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KCAR Safety Rules


We are the Kansas City Association of Rocketry, Section 505 of the National Association of Rocketry. We hope you'll enjoy the launch! Since our purpose is to promote sport rocketry as a fun and safe hobby, we ask you to please read the following.

What To Expect:

Launch fee: KCAR charges a $3.00 sport launch fee for non-members ($1.00 for KCAR members), with the proceeds going toward range equipment purchase and maintenance. The fee is the same for individuals or family groups, and is good for an unlimited number of flights while the field is open for the launch. Contest meet fees will be higher, to reimburse KCAR for the purchase of awards, etc.

Check-in: After paying and signing in, the rocket flyer may be given some flight cards. He or she will take a card and fill in some basic pre-flight information for the first flight. At our discretion, instead of flight cards we may record all flights in a notebook, and the flyer will be asked basic information about the flight at the launch control table prior to pad assignment.

Range layout: A flag, rope or tape barrier will be staked out around the launch pad area, with a gap provided for an entrance at the safety check / launch control table(s). If more than one entrant is ready at the same time, it will be necessary for them to line up in single file to make sure every rocket is safety checked, and the flight information is in order. After the safety check is complete, the flyer proceeds to the Launch Control Officer for a pad assignment. When given the OK, the flyer may put his or her rocket on the pad. No rockets will be launched until everyone clears the launch area inside the barrier; while launching is underway no one will be allowed within the entrance. The Range Safety Officer may amend this at his or her discretion.

Safety Check: Each rocket to be launched must first pass a safety check given by the Range Safety Officer or the Safety Check Officer (deputy RSO). Rockets with loose or weak fin or launch lug attachments or major body tube crimps will be disallowed until repaired to the satisfaction of the RSO or SCO. Recovery systems may also be inspected prior to launch, and an RSO / SCO may ask for proof of a rocket's stability. The RSO has the final word on ALL safety matters!

Launch Control: A Launch Control Officer is in charge of all launches, and will push the launch button for all NAR contest event launches. You may launch your own rockets for sport flights under LCO supervision only if you:

1. Get permission from the KCAR Launch Control Officer first,
2. Understand that a call of "Hold" means to immediately move your finger back from the button, and wait for a clear to continue, and you're willing to abide by that rule,
3. You give (or have someone give) an audible countdown loud enough for all to hear in the launch area.

Safety Codes: All KCAR model rocket launches are conducted according to the NAR Model Rocket Safety Code.

Clarifications (for the following sections of the NAR Model Rocket Safety Code):
2. Motors: Only model rocket motors on the current NAR Certification lists will be allowed. Also, some currently TRA certified rocket motors, if permitted by field minimum dimensions and FAA waiver in effect.
5. Launch Safety: The audible five second countdown before each launch must be loud enough to be heard by all in the launch control and immediate spectator area. Everyone will remain the recommended safe distance back during launch (this also provides a better view of the entire flight).
6. Launcher: We provide club launch pads, but you may also use your own launch pad, heavy duty launch pad, launch tower, or launch piston / tower combination, as long as it complies with the NAR safety codes.
9. Launch Site: The range may be closed due to changing weather conditions, such as winds over 20 MPH, or approaching or developing storms or fog. During low cloud deck conditions, flights will be limited to lower altitudes, or the range may be closed.

High Power: All KCAR HP Rocket launches will be flown by to the NAR High Power Safety Code. Only model rocket engines and HP rocket motors on the current combined NAR / TRA certification lists will be allowed.

NAR Contests: At KCAR contest meets, all official or provisional NAR competition events are flown United States Model Rocket Sporting Code ("Pink Book") rules, including revisions published in Sport Rocketry magazine. Only model rocket motors with current NAR contest use certification will be allowed in competition flights.

Additional KCAR Safety Rules:

Engine Selection: During the safety check, the RSO / SCO may look at the rocket engines(s); however, internal defects would not be apparent. Although catastrophic failures (cato's) are rare, sometimes we hear of certain batches of engines which are more likely to fail. The RSO / SCO may discourage the use of an engine from a certain lot number, or call for a "head's-up" flight.

Head's-up: If a "head's-up" flight is announced before launch, all launch participants and spectators must stand, with adults at arm's length from each other, and with small children within reach of the parent or guardian. ALL must keep their eyes on the rocket. Everyone hearing a "head's-up!" call during a flight, MUST immediately watch the rocket and be ready to move quickly. This is an added safety precaution; Due to adequate distances between the actual launch area and participants / spectators, close calls are extremely rare. Model Rocketry has an excellent safety record; however, a "head's-up!" call is serious, and MUST be respected.

Ejected engines: Engines "kicked" from a rocket at ejection are disallowed from NAR competition, unless a suitable recovery device is attached to the engine casing. For sport flights of certain small kits (examples: the Estes Mosquito, or the old Estes Streak), KCAR allows the ejection of 18mm diameter or smaller engines with cardboard casings, under a "head's-up" call. All motors larger than 18mm diameter, or with non-cardboard casings, MUST have a suitable streamer or parachute attached, if kicked from the rocket at ejection.

Multi-staging: No rocket with more than three (3) operable stages will be launched.

Air started or parallel staged motors must be securely fastened to the rocket.

Fuse type dethermalizers will not be allowed during dry grass conditions.

Anyone impaired by drugs or alcohol, or anyone consistently uncooperative or acting in an unsafe manner will be removed from the launch field.