I cannot express my thanks to everyone who attended our Launch last Saturday, October 1st . We all spent the better part of a day enjoying perfect weather and launching well over 100 rockets!
And fortunately, our new 7-pad launch controller worked well for the whole day as we gave the new unit quite a shakedown.
It is who people who join us that really make the day!
Once again, I ask anyone who has not sent and Emailed the DOT concerning the mailing of rocket motors. It is extremely important that you do so. And you are wecome to forward the information to anyone who would be interested in protecting the rights of our hobby.
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 email@example.com as soon as possible, preferably by the end of this coming weekend.
Be safe, have fun, and pay forward.
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!
Here is what’s happening in South Florida Rocketry.
Our next Launch is scheduled for Saturday November 5th, 2011 and I will be checking with Vista View Park to make sure we have access.
As most of you know now, our September Launch was abruptly canceled without any notice because Vista View Park had activities going on and the Park was closed to all vehicles which gave us no access to the Launch Field.
It has come to my attention that some of you were told that I personally cancelled the Launch for that day. Nothing could be further from the truth and I will take this up with the Park Administration.
I personally was there as I usually am, at 8:00am and I was refused access. The Park had never advised me that we would not be able to use the use the park that day.
I felt horrible that many of you traveled an hour or more just to be told that “I cancelled it”.
Again, I did not cancel, the Park was completely in the wrong because I was not properly contacted. And as I said earlier, I will be pro-active in making sure that we have access a few days before every launch so this never happens ever again.
Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
And last but not least:
For any of you who ride a Motorcycle, the 2011 South Florida Toy Run is on Sunday December 11th which is just about two months away. The Toy Run is a yearly event that collects dollars and toys to benefit the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation in Hollywood, Florida.
I did this for the first time last year and you cannot believe the positive energy produced by more than 40,000 people getting together just to be able to to help the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation and in turn help thousands of children. It is an amazing day to experience.
P.S. For anyone who is taking digital photos and would like them posted on this site, please contact Marc at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com.
We will catch you all soon! Marc
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