The following is a condensed version of the NAR/TRA HIGH
POWER SAFETY CODE. The complete code can be found in the handbooks
of the organizations.
1. Only a person who is a certified flyer shall operate or fly
a high power rocket..
2. Must comply with United States Code 1348, "Airspace Control
and Facilities", Federal Aviation Act of 1958 and other applicable
federal, state, and local laws, rules, regulations, statutes,
3. A person shall fly a high power rocket only if it has been
inspected and approved for flight by a Safety Monitor for compliance
with the applicable provisions of this code.
4.1 Use only certified commercially made rocket motors.
4.2 Do not dismantle, reload, or alter a disposable or expendable
high power rocket motor, not alter the components of a reloadable
high power rocket motor or use the contents of a reloadable rocket
motor reloading kit for a purpose other than that specified by
the manufacture in the rocket motor or reloading kit instructions.
5. A high power rocket shall be constructed to withstand the operating
stresses and retain structural integrity under conditions expected
or known to be encountered in flight.
6. A high power rocket vehicle intended to be propelled by one
or more high power solid propellant rocket motor(s) shall be constructed
using lightweight materials such as paper, wood, plastic, fiberglass,
or, when necessary, ductile metal so that the rocket conforms
to the other requirements of this code.
7. A person intending to operate a high power rocket shall determine
its stability before flight, providing documentation of the location
of the center of pressure and center of gravity of the high power
rocket to the Safety Monitor, if requested.
8. Weight and Power Limits.
8.1 Ensure that the rocket weighs less than the rocket motor manufacturer's
recommended maximum liftoff weight for the rocket motor(s) used
for the flight. During pre-flight inspection, The Safety Monitor
may request documentary proof of compliance.
8.2 Do not install a rocket motor or combination of rocket motors
that will produce more than 40,960 newton-seconds of total impulse
(4.448 newtons equals 1.0 pound).
9.1 Fly a high power rocket only if it contains a recovery system
that will return all parts of it sagely to the ground so that
it may be flown again.
9.2 Install only flame resistant recovery wadding if wadding is
required by the design of the rocket.
9.3 Do not attempt to catch a high power rocket as it approaches
9.4 Do not attempt to retrieve a high power rocket from a place
that is hazardous to people.
10.1 Do not install or incorporate in a high power rocket a payload
that is intended to be flammable, explosive, or cause harm.
10.2 Do not fly a vertebrate animal in a high power rocker.
11. Launching Devices
11.1 Launch from a stable device that provides rigid guidance
until the rocket has reached a speed adequate to ensure a safe
11.2 Incorporate a jet deflector device if necessary to prevent
the rocket motor exhaust from impinging directly on flammable
11.3 A launching device shall not be capable of launching a rocket
at an angle more than 20 degrees from vertical.
11.4 Place the end of the launch rod or rail above eye level or
cap it to prevent accidental eye injury. Store the launch rod
or rail so it is capped, cased, or left in a condition where it
cannot cause injury.
12. Ignition Systems
12.1 Use an ignition system that is remotely controlled, electrically
operated, and contains a launching switch that will return to
"off" when released.
12.2 The ignition system shall contain a removable safety interlock
device in series with the launch switch.
12.3 The launch system and igniter combination shall be designed,
installed, and operated so the liftoff of the rocket shall occur
within three (3) seconds of actuation of the launch system. If
the rocket is propelled by a cluster of rocket motors designed
to be ignited simultaneously, install an ignition scheme that
has either been previously tested or has a demonstrated capability
of igniting all rocket motors intended for launch ignition within
one second following ignition system activation.
12.4 Install an ignition device in a high power rocket motor only
at the launch site and at the last practical moment before the
rocket is placed on the launcher.
13. Launch Site.
13.1 Launch a high power rocket only in an outdoor area where
tall trees, power lines, and buildings will not present a hazard
to the safe flight operation of a high power rocket in the opinion
of the Safety Monitor.
13.2 Do not locate a launcher closer to the edge of the flying
field (launch site) than one-half the radius of the minimum launch
site dimension stated in Table 1.
13.3 The flying field (launch site) shall be at least as large
as the stated in Table 1.
14. Launcher Location
14.1 Locate the launcher more than 1,500 feet from any occupied
14.2 Ensure that the ground for a radius of 10 feet around the
launcher is clear of brown grass, dry weeds, or other easy-to-burn
materials that could be ignited during launch by the exhaust of
the rocket motor.
15. Safe Distances
15.1 No person shall be closer to the launch of a high power rocket
than the person actually launching the rocket and those authorized
by the Safety Monitor.
15.2 All spectators shall remain within an area determined by
the Safety Monitor and behind the Safety Monitor and the person
launching the rocket.
15.3 A person shall not be closer to the launch of a high power
rocket than the applicable minimum safe distance set forth in
16. Launch Operations.
16.1 Do not ignite and launch a high power rocket horizontally,
at a target, or so the rocket's flight path goes into clouds or
beyond the boundaries of the flying field (launch site).
16.2 Do not launch a high power rocket if the surface wind at
the launcher is more than twenty (20) miles per hour.
16.3 Do not operate a high power rocket in a manner that is hazardous
17. Launch Control.
17.1 Launch a high power rocket only with the immediate knowledge,
permission, and attention of the Safety Monitor.
17.2 All persons in the launching, spectator, and parking areas
during a countdown and launch shall be standing and facing the
launcher if requested to do so by the Safety Monitor.
17.3 Precede the launch with a five (5) second countdown audible
throughout the launching, spectator, and parking areas. This
countdown shall be given by the person launching the rocket, the
Safety Monitor, or other flying site operating personnel.
17.4 Do not approach a high power rocket that has misfired until
the safety inter-lock has been removed or the battery has been
disconnected from the ignition system, one minute has passed,
and the Safety Monitor has given permission for only a single
person to approach the misfired rocket to inspect it.
TABLE 1: LAUNCH SITE DIMENSIONS
Installed Equivalent Minimum Equivalent
Total Motor Type Site
Impulse Distance Distance
160.01 - H 1,500 .28 mile
320.01 - I 2,500 One-half
640.01 - J 5,280 One mile
1280.01 - K 5,280 One mile
2560.01 - L 10,560 Two miles
5120.01 - M 15,480 Three
10240.01 - N 21,120 Four
20480.01 - O 26,400 Five
TABLE 2: SAFE DISTANCE TABLE
Installed Equivalent Minimum Min. Safe
Total Motor Type Safe Dist.
Impulse Distance (ft.)
(N-sec) (ft.) (Complex)
160.01 - H 50 100
320.01 - I 100 200
640.01 - J 100 200
1280.01 - K 200 300
2560.01 - L 300 500
5120.01 - M 500 1,000
10240.01 - N 1,000 1,500
20480.01 - O 1,500 2,000