Tripoli vs NAR?

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Maxwelljets

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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.
Correct. FAA doesn't really care about altitude. Here's the full text of FAR101, so you can read directly from the source.
 

UncleJoe

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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.
Funny thing. About the FAA, they only care when someone crashes or complain but if you talk to them they'll spout all kinds of regulations
 

John Kemker

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[Long discourse on certification ideas deleted as irrelevant for this thread.]

Lifetime certification? Why not? Steve, I understand your concern about "losing" the knowledge if you don't use it, but I haven't flown a rocket since 2000. I still remember all the procedures and how to do it safely. I looked through the online test study guides and aced them. That's 20 years ago and I still remember. I'm not special. Anyone can do this. That said, I look forward to going through the process again, as it gives me a path to follow to get back into the hobby.
 

kevindcornwell

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NAR is far more permissive than Tripoli.
That does seem to be true, but also, IMHO, something of a distraction. But not to digress from the digression of the OP question… One of the best hidden problems with either is that as _Educational_ organizations, they've created a not so insignificant black hole. You can count on the fingers of one hand (and that's a hand who has had a couple of run-ins with a table saw) the number of certified rocketeers in my entire state. I am the most recent. Not a single person under 30 ( that I'm aware of). Why? Because the travel cost from Hawaii to a certifying event on the mainland is far more than any junior rocketeer's allowance can muster. There is a single level 3 in the state (AFAIK.) It is extremely unlikely that I will ever achieve Lvl3—there are no TAPs, no one to mentor me, no place to launch or test. I am the only certified rocketeer on my entire Island, the second most populated in the state. I can assure you that our kids love rockets. But advancing in skill or knowledge level becomes a non-starter very quickly. You can make it more difficult or even easier if you want, it won't matter to any youth out here. Personally, I see no value whatsoever in changing the current level progression format or requirements. However, a useful discussion might start with something along the lines of, "How do we get more youth involved?" In that context, one must first consider the delivery method so that STEM education via rocketry in the far reaches will be more accessible to our youth.
 

mbeels

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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!
I definitely learned something as well. I think that this is the best and most straightforward summary I've come across. This helps clear up the rules for me.
 

Steve Shannon

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I definitely learned something as well. I think that this is the best and most straightforward summary I've come across. This helps clear up the rules for me.
There are also motors which are not high power, but may only be purchased or used by adults due to CSPS rules.
 

watheyak

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You only need a 70% to pass the FAA exam to fly an airplane, with people in it.
Gotta pass that by 80%. Then take a checkride with a lengthy oral exam and flight test.

And do you want to fly with the Bubba who got an 80% or John Glenn who got a 100%?

Same goes for the Tripoli exam. If you failed that, you just didn't want it bad enough. You were given the answers....
 

ksaves2

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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.
Personally, I thought the NAR L3 was more restrictive and chafing. Zero to hero? I've only seen it recorded once here though undoubtedly there were a few more. The one I remembered was a young man who was involved with many, many TRA launches and had many mentors. He did all three on his 18th birthday and many fliers attested to his skill in spite of his youth. All flights were successful. I have no problem with it especially with skilled TAPS reviewing the process.

I will say, I've seen long standing fliers get the L3 pulled off and then their next 3 projects fail miserably with some pretty large motors. Just because someone is older doesn't mean they are going to have nominal flights every time. Especially if they are trying something different like larger motors (N and up), more complex electronics and trackers or start mixing their own motors.

My beef is some TAPS may have their own personal interpretation of the rules like they have to absolutely see the rocket coming down under the main chute before they will sign off. My problem with that is if the flight is totally unseen and it's obvious the main deployed and the rocket had a soft landing onsite, some TAPS will not sign off on it. GPS tracking in a small project comes to mind. Heck the TAP could go out with the flier who's tracking to the recovery site and look the rocket over. Shoot if there isn't a scratch on the paint and the main is billowing out in a light breeze, it's quite obvious the flight was nominal.

I have a 3 inch Wildman rocket that I built with extended tubes 13 years ago. Longer ebay longer motor tube, 6 centering rings, longer upper bay and used Cotronics 4525 aerospace grade epoxy on the build. I built it as I liked a longnecked rocket. Only thing I would need to do is get a new nosecone and make it a tracker nosecone. This thing could take a 54mm M easily. I know as I have the case and L propellant for the case. Fitted the case and the CG is fine.

Thing is I wouldn't dare try to use this as an L3 attempt as it could hit 25k or above and no venues near me could handle it. It flew on an short L1400 to 10k and someone just caught sight of it under the full main before it touched down. I had a tracker failure and lucky an eagle eyed person caught sight of it so I got it back . Most likely it would be a completely sight unseen flight so not worth an L3 attempt.

I have some 4 inch projects that are better but then I'd be scrambling for the smallest M I could get. Maybe a 6 inch project would be better to keep the altitude down lower.

Kurt
 

Bungie64

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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.
The NAR test has the same pass/fail at 90% but the NAR test is only 37 questions vs 50 for Tripoli. The tests are actually quite different in some areas which surprised me.
 

Richard Dierking

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The zero to hero thing is extreme but helped to make my point.

Most of the time, the problem with the all the regs and AHJ's is reconciling all the ones that apply to a particular location. But, both NAR and TRA recognize that they can't be experts for all the states, counties, cities, local fire departments, whatever. That's up to the local club or person to know and follow all AHJ regs. So, NAR vs TRA, equal there. Although for a small club or person trying to launch at a new site, NAR maybe more helpful when it comes to things like obtaining insurance certificates. (BTW, I recall someone posting on the RF about a new site they wanted to start in California and they were looking for clarification on all the regs. They probably had to obtain psych therapy after the posts on that. ;-)

I believe that the question Tripoli vs NAR? was just a question of comparison, based on someone starting out. I don't see any point in arguing about which is organization is better. Mostly, TRA and NAR compliment each other within the context of amateur rocketry. Sometimes, in my opinion they don't. But, everyone has a choice based on what they are presently looking for. And, what someone is looking for in a hobby can evolve, or even not change at all. Some people are quite happy sticking with model rocketry and are very good at it.
Lots of exams are test bank based for studying purposes. For example, the HAM license test. It can be a great way to study. If someone comes upon a question they wish to know more about, it's up to them. If you are experienced, the test is easier to study for.

Experience is the most important aspect of certification advancement. I wish TRA went farther with HP. I used to joke that L4 was when your ashes flew in a rocket you built. Again, certification is not just about the motors.
 

GuyNoir

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I think TAP's are more serious and diligent about what it takes to fly L3-class rockets than their counterparts in NAR.
The people I know on the NAR's L3CC are experienced, capable rocketeers who focus on safety and try to assist those they're mentoring to a successful flight. If you think something needs improvement in the NAR's L3 process, try contacting the L3CC Chair, Pat Gordzelik (pgordzelik at aol dot com). I've worked with him in the past, and he's a straight shooting, stand up kind of guy.
 

rharshberger

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The people I know on the NAR's L3CC are experienced, capable rocketeers who focus on safety and try to assist those they're mentoring to a successful flight. If you think something needs improvement in the NAR's L3 process, try contacting the L3CC Chair, Pat Gordzelik (pgordzelik at aol dot com). I've worked with him in the past, and he's a straight shooting, stand up kind of guy.
most L3CC's, at least in my region are also TAP's.
 

Richard Dierking

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I'm curious, why?

So, sounds like L3 for either organization is going through a lot of the same people. I imagine the scope and depth of their oversight is the same, because it's the same people.
NAR and TRA have reciprocal certification.
So, why can't the certifying people go through the same process to be TAPs/L3CC? And, why can't the L2 test be the same, and everything else be the same?
If it's not the same, why is it reciprocated?

;-)
 

rharshberger

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I'm curious, why?

So, sounds like L3 for either organization is going through a lot of the same people. I imagine the scope and depth of their oversight is the same, because it's the same people.
NAR and TRA have reciprocal certification.
So, why can't the certifying people go through the same process to be TAPs/L3CC? And, why can't the L2 test be the same, and everything else be the same?
If it's not the same, why is it reciprocated?

;-)
Democrat or Republican......two different groups doing the same thing only "slightly" different....
 

Steve Shannon

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I'm curious, why?

So, sounds like L3 for either organization is going through a lot of the same people. I imagine the scope and depth of their oversight is the same, because it's the same people.
NAR and TRA have reciprocal certification.
So, why can't the certifying people go through the same process to be TAPs/L3CC? And, why can't the L2 test be the same, and everything else be the same?
If it's not the same, why is it reciprocated?

;-)
L3 is almost identical between the two organizations already. I’m hard pressed to enumerate the differences.
We probably could use the same L2 test. We are separate organizations though, with our own rules and priorities and identities.
Reciprocity doesn’t require complete equivalencies. My driver’s license is recognized in every state in the union, but I bet there are fifty different written tests. It’s like that.
 

Richard Dierking

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Yeah, it was just my feeble attempt at bringing it back around to the original question.
NAR or TRA, you can't go wrong. btw, I take myself and my questions a lot less seriously than people may think.

Then, I saw rharshberger's response. I had to come back later because I got such a chuckle about thinking if that was the first response to the question Tripoli vs NAR pages ago. Something like, Well, the difference is something like the Democrats and Republicans. The TRA folks are like the Republicans and the Democrats are the NAR members.
What a different direction this thread would have taken! Please don't be offended, I'm just being light-hearted about it. Plus, I just got an illegal haircut so I'm happy.
OMG, my eyes are tearing up again and the laptop screen is blurring. Two months I haven't laughed like this. Thank you all; hopefully the person that posed the original question appreciated the feedback.
 

UncleJoe

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Democrat or Republican......two different groups doing the same thing only "slightly" different....
Your forgetting the roots, NAR was lo power and wanted nothing to do with high power till we made Tripoli. As membership grew in Tripoli, it was falling at NAR. Soon NAR grew up and aided it's members leading to 2 systems born from the love of science and rocketry.
 

GuyNoir

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NAR was lo power and wanted nothing to do with high power till we made Tripoli.
The process by which the NAR accepted high power was based on a series of studies trying to determine the relative safety of it, and drafting an NFPA acceptable code for it. When both of those things were done, then the NAR permitted its members to participate.
 

Ez2cDave

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I'm curious, why?

So, sounds like L3 for either organization is going through a lot of the same people. I imagine the scope and depth of their oversight is the same, because it's the same people.
NAR and TRA have reciprocal certification.
So, why can't the certifying people go through the same process to be TAPs/L3CC? And, why can't the L2 test be the same, and everything else be the same?
If it's not the same, why is it reciprocated?
Wow, imagine the hue & cry, if it were me asking questions like this . . . I would have been accused of "playing one organization against the other".

Dave F.
 

Ez2cDave

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The process by which the NAR accepted high power was based on a series of studies trying to determine the relative safety of it, and drafting an NFPA acceptable code for it. When both of those things were done, then the NAR permitted its members to participate.
History records an interesting account of the "acceptance of HPR" by the NAR . . . PDF below.

Dave F.
 

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