Sep 282011

Before we get started,  an extremely important message from the National Association of Rocketry.

Several weeks ago the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) decided that, based on a 2010 change in some obscure shipping safety test procedures, it should terminate a special shipping exemption that it has granted since 1978 to companies and vendors who ship model rocket motors and igniters.  This special exemption, DOT-SP 7887, lets these products which are technically classified as “Explosive 1.4S” get shipped in containers labelled with a black and white “Flammable Solid” hazardous material label rather than a bright orange “Explosives” label. 

 This DOT action will not increase your cost or change your access to the products; the same HAZMAT shipping fee applies in either case and consumers can buy them the same way regardless of how they are labelled in shipping.  The issue is one of public perception: we all know that model rocket motors are not going to “blow up” and are not really “explosives” in the way that the public interprets that term.  Having them start to show up in schools, hobby stores, and private residences with an alarming orange “Explosives” label on them will simply feed public fears and misperceptions about our safe hobby and these safe products.  It will not improve public safety, because shipping them has never posed a risk to that safety. 

 The largest model rocket motor manufacturers, Estes, Quest, and Aerotech, have filed petitions to get this exemption continued rather than canceled.  This will be tough to achieve. To help their case they have asked their vendors to send e-mails of support for continuing the exemption to the Department of Transportation Associate Administrator responsible for making this decision.  I think that it is in our hobby’s interest for us as NAR members to join the manufacturers in this effort.  If you would like to be part of this, please cut and paste the text below the dotted line into an e-mail from you to as soon as possible, preferably by the end of this coming weekend.  

 Be safe, have fun, and pay forward.

Trip Barber


National Association of Rocketry 



Subject: DOT-SP 7887 Show Cause Response

Dear Associate Administrator,

The purpose of this e-mail is to request that DOT-SP 7887 exemption to ship model rocket motors and igniters in containers marked as “Flammable Solid” rather than as “Explosive 1.4” be kept in force as it has been since 1978.  This Special Permit, previously DOT-E 7887, is important to those of us who enjoy the hobby of model rocketry.

To my knowledge, there has never been a fire or safety incident involving the shipping of model rocket motors and igniters, whether by public carrier or USPS.  Further I believe that shipping these safe and non-explosive consumer products labeled as “Explosives” will create unnecessary fear and difficulty for those handling, transporting, receiving, storing, selling and using them.  Model rockets have a superb safety record and wide public acceptance as a safe product based on 54 years of experience.  Having them now start to arrive in consumer hands labeled as explosives could put at risk the reputation that our hobby has earned.

After 33 years of use, the termination of the Special Permit is unwarranted and will not contribute to public safety because shipping model rockets as Flammable Solids has not created any risk to safety. 
Please keep the Special Permit in place as written.

– Your Name and Address (city & state)


I cannot express how important it is for all of us in our hobby to email the letter as exampled above to the DOT.   Please forward this information to anyone you know involved in Model Rocketry!



Hello Everyone!

Here is what’s happening in South Florida Rocketry.

Our next Launch is almost upon us and we are hoping for a clear day and working Launch Equipment. I have been running tests and it all looks good.

As you can see from our headline, the next BARS Launch will be on Saturday October 1st, 2011 starting at 9:00AM. I usually get there between 8:00AM and 8:30AM to setup the Tent, the Launch Equipment and Pads. Your help is appreciated.

I have already confirmed with Vista View Park that we will have access to the upper field for our launch.  Again, please accept my apologies for the cancellation of last month’s Launch.  I will be checking with the Park every month before just to make sure we have access.

Vista View Park allows us to fly 1/4A’s to G motors.

Our Ground Support Equipment includes a custom 1-pad, 3-pad and 7-pad Launch Controller from Pratt Hobbies, a Six Pad Rack with 1/8″, 3/16″ and 1/4″ Launch Rods and a Quad-Pod for those of you whose Mid Power Rockets need a Launch Rail or a 1/2″ Rod. We are covered for just about anything you can launch in our field.

Thank you all who continue to donate to our Club Launch Fund !

Since it worked out so well, I am going to continue our ALPHA III/Donation Program.

Once again, For this coming Launch , every person who makes a donation of $10.00 or more to our Launch Fund, (it can be more, I won’t complain) you will get a FREE Estes Alpha III kit (18.98 retail). Supplies are limited.


If you need to purchase motors, please see Bernie who usually shows up at the local launches. Please email him in advance at BENBUZZBOY3@AOL.COM to make arrangements. Bernie is a dealer for Cesaroni and Aerotech Motors and Hardware.

All NAR and Vista View Park Safety Rules are in EFFECT! Let’s have a SAFE DAY!
If you want to join our club, the only prerequisite is that you are a NAR Member.

You can join the National Rocketry Association

For Directions:

For all Launches, please remember to bring water, sun screen and head covering to protect you from the Sun. It is hot out there! Please remember even if it is overcast you can still get fried! Chairs, small covered tents and tables are welcome as well.


South Florida Rocketry News

One of our South Florida’s long time Rocketeers, Rick Boyette (RoketRik) has re-birthed the West Palm Beach NAR Club.

Next Launch: To Be Announced
Where: Northwest of Model Airplane airport, Dyer Park
Fire: Model rockets – up to G motors (commercial only)
Water: Water rockets made from 2 liter soda bottles
Rules: AMA and NAR rules apply
Who can fly: AMA and NAR members & guests

Sponsors: RC Bush Pilots
Price: FREE! BYOR (Bring Your Own Rocket!)
Permission: Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation
Contact: Phil Bederka,
Contact: Rick Boyette

We highly recommend you check this group out as you will meet some of the best known Rocketeers in the Area!

I will post an update when I get the next Launch Date from Rick.


P.S. For anyone who is taking digital photos and would like them posted on this site, please contact Marc at

That is all for now. Please keep an eye out for our emails which always lets you know of the local launches.

Anyone needing further information please contact us at

We will catch you all soon! Marc

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