Tripoli vs NAR?

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PatD

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By the way, here’s the definition of fascism:
Fascism (/ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.
Thus my question. ;)
 

UncleJoe

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Never liked "levels" in 1984 we started out to be an educational interest that wished to have access to bigger motors. Setting up Tripoli gave us that. The only thing you had to do was fly an H motor to get certified. That allowed you to fly any manufactured motor. Then came the ATF, we started making rules everywhere to keep flying. We won the war and so did the bureaucrats by us holding so many rules. Today to much bragging on ones level then ones knowledge.
 

samb

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...
, but as of right now just getting into the hobby what should I do?
Welcome to the party Aaron. I think you'll find that many of the long time rocketeers in your area belong to both. I would reach out to each one whenever things pick back up. Attend a launch, meetings, then make a decision. No wrong answer for this IMO.
 

beeblebrox

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Here though is my issue with Tripoli Certification.
L1 is easy - no problem
L2 requires a test that is long and only shows how someone can memorize stuff. Kind of like many standardized tests that you can take over and over.
The Tripoli test (And maybe the NAR Test, not familiar with that one...) requires a 90% to pass. This is too high. You only need a 70% to pass the FAA exam to fly an airplane, with people in it. You only need 70% (In PA) to pass the drivers exam, again so you can transport people. You only need a 67% In PA, NY, NJ, and MD and I am sure others to pass the BAR exam and be able to represent people in court as an attorney... That is a D-minus grade...
Perhaps a more logical thing would be for a designated person be directly involved with observing a modeler prep his L2 rocket and show them what they are doing right or wrong. I.E. Help people, make them succeed, rather than look to bat someone down when they fail. A much more thorough safety check for the L2 certification flight.
L3 is ok, but I think that is where a test should be, if any.
 

Titan II

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The Tripoli test (And maybe the NAR Test, not familiar with that one...) requires a 90% to pass. This is too high. You only need a 70% to pass the FAA exam to fly an airplane, with people in it. You only need 70% (In PA) to pass the drivers exam, again so you can transport people. You only need a 67% In PA, NY, NJ, and MD and I am sure others to pass the BAR exam and be able to represent people in court as an attorney... That is a D-minus grade...
The questions and answers are on the website. If you can't get 90%, you have no business flying any HP rockets.
 

Steve Shannon

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In the past 14 years this is the only time anyone has complained that the test is too difficult or too long.
I have heard from people that the test ought to precede L1 instead of L2. I would be okay with that.
I have heard that our study guide should be better. I agree.
I won’t reduce our standards, but if you have questions about the questions and answers in the study guide I would be happy to help either in a different thread or PM.
 

Ez2cDave

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Never liked "levels" in 1984 we started out to be an educational interest that wished to have access to bigger motors. Setting up Tripoli gave us that. The only thing you had to do was fly an H motor to get certified. That allowed you to fly any manufactured motor. Then came the ATF, we started making rules everywhere to keep flying. We won the war and so did the bureaucrats by us holding so many rules. Today to much bragging on ones level then ones knowledge.
I suspect that the various "Levels", the L2 Written Test, and TAP / L3CC ( NAR ) approvals for L3 Certs were more a product of the Insurance Companies, in the interest of liability and the likelihood of paying out future claims . . .

Dave F.
 
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prfesser

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I suspect that the various "Levels", the L2 Written Test, and TAP / L3CC ( NAR ) approvals for L3 Certs were more a product of the Insurance Companies, in the interest of liability and the likelihood of paying out future claims . . .

Dave F.
Hello Dave, if you are implying that certification levels, exams, etc made rocketry activities appear less "a bunch of weirdos doing crazy dangerous stunts" and more professional and properly educational, thereby making it easier--and/or less expensive--to get insurance, you'd be correct.

OTOH if you think that exams and the like were a prior condition required by insurers in order to obtain insurance in the first place, you'd be wrong.

Best -- Terry
 

Ez2cDave

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In the past 14 years this is the only time anyone has complained that the test is too difficult or too long.
I have heard from people that the test ought to precede L1 instead of L2. I would be okay with that.
I have heard that our study guide should be better. I agree.
I won’t reduce our standards, but if you have questions about the questions and answers in the study guide I would be happy to help either in a different thread or PM.

On the L2 Test . . . Eliminate the Hybrid and Nitrous Oxide questions, as very, very few people fly Hybrids anymore, since the BATFE lost the lawsuit.
 

Ez2cDave

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Hello Dave, if you are implying that certification levels, exams, etc made rocketry activities appear less "a bunch of weirdos doing crazy dangerous stunts" and more professional and properly educational, thereby making it easier--and/or less expensive--to get insurance, you'd be correct.

OTOH if you think that exams and the like were a prior condition required by insurers in order to obtain insurance in the first place, you'd be wrong.

Best -- Terry
Terry,

Your first observation is correct . . . I believe that "We" ( NAR & TRA ), created those things to influence the Insurance Companies to view Rocketry in a more favorable light.

Dave F.
 

Maxwelljets

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Could you please explain how Tripoli's certification policy is fascist vs NAR?
Thanks
I want to preface this by saying I strongly disagree with describing anything about Tripoli certs as fascist.

There are basically two differences between Tripoli certs and NAR certs. First is something that Steve Shannon addressed pretty well already, which is that Tripoli certs expire after a year of non-membership. If I were in charge, I'd change that rule, but I do definitely understand the reasoning behind it. Steve's comment covers all the details with that quite well.

There's one other difference with certs, and that is regarding who is allowed to sign off on cert forms. NAR is far more permissive than Tripoli. With Tripoli, the only people who can certify anyone else at levels 1 and 2 are Prefects and TAPs. With NAR, anyone one or more levels higher is able to sign off (i.e. if you're going for L1, an L2 or an L3 could sign off the paperwork, or alternatively 2 NAR members at least one of whom is an L1. Same for L2, but shift everything up a level).
IMO, Tripoli is a bit too restrictive with that (at least for L1), but NAR is far too permissive. I get why each organization does it the way they do: Tripoli is definitely more geared toward HPR waivered club launches, whereas NAR has always been focussed on people flying independently as well. However, I think that since many H motors are under the class 1 limit, and are therefore able to be flown outside of a waivered launch, it would make sense for Tripoli to be a bit more permissive about who can sign off on an L1.
 

MikeyDSlagle

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I think it should be noted that research/EX is more than just making your own propellant, be it sugar or AP.
E X/research also allows flying commercial loads in uncertified hardware. If you have the equipment and know-how you can make your own hardware to fit commercial loads. I've successfully made single use motors out of 24/40 RMS loads for my Viper IV, completely disposable and lighter and cheaper than having four 24/40 sets.
 

PatD

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I want to preface this by saying I strongly disagree with describing anything about Tripoli certs as fascist.

There are basically two differences between Tripoli certs and NAR certs. First is something that Steve Shannon addressed pretty well already, which is that Tripoli certs expire after a year of non-membership. If I were in charge, I'd change that rule, but I do definitely understand the reasoning behind it. Steve's comment covers all the details with that quite well.

There's one other difference with certs, and that is regarding who is allowed to sign off on cert forms. NAR is far more permissive than Tripoli. With Tripoli, the only people who can certify anyone else at levels 1 and 2 are Prefects and TAPs. With NAR, anyone one or more levels higher is able to sign off (i.e. if you're going for L1, an L2 or an L3 could sign off the paperwork, or alternatively 2 NAR members at least one of whom is an L1. Same for L2, but shift everything up a level).
IMO, Tripoli is a bit too restrictive with that (at least for L1), but NAR is far too permissive. I get why each organization does it the way they do: Tripoli is definitely more geared toward HPR waivered club launches, whereas NAR has always been focussed on people flying independently as well. However, I think that since many H motors are under the class 1 limit, and are therefore able to be flown outside of a waivered launch, it would make sense for Tripoli to be a bit more permissive about who can sign off on an L1.
Thank you for the concise explanation it should provide a fair explanation to those who don't know the differences including apparently the OP, however I have a fair understanding of the issue and was requesting a justification of the characterization made by @HVArcas which has been ignored by them. These are organizations joined voluntarily by the members and while I don't understand the ire demonstrated, apparently @HVArcas has a bee in their bonnet about Tripoli.
 

Off Grid Gecko

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OP, I think you should go NAR because of their closeness, and if you have the funds join Tripoli as well. They are both great organizations.
Heck, throw FAR a bone if you can spare it, awesome organization and they have a motor testing range!
For little sugar motors...if you have some pasture or desert, a quiet place to build them, and are willing to learn and do safely (i.e. apprentice someone who knows the ropes), that's something you can learn on the side with SMALL rockets and tiny amounts of powder. Same with BP and APCP. Rocket candy contains inherent dangers due to the heating process, again put yourself under supervision of a knowledgeable individual. Find a mentor.
I've read a bunch of your posts and I feel you. You're excited and want to get out there and get it done. Just for now take it easy. Build some rockets, have some fun, learn the ropes. Get your L1, experiment a bit, build a better rocket for your L2 by learning from your experience as you get it. I started off this season building four LPR rockets that I could light off near my porch out here in the woods from scrap paper. Every launch teaches you something, so get some under your belt. Master that, then worry about motors. APCP will melt your brain if you try to do it before you are ready, it's more than mixing 3 ingredients in a bowl.
Bonus, NAR or TRA membership will allow you to meet the people that can mentor you, as you can fly with your NAR membership at a TRA launch and then shoot the breeze with the EX guys while you are there.
disclaimer: this is pretty much all speculation and my own opinions based on what I've seen and read so far. I haven't attended any club launches at this point.
 

ksaves2

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Most of them have been removed in the next version which I’m checking today.
Yeah,

Unless someone is going to make hardware again, I'd bag the hybrid thing. Too tedious to fly the
"farting" motors and were only viable if one wanted to "legally" fly HPR without having to belong to the "infamous" LEUP guild. What a farce that was.

So glad the ATFE was released from dinking with us so they could go out and regulate "stuff" that could really hurt us ie. firearms and explosives and make sure Uncle Sam gets his taxes on Alcohol and tobacco! Kurt
 
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Fattbank64

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Too tedious to fly the "farting" motors and were only viable if one wanted to "legally" fly HPR without having to belong to the "infamous" LEUP guild.
+1
A reference to the Spacing Guild and reboot/reimaging of "Dune".
 

UncleJoe

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When LDRS started no one needed any certification. But that's before Tripoli. I remember the Z launches in the past, once I flew a high power motor I could use any motor. Next came K and M motors Dam lots of fun and sized for the rocket. I wasn't limited to motor size by a test but my ability to do the math and know my science. Today the test only shows our past of being attacked by the ATF.
 

Joe Bruce

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However, I think that since many H motors are under the class 1 limit, and are therefore able to be flown outside of a waivered launch, ...
I've seen this kind of statement several times, including in some "quarantine launch" threads where I didn't want to question others' decisions. But this was really bugging me, since I have studied a lot for my NAR L2 exam. APPARENTLY, NOT ENOUGH! ;)

If I understand correctly, any rocket <1500 g total weight AND <125 g propellant weight is FAA Class 1 and can be flown without an FAA waiver if >5 nm from the nearest airport. This Class 1 definition includes model rockets AND high power rockets per NFPA 112. NFPA 112 "model rocket" has the FAA Class 1 restrictions but also adds <80 N-sec avg. thrust, <160 N-sec total thrust (single motor) or <320 N-sec total thrust (multiple motors, and sparkies.

So, please tell me whether I've finally got this:
  1. No FAA waiver (Class 1), not high power: 1499 g rocket on G80T
  2. No FAA waiver (Class 1), but high power: 1499 g rocket on G72DM (63 g propellant, but sparky)
  3. No FAA waiver (Class 1), but high power: 1499 g rocket on H115DM (113 g propellant, but sparky w/ 172 N-sec impulse)
  4. FAA waiver required (Class 2): any rocket on H178DM (177 g propellant)
  5. FAA waiver required (Class 2): any rocket >125 g propellant (two thirds of AT "H"s and all of "I"s)
  6. FAA waiver required (Class 2): any rocket >1500 g total weight
I just didn't realize that "H" launches could be legally flown, ever, without an FAA waiver. I thought #2 was the only "gray area" between FAA and NFPA regs, but now I know #3 is also legal. Ya learn somethin' new every day!
 

Richard Dierking

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NAR seems to be a more nurturing organization. So, maybe you start in one and move to the other. The main difference I have seen is how L3 is handled by NAR and TRA, and in my opinion TRA should not currently accept NAR L3 (reciprocity). Certifications are not just about motors, and perhaps there should be an additional level above 3 for TRA. Anyway, NAR L3 doesn't equal TRA L3 and the L0 to L3 in a day thing is ridiculous.
 

Nytrunner

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NAR seems to be a more nurturing organization. So, maybe you start in one and move to the other. The main difference I have seen is how L3 is handled by NAR and TRA, and in my opinion TRA should not currently accept NAR L3 (reciprocity). Certifications are not just about motors, and perhaps there should be an additional level above 3 for TRA. Anyway, NAR L3 doesn't equal TRA L3 and the L0 to L3 in a day thing is ridiculous.

Beyond the explicit requirement for an L2 electronics flight requirement by Tripoli (NAR requires either/both a flight test of the deployment electronics, or a ground test), what are some of the technical procedural differences that leads you to that opinion? Not arguing against you, just seeking further understanding

L0-L3 in a day is no longer allowed as the current procedure for L3 requires a NAR member to have successfully certified L2 before submitting their L3 design to the L3cc.
 

Richard Dierking

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Thank you for bringing me up to date on the "Zero to Hero" in a day thing Nytrunner. Glad to hear that! I think TAP's are more serious and diligent about what it takes to fly L3-class rockets than their counterparts in NAR. Again, in my experience, which of course is limited. But, it's what I go on. I might be the only person that thinks this, or willing to say it.

Going back to the original question, I was the section advisor (adult advisor) for a NAR section for 5 years, held over 60 launches and at least monthly building meetings with GSA, BSA, Sally Ride Science, and others. We helped thousands of kids build and fly model rockets during that time, and I noticed that NAR members were always more eager to assist. And, the NAR organization made a lot of effort to help with setting up model rocket launches. So, when it comes to starting out, say with model rockets, that's why I believe that NAR is a more nurturing organization. After I received my L2 through NAR, I switched to TRA. TRA members seemed to be more serious about HP. Now, I'm a member of both, but for NAR, just to help with TARC.
 

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I've seen this kind of statement several times, including in some "quarantine launch" threads where I didn't want to question others' decisions. But this was really bugging me, since I have studied a lot for my NAR L2 exam. APPARENTLY, NOT ENOUGH! ;)

If I understand correctly, any rocket <1500 g total weight AND <125 g propellant weight is FAA Class 1 and can be flown without an FAA waiver if >5 nm from the nearest airport. This Class 1 definition includes model rockets AND high power rockets per NFPA 112. NFPA 112 "model rocket" has the FAA Class 1 restrictions but also adds <80 N-sec avg. thrust, <160 N-sec total thrust (single motor) or <320 N-sec total thrust (multiple motors, and sparkies.

So, please tell me whether I've finally got this:
  1. No FAA waiver (Class 1), not high power: 1499 g rocket on G80T
  2. No FAA waiver (Class 1), but high power: 1499 g rocket on G72DM (63 g propellant, but sparky)
  3. No FAA waiver (Class 1), but high power: 1499 g rocket on H115DM (113 g propellant, but sparky w/ 172 N-sec impulse)
  4. FAA waiver required (Class 2): any rocket on H178DM (177 g propellant)
  5. FAA waiver required (Class 2): any rocket >125 g propellant (two thirds of AT "H"s and all of "I"s)
  6. FAA waiver required (Class 2): any rocket >1500 g total weight
I just didn't realize that "H" launches could be legally flown, ever, without an FAA waiver. I thought #2 was the only "gray area" between FAA and NFPA regs, but now I know #3 is also legal. Ya learn somethin' new every day!
The FAA requires us to fly under 3lbs and under 2000ft. NFPA if I remember correctly has to do more with size of fuel grain for public safety.
 

Joe Bruce

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The FAA requires us to fly under 3lbs and under 2000ft. NFPA if I remember correctly has to do more with size of fuel grain for public safety.
The NAR Model Rocket Safety Code mentions 2,000 feet; however, the FAA guidelines (on NAR's site) only mention verifying altitude ceilings near airports. The FAA guidelines clearly mention the 1500 g (3.3 lbs) and 125 g of propellant maximums. Since the NAR High Power Rocket Safety Code has no 2,000 foot ceiling, I don't see evidence that FAA cares about altitude.

But I could be wrong, hence my question and desire for "authoritative" answers from those more in the know.
 

Richard Dierking

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You must always consider the regulations of all AHJ's. Keep in mind that FAA 101.22 definitions for model rockets (2) says slow-burning propellant. Considering the restrictions of AHJ, which state are you asking about? State regulations may be more restrictive.
 

heada

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The FAA requires us to fly under 3lbs and under 2000ft. NFPA if I remember correctly has to do more with size of fuel grain for public safety.
FAR 101.21-27 doesn't give any altitude limits for Class 1 rockets. You can fly class 1 above 2000 ft. They also removed the 5nm distance to the nearest airport limitation but you're not allowed to create a hazard to "persons, property or other aircraft"

 

Joe Bruce

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You must always consider the regulations of all AHJ's. Keep in mind that FAA 101.22 definitions for model rockets (2) says slow-burning propellant. Considering the restrictions of AHJ, which state are you asking about? State regulations may be more restrictive.
First, I am assuming the use of commercial propellants -- AP or BP. Definitely not talking about EX motors. Commercial propellants are "slow burning" or no one would be allowed to fly rockets. Second, I live in Maryland and I understand that every state might be different. I'm not looking to push any legal limits, just trying to understand the federal rules better.

FAR 101.21-27 doesn't give any altitude limits for Class 1 rockets. You can fly class 1 above 2000 ft. They also removed the 5nm distance to the nearest airport limitation but you're not allowed to create a hazard to "persons, property or other aircraft"
Thanks for the clarifications! Maybe NAR should update their web site to reflect that change? I haven't taken the time to read every referenced federal regulation. ;)

Finally, sorry to hijack this NAR vs. Tripoli thread -- the "Class 1 H launch" just caught my eye and I went from stating that it wasn't legal to learning that it can be. :D
 

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I joined TRA due to their greater support for research and experimental motors which are not allowed by NAR. I think experimentation is an important part of science and rocketry. I understand NAR's position and don't fault them, especially with the hard work it took to get APCP away from magazine storage and explosive user permits.
 
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