 1000' is best launched at a club event that I might be able to get to once or twice a year.

#### rklapp

##### NAR# 109557
TRF Supporter
Living on an island. I've been thinking of doing the traditional thing and bringing a rocket to Jean Dry Lake. Someday...

##### I don't do spirals
TRF Supporter
Just too much of a hassle to get to an organized event - nearest is 2.5 hours

#### Rory Gin

##### Well-Known Member
Just too much of a hassle to get to an organized event - nearest is 2.5 hours
My closest HP field is 6 hours away. Its not going to stop me. But understandably everyone is different. Heck when this Covid thingy is over, I may even vacation down to the US and attend a few events...

2ndly, when people say cost is the reason they don't want to get certified - what they really mean is cost is the reason they don't want to fly HP. The certification is the cheap part. Fair enough, not everybody can afford it and not everybody wants to pay the price of the distance to another locality and spend the extra time. While I look forward to getting certified later this year, by far the majority of my flights will be LP/MP at the family farm. I don't see myself going beyond L3 CAR certification but who knows? Maybe I will win the lottery!

#### prfesser

I routinely drove 7 hours to HP launches when the Manchester TN field was lost. But I am so very lucky to have the newer MCMC field just over an hour away from me! Gotta wait til October for the crops to be harvested, though. 'S'ok, after all, that's why God created LDRS, Airfest, and BALLs, to fill in that time.

#### Sandy H.

##### Well-Known Member
Through my various paths of ignorance, I believed the following:

1: When I was growing up (6-12 years old) and flying rockets, the government wasn't involved and I could fly an Estes rocket on a Mighty-D at the school baseball field if I thought there was enough room. We did this and crazy things like 2-stage rockets and people who walked by stopped to watch, not to tell us that we couldn't be there. After 12-ish, racing go-karts and other hobbies meant the rocket hobby went away.

2: After moving boxes from GA to NC to clean out my old bedroom, I found a box of 'rocket junk' and looked through it and figured since I lived 'close' to the airport, it was all useless as there's no way someone could launch a rocket near an airport, so I threw most of it away. A year or two later, I found a flier for a 'rocket club' that could 'launch rockets' even though there was a busy airport within 50 miles. I had to check these crazy people out.

3: Got to the club, learned that there is actually a bigger motor than the Mighty-D and just watched all day. Man, these guys were burning money left and right. I might join the club, but flying stuff as big as an E9 seemed crazy. I'll never do those reload motors, even at mid-power. . . waaaaay too expensive.

4: 6 months later, I fly my first G. A year or so later, my first H. A year or so later a J350. . .

So, I got my L1 and L2 with NAR and will likely do a Tripoli membership this year as a friend and I want to do small research motors. Obviously, we'll only do E & F motors, as bigger stuff is crazy. . . (even though I hear bigger motors are somewhat easier than smaller motors. . .I don't know, as I'm still ignorant at this point).

5: I'll never get my L3, as I don't have enough cash flow to do that. Those L3 guys are flying rockets that are waaaaay too expensive.

Over the past 3 years, though, I really have only flown up to about H on occasion, handful of G's, mostly A's and C's. My buddy has been burning I's like there's no cost, prior to COVID. Looking forward to helping him do his L2 in a month or two.

Sandy.

##### Member
TRF Supporter
If memberships and L1 motor are beyond one's economic reach, better take-up ... going on loooooong walks or TV watching,
It was my impression (as less than a novice) that High Power was a hobby that often did involve long walks.

To the original question from @garlicsnapper, the biggest thing holding me back is not knowing where to start to get involved. I don't know a single person involved in rocketry at all, much less high power. I suppose I'm also a bit shy when I don't know a thing about the culture of rocketry these days. Are clubs receptive of total strangers who just want to show up and look at rockets and how things are done? I had figured Covid had most launches on hold, but I see the local NAR chapter (DARS) had a launch yesterday (not sure if high power or not). I also see there is a very large 3-day Tripoli event coming up over Memorial Day weekend in Seymore near Wichita Falls, but that's sort of a short timeline to join TRA, join the local Prefecture, register, book a nearby room, etc., and no chance at all for me to have even a low power rocket ready to fly by then. (Not that flying is my highest priority as opposed to learning and then building carefully based on that learning.)

Basically I find reading about this stuff fascinating, and it looks like a lot of fun, so I'd like to get off the sidelines someday, but I don't have a ton of time and don't know anyone in the hobby either to tell me to get off my duff about building a rocket or joining a club or to say "hey, you should attend X and ask Y about Z," etc.

How do people typically go from zero to flying L1 and beyond?

##### I don't do spirals
TRF Supporter
Yesterday was my L1 Certification launch. I went to MDRA in Maryland, and I have never felt so welcome, never felt so much like I belong in my life. I CANNOT speak more highly of the people I met there, I CANNOT exaggerate how helpful they were. Go to a club launch. It feels like home.

#### RocketTree

##### Well-Known Member
A thousand miles to nearest club launch, but I'm still determined to get through them all.

Canada has 4 levels, so its a bit of driving...

#### Rory Gin

##### Well-Known Member
A thousand miles to nearest club launch, but I'm still determined to get through them all.

Canada has 4 levels, so its a bit of driving...
Where do you hail from?

#### RocketTree

##### Well-Known Member
Where do you hail from?
Im in ONT a few hours east of Manitoba. Middle of nowhere!

#### Rory Gin

##### Well-Known Member
Im in ONT a few hours east of Manitoba. Middle of nowhere!
Ah, yes that would be a challenge. Too far from Alberta or southern Ontario. Bummer. Close to Dryden or Thunder Bay? (One of my bosses is from there.)
Rumour has it that Manitoba Rocket Group is looking for a HP location. If they select an area by Brandon then I'd be there like a dirty shirt (3+ hrs travel from Regina).

#### John Kemker

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
It was my impression (as less than a novice) that High Power was a hobby that often did involve long walks.

To the original question from @garlicsnapper, the biggest thing holding me back is not knowing where to start to get involved. I don't know a single person involved in rocketry at all, much less high power. I suppose I'm also a bit shy when I don't know a thing about the culture of rocketry these days. Are clubs receptive of total strangers who just want to show up and look at rockets and how things are done? I had figured Covid had most launches on hold, but I see the local NAR chapter (DARS) had a launch yesterday (not sure if high power or not). I also see there is a very large 3-day Tripoli event coming up over Memorial Day weekend in Seymore near Wichita Falls, but that's sort of a short timeline to join TRA, join the local Prefecture, register, book a nearby room, etc., and no chance at all for me to have even a low power rocket ready to fly by then. (Not that flying is my highest priority as opposed to learning and then building carefully based on that learning.)

Basically I find reading about this stuff fascinating, and it looks like a lot of fun, so I'd like to get off the sidelines someday, but I don't have a ton of time and don't know anyone in the hobby either to tell me to get off my duff about building a rocket or joining a club or to say "hey, you should attend X and ask Y about Z," etc.

How do people typically go from zero to flying L1 and beyond?
Most rocketry clubs that I've ever been involved with absolutely love it when someone comes by and wants to look!

The few times I've seen a rocketeer or club get grumpy with a stranger is when the stranger keeps talking about "blowing things up" and other untrue stereotypes after being gently (sometimes not so gently) corrected.