Suspected Bad Motor List

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Steve Shannon

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Steve,

Approaching this from a safety standpoint, it should be mandatory for manufacturers to provide MESS and manufacturing data openly, and in a timely manner, with Rocketeers. Both Tripoli & the NAR should have this information on their websites. The "Standards & Testing" people should tasked to oversee this, in my opinion.

Dave F.
While production information would be useful, neither NAR nor Tripoli have any legal authority to require corporations to provide manufacturing data, which could be considered business sensitive or proprietary information.
The manufacturers don’t currently receive MESS data, but they do know their own warranty statistics.
Our only legal authority is to certify motors as defined in NFPA 1125 and to certify users as described in NFPA 1127.
 

Ez2cDave

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While production information would be useful, neither NAR nor Tripoli have any legal authority to require corporations to provide manufacturing data, which could be considered business sensitive or proprietary information.
The manufacturers don’t currently receive MESS data, but they do know their own warranty statistics.
Our only legal authority is to certify motors as defined in NFPA 1125 and to certify users as described in NFPA 1127.
Steve,

Why not ? You already have dates for Certification and they stamp BP motors with a Production Date . . . Why not add a "Lot Number" to the stamp ?

It could simply be an "extension" of the Safety Certification. After all, the risk of Fire or Injury is much greater from a CATO'ing motor, than a properly-functioning one.

Dave F.
 

Steve Shannon

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Steve,

Why not ? You already have dates for Certification and they stamp BP motors with a Production Date . . . Why not add a "Lot Number" to the stamp ?

It could simply be an "extension" of the Safety Certification. After all, the risk of Fire or Injury is much greater from a CATO'ing motor, than a properly-functioning one.

Dave F.
The date code is basically the same as a lot number, but that doesn’t tell us how many motors were produced that day or the total production numbers. That’s the part that is business sensitive.
Also, when our safe distances and other requirements of our Safety Codes are observed, risk of injury or even fire from a cato is very low. Our safe distances are designed to put us outside the range of danger.
When following our Safety Codes, the greatest risk is the drive to and from the launch. Probably the greatest risk of a rocket directly injuring a person or property is from the failure of a recovery system.
 

lakeroadster

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The date code is basically the same as a lot number, but that doesn’t tell us how many motors were produced that day or the total production numbers. That’s the part that is business sensitive.
Also, when our safe distances and other requirements of our Safety Codes are observed, risk of injury or even fire from a cato is very low. Our safe distances are designed to put us outside the range of danger.
When following our Safety Codes, the greatest risk is the drive to and from the launch. Probably the greatest risk of a rocket directly injuring a person or property is from the failure of a recovery system.
I agree safety is paramount. But something that seems to be forgotten in these discussions is the rocket being trashed.

For a kit, that's relatively easy to build, not that big of a deal.

But when you're flying a difficult to build rocket, or even worse yet, a complex scratch built rocket, CATO's take on an entirely different dynamic. The manufacturer sending you a bunch of parts and some more motors is a bitter pill to swallow. It's not a money thing, it's all those hours of construction.

If the rocket crashed due to a bad design on my part, that's fine, I can easily live with that. But if the motor CATO's and I find out "Hey that happens all the time" then that's an entirely different matter.

So at the very least, provide the end user the date codes that have had issues and which motors they are. Then we can design and build away from the problem motors.
 

Steve Shannon

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I agree safety is paramount. But something that seems to be forgotten in these discussions is the rocket being trashed.

For a kit, that's relatively easy to build, not that big of a deal.

But when you're flying a difficult to build rocket, or even worse yet, a complex scratch built rocket, CATO's take on an entirely different dynamic. The manufacturer sending you a bunch of parts and some more motors is a bitter pill to swallow. It's not a money thing, it's all those hours of construction.

If the rocket crashed due to a bad design on my part, that's fine, I can easily live with that. But if the motor CATO's and I find out "Hey that happens all the time" then that's an entirely different matter.

So at the very least, provide the end user the date codes that have had issues and which motors they are. Then we can design and build away from the problem motors.
I agree
 

Ez2cDave

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I agree safety is paramount. But something that seems to be forgotten in these discussions is the rocket being trashed.

For a kit, that's relatively easy to build, not that big of a deal.

But when you're flying a difficult to build rocket, or even worse yet, a complex scratch built rocket, CATO's take on an entirely different dynamic. The manufacturer sending you a bunch of parts and some more motors is a bitter pill to swallow. It's not a money thing, it's all those hours of construction.

If the rocket crashed due to a bad design on my part, that's fine, I can easily live with that. But if the motor CATO's and I find out "Hey that happens all the time" then that's an entirely different matter.

So at the very least, provide the end user the date codes that have had issues and which motors they are. Then we can design and build away from the problem motors.
John.

All of which means the manufacturers need to "fork over" the data . . . Estes has virtually no competition in BP motor production, relatively speaking.

Dave F.
 

neil_w

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But when you're flying a difficult to build rocket, or even worse yet, a complex scratch built rocket, CATO's take on an entirely different dynamic. The manufacturer sending you a bunch of parts and some more motors is a bitter pill to swallow. It's not a money thing, it's all those hours of construction.
Word.
 

GuyNoir

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SI feel that by releasing the MESS data users will be able to discern spikes over time or within a particular date code for a given motor type. We may never know an overall failure rate, but none of us do now anyway.
When I was NAR President, I looked at MESS reports twice a year for 14 years. During that time, I got questions that would run similar to those being posted here. In only one case did MESS data indicate a trend with a particular motor and lot number. S&T worked with the manufacturer, who then pulled the lot from inventory, alerted consumers to the issue, and replaced any models that customers had reported damaged or destroyed.

If you want the "system" to work, file MESS reports. S&T is monitoring them and will act when the statistics make it clear there's a problem. In my experience, you can't determine from field observations whether there is an issue or not.

My $0.02; YMMV.
 

Ez2cDave

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If you want the "system" to work, file MESS reports. S&T is monitoring them and will act when the statistics make it clear there's a problem. In my experience, you can't determine from field observations whether there is an issue or not.
I say that we should do BOTH . . .

File MESS reports AND make a "Public Issue" out of it on this Forum, to ensure "transparency" to Consumer Rocketeers !

That way, the "System" gets the data it needs and Rocketeers have the same data. It "keeps the system honest" and "transparent" !

Dave F.
 

RocketT.Coyote

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A D12-3 Cato'd in my cardstock 1:96 Scale Skylab Saturn V last March during a group launch.
 

timbucktoo

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I say that we should do BOTH . . .

File MESS reports AND make a "Public Issue" out of it on this Forum, to ensure "transparency" to Consumer Rocketeers !

That way, the "System" gets the data it needs and Rocketeers have the same data. It "keeps the system honest" and "transparent" !

Dave F.
Problem with making report here is that you are only going to get a small sample of rocketry population.
 

Worsaer

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IMHO, there is value in having a single source of truth. Multiple databases may seem to solve different problems. However, the result will likely be less useful to the stakeholders.

Who actually owns Motorcato.org data? The homepage says it's CAR, NAR, and TRA. Is there some sort of nondisclosure agreement that we are prohibited from making it available to our members? If we want the data to be accessible, can a process be instituted to compile and assemble the data for members, and then forward that data to the applicable manufacturers? Perhaps there is already process around this that I just don't understand.
 

kuririn

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Problem with making report here is that you are only going to get a small sample of rocketry population.
And how many people in the general public know about MESS reports? Do parents and kids flying their low power kits and who are not forum users know? Probably not. And as previously stated even those who do know have little motivation to file one, as they are not privy to the results. I would conjecture that only a small percentage of the total number of motor CATOs are actually reported. Only reason I know about MESS reports is because of this forum.
 
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Steve Shannon

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IMHO, there is value in having a single source of truth. Multiple databases may seem to solve different problems. However, the result will likely be less useful to the stakeholders.

Who actually owns Motorcato.org data? The homepage says it's CAR, NAR, and TRA. Is there some sort of nondisclosure agreement that we are prohibited from making it available to our members? If we want the data to be accessible, can a process be instituted to compile and assemble the data for members, and then forward that data to the applicable manufacturers? Perhaps there is already process around this that I just don't understand.
The domain is owned by NAR. The database is sent to both NAR S&T and TMT. I don’t receive it.
I don’t know of any NDAs. In our meetings none was mentioned. There has been a longstanding policy of not making those data public, but I’m hopeful we can agree to change that. Even more important is to come up with a better way to collect the data. We want to make it easier to submit reports, make the data more consistent, and somehow incent flyers to use the system.
 

BA_Incognito

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Years ago when I was in the fire department I had to do a number of survey's. When we stated we would be releasing the results/info, the response was significantly better (often 3-4 times better). People are more inclined to participate when they get to see the results. It also builds trust between the users and the organization doing the survey. The absolute worst thing to do is to say you will release the info and then not release it. After that, you won't get hardly anyone to participate as the trust is lost.

We also had other data (typically patient records) that we had to anonymize prior to release. Perhaps a similar thing could be done with those engines that don't show the "statistical" response that there is an issue. That might start to help with the transparency issue while not having the manufacturers worry about 'misinformation' on their motors.
 

DavidMcCann

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Slowly, we’re finding ourselves more in agreement with you about sharing the data. The manufacturers can always release their production numbers if that places the MESS data in a different context.
I feel that by releasing the MESS data users will be able to discern spikes over time or within a particular date code for a given motor type. We may never know an overall failure rate, but none of us do now anyway.
Having the MESS data public would give thew manufacturers incentive to release production data, I believe.


If you want the "system" to work, file MESS reports. S&T is monitoring them and will act when the statistics make it clear there's a problem. In my experience, you can't determine from field observations whether there is an issue or not.
I'm not inclined, nor do I feel this hobby is in general, to "trust the man behind the curtain" When there is absolutely no reason to hide this data.


Problem with making report here is that you are only going to get a small sample of rocketry population.
MESS data is a small sample of the rocketry population.


The domain is owned by NAR. The database is sent to both NAR S&T and TMT. I don’t receive it.
I don’t know of any NDAs. In our meetings none was mentioned. There has been a longstanding policy of not making those data public, but I’m hopeful we can agree to change that. Even more important is to come up with a better way to collect the data. We want to make it easier to submit reports, make the data more consistent, and somehow incent flyers to use the system.
Someone else mentioned it, but without a public report people aren't going to take the time.

Want to see data? Have the manufacturers use a MESS style form as their warranty claim form, hosted on a site they don't control and fed to them after filing. You'll have so much data your eyes bleed. It would be transparent, effective, and significant data if compared to production data.

That idea brings up two points. One, I don't buy the excuse that production data is sensitive and needs to be protected. BS. They need to get over that, this is about safety.

Two, I get the feeling at least one manufacturer is.... resisting the certification by an outside organization process. As fliers we should put them in their place on this.


Less of a pipe dream idea..... Just release the data yearly and have the companies provide production data so it means something. It would be in their interest to do so.
 

heada

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I have a simple stance on MESS data. Any data provided by the public should be available to the public. There's no justification to hide it. If there is sensitive data (medical, etc.) then that can be sanitized but the data should be public for us to draw whatever conclusions we decide to.
 

JDcluster

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Some people fail to realize that; if BP motors are not stored properly they will have issues. Trying to play the blame game doesn't help.
 

timbucktoo

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Some people fail to realize that; if BP motors are not stored properly they will have issues. Trying to play the blame game doesn't help.
In addition to that, how many catos have we seen due to motors being improperly assembled?
 

rcktnut

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I don't see any benefits in starting a list of motors that failed, or in publishing the MESS reports. The way the BP motors are manufactured it is inevitable that some from a batch may become compromised. There are most likely some in each batch that are bad.What I see so far by the list started by the OP is that aerostadt either uses a hell of a lot of BP motors, or is not properly storing them. Look at all the different date codes. There are just to many variables involved to justify publishing a date code for (a) motor you had was bad. Even if the person stored them properly did the vendor? No one knows what extremes the motors encountered during shipping to the distributor, to the vendor, to the user. I loved the E9's when they came out went through lots of packs of them and never had a failure.

As far as the composites go,the manufacturers are usually pretty quick at publishing a problem. The problems are mainly due to a bad design, or bad components.

This is a hobby in which there is a possibility of losing a rocket to a CATO or by lots of other means. If not acceptable there are other hobbies out there!!
 

DavidMcCann

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Some people fail to realize that; if BP motors are not stored properly they will have issues. Trying to play the blame game doesn't help.
Storage failures are still failures, as are assembly. Tracking those failures can lead to investigation, determination of cause, and remedy.

Is it overkill? Likely. We've all seen motor issues pop up, and they were resolved with a variety of success and professional process. (or lack of in some cases;) ) But, they're resolved. It's not like there's piles of bad motors lurking out there.

User Error is likely the leading cause of motor failures. However, that's very correctable behavior.... and publicizing those failures better/having users more involved as a group may lead to a better method of educating users. I mean, how many slips of pink paper can Aerotech add before people stop reading them ;), and how many chastising Facebook posts do people really read about careful assembly?


I actually suggested making the MESS submission part of the warranty process.
Great minds think alike. Though I admit that logically this is all a mental exercise. The manufacturers don't want any more oversight, they want less. And who's to blame them. Motor issues are generally dealt with based on cost of replacement. It's not a perfect system, but it works and in cases where it doesn't..... Enough antidotal evidence/drag races that go boom and or splat creates enough public pressure to deal with the issue.

The only thing I'd do as fliers, is push for more than replacement during the warranty process. The more costly it is, the more likely they are to try to prevent issues. We lose a lot more than Case and Motor when one blows. If it's from a defect...push for more. Then again....we all know the risks.

If it was an internal system, or we were operating as a single company or entity, MESS would make sense. As it sits, too many moving parts and unwilling participants.

What to do? Launch rockets as we always have. If people want to track it, go for it. If manufacturers don't like the slant public tracking takes...they're welcome to release production data to show the 5 CATOS last week were an anomaly.
 

RoyAtl

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Slowly, we’re finding ourselves more in agreement with you about sharing the data. The manufacturers can always release their production numbers if that places the MESS data in a different context.
I feel that by releasing the MESS data users will be able to discern spikes over time or within a particular date code for a given motor type. We may never know an overall failure rate, but none of us do now anyway.
I'm concerned that totally un-curated data will become its own problem; basically becoming a blacklist ("she's a witch/he's a commie!"), but there should be a threshold over which MESS data for an obviously problematic motor could be shared.
 

jahall4

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I'm concerned that totally un-curated data will become its own problem; basically becoming a blacklist ("she's a witch/he's a commie!"), but there should be a threshold over which MESS data for an obviously problematic motor could be shared.
IMO that already exists. Release of the MESS would necessarily challenge the anecdotal experience of flyers, which right now is what they are forced to rely on.
 

Ez2cDave

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I'm concerned that totally un-curated data will become its own problem; basically becoming a blacklist ("she's a witch/he's a commie!"), but there should be a threshold over which MESS data for an obviously problematic motor could be shared.
It's good to know who the "Commies" are . . .
 
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