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  #1  
Old 01-30-2015, 08:17 AM
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Ironnerd Ironnerd is offline
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Default Field Frustrations

This all started because of a post I made on the X-24 Bug Discussion Since this is off topic for that discussion, I thought I would migrate the topic to it's own discussion, since it is a topic that impacts all of us.


This is the original rant:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironnerd
... The real issue is that I kinda reached a point last year when I had totally had it with rocketry in general. I have been attempting to secure a local field for several years now, and keep getting rejected. I got a little sick of hearing about how rocketry was too dangerous, only to see the same field used for youth rugby. I also got tired of being jerked around by NAR. I put in a very simple Rules Change Proposal; to add STAGED ALTITUDE as an event, after all, we have CLUSTER ALTITUDE - and a provisional even involving the timed drop of a Wiffle Ball . For a few years now, the NAR has strung me along, passing me from one officer to another. They never even put it out for a vote by membership. If they said "No" I would be cool with that, but answering by not answering is for little kids.

So, I just stopped being a rocket nerd.

...for a while...

Lately, however, I find that I still wanna fly rockets. I still dig my 13-second gliders, so they will be back once I get them fixed back up.

Oh... and I gonna get that futzing field...
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Old 01-30-2015, 10:03 AM
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Sometimes one is better off begging forgiveness than asking permission.
Fly in a HS soccer field or a park or other public land until you get thrown out.

I have a buddy in the Atlanta area that flies both LPR, MPR, and HPR.
I know he goes out of state to fly HPR, but flies through G power somewhere in the Metro Atlanta area.
He is a good buddy of mine from grade school that moved to the Atlanta area sometime in the 7th grade (aaround '82/'83). He lives just into Fortsyth county, so it may be in that area. I know he and Royatl either are or used to be in the same Atlanta area rocket club.
Possibly you could contact Royatl thru this forum for flying site suggestions.
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Last edited by ghrocketman : 01-30-2015 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 01-30-2015, 02:43 PM
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ROYATL and I are in the same NAR chapter (SoAR 571 )

We have places to launch, it's just that they are all an hour drive each way.

I'm trying to find a place that is closer to the city (and me), and gets us more people at our launches - there are, literately, millions of people in this town, at least six of them should be into rocketry.

Also... at this point I'm in spite mode. I pay taxes for those parks, I should be able to have club launches there (I'm already "okay" for personal launches).
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Old 01-31-2015, 01:12 AM
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blackshire blackshire is offline
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There are those who say that spite (and even anger) are never appropriate responses to situations, but I disagree. As an English friend of mine says, "There is a time for subtlety and a time for both hind hooves." While I don't think you've reached the latter situation yet, wanting to use the public parks--which you help pay for--for something that you want to do is entirely reasonable and proper, and the appropriate response to such a baseless proscription *is* wanting to knock it down! I think, though, that you could win over the officials if you presented a case to them that model rocketry is a safe (safer, in fact, than the other current park activities) and educational activity that keeps kids out of trouble and interested in school. Also:

Below are links to several Estes, Cox, Semroc, NAR, and 4-H model rocketry publications that your club and school model rocket programs could use, and they could also be helpful in dealing with the Parks & Recreation Department folks (you could give them print-outs of the ones that you think would have the greatest effect). They are as follows:

Ninfinger Productions (see: http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/rockets.html ) has scans of numerous model rocketry publications which cover the Sputnik-triggered "basement-bomber" youth rocketry problem (it also killed and maimed rocket-curious adult teachers!) and how model rocketry was developed to provide a safe, fun, and educational alternative to the carnage. For example:

The "Safety" section in "The Estes Model Rocketry Manual" (see: http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/no...a/estesmrm.html ) shows how CO2 cartridges and pipes stuffed with match heads or zinc & sulphur were used as rockets by teenagers and even teachers, with often tragic results. This is also mentioned in Estes' "Alpha Book of Model Rocketry" (see: http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/nostalgia/alpha00.html ) and "Aerospace Education and Model Rocketry" (see: http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/Es...eEd/AeroEd.html ). Also:

The STEM uses of model rocketry, to help teach physics, mathematics, and other subjects, are covered in "Model Rocketry - The Educational Space Age Hobby" (see: http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/Es...ceagehobby.html ), "Why Model Rocketry?" (see: http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/nostalgia/why00.html ), the "Industrial Arts Teachers Manual for Model Rocketry" (see: http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/ca.../manual/ia.html ), "Suggested Projects in Model Rocketry" (see: http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/EstesPubs.html ), and Estes' Rocketronics Catalog (see: http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/ca...nics/rtcat.html ). In addition:

Cox and other model rocket companies and organizations also published fine educational works. These include the "4-H Aerospace Program" (see: http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/nostalgia/4h1.html ), Semroc's Astronautic Modeler (see: http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/ca...0semroccat.html ), "The Cox Handbook of Model Rocketry" (see: http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/ca...oxhandbook.html ), "The Cox Rocketry Science Handbook" (see: http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/ca...coxscience.html ), and these two (see: http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/NAR%20lit/NARlit.html ) NAR publications, "Model Rocketry in the Space Age" and "Model Rocketry Program of the NAR."

I hope this material will be helpful.
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  #5  
Old 01-31-2015, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackshire
"There is a time for subtlety and a time for both hind hooves."

I like that!

All very helpful data, thank-you.

These folks have very short spans of attention. More than a couple of pages, and they are lost. I am working on a short, interesting power-point to show them that model rocketry is safe. Then I have to prepare myself for several completely ignorant questions.

It boils down to this:
30,000,000 kids between the ages of 5 and 14 will play organized sports this year. 3.5 million of them will make a trip to the ER due to injuries received while playing these sports. Sadly, three or four kids will die playing Baseball this year.

In over 60 years of organized model rocketry, and over 500,000,000 launches, one kid went to the ER for an eye injury, and four people have died (while attempting to retrieve rockets from power lines). For those who follow the rules, there have been ZERO injuries or fatalities in six decades.

A couple of points I want to get across is that in almost every sport permitted on public parks, some kind of protective equipment is required. In rocketry, we don't wear our protective equipment, we keep it in our heads. Having a group-launch means we make sure everyone follows those rules, and has fun.

Second is that model rocketry is used in STEM, and in classrooms all over the country. It is used by Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4H, etc... Were it actually dangerous, these youth organizations would not permit it.

OKAY - we're down to 60 seconds on the Delta Launch. I gotta cut out to watch
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Last edited by Ironnerd : 01-31-2015 at 08:21 AM.
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  #6  
Old 01-31-2015, 08:41 AM
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Delta launch looks good!

Lemme tellya what happened to our club last time.

We begged a local county for a nice field. After about nine months of discussions, they gave us a TINY little field. So we created some contest events specifically for tiny fields:
  1. 1/2 A Streamer Duration
  2. 1/2A Helicopter Duration
  3. 1/2A Altimeter Altitude
  4. B Lifting Body Glider Duration
We had a GREAT time. Members of the section even contacted Parks and Rec to thank them for allowing us the use of the field. We didn't ask for a larger field, or complain that the field was small. We all just said it was a great field, we had a great time, and we would love to have the opportunity to use it again. We even cleaned up after ourselves after the event. Who else does that?

After several more months of communications, the County Parks and Rec stopped returning our communications. Finally they told us the field was no longer available.

We tried to use a school field - the football practice field. Since the kids don't practice on Saturdays, we figured we would try to use it for a launch. We were given some forms to fill out, which we did. We sent them in, and heard nothing. E-mails were ignored, and when I called in, the person in charge of that field was never around. Finally, a week AFTER the date we requested, I received an E-mail notifying me that the field would not be available on my requested date.

I'm sure if we paid them enough, the field would be available whenever we wanted it.
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  #7  
Old 01-31-2015, 11:20 AM
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ghrocketman ghrocketman is offline
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I'm tellin' ya, just USE the PUBLIC fields until thrown off, and then make THEM show you in a WRITTEN manner why your activity is NOT allowed on PUBLIC property.
Use the law AGAINST them.
__________________
When in doubt, WHACK the GAS and NEVER touch the brake !!!
No Harm=NO Foul advocate

No MAYHEM/FIASCO/CHAOS/HAVOC/DANGER =NO FUN !

Yes, there is such a thing as NORMAL
, if you have to ask, you probably aren't
!
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  #8  
Old 01-31-2015, 12:53 PM
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blackshire blackshire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghrocketman
I'm tellin' ya, just USE the PUBLIC fields until thrown off, and then make THEM show you in a WRITTEN manner why your activity is NOT allowed on PUBLIC property.
Use the law AGAINST them.
That should be a *last* option, not the first one. It's better to work within the rules first because, as G. Harry Stine and many others have found, it's better to win over officials (by "giving them something *they* want"--i.e., using model rocketry to keep kids out of trouble and encourage them to do better in school). If that doesn't work (and it sometimes doesn't), folks in power often "cave" when citizens who want to engage in rocketry show up in numbers (they'd rather not confront citizens, especially if they're polite yet firm, and are doing it for the children as well as for themselves). If all else fails, *then* is the time to engage in the model rocketry form of civil disobedience, with happy children and smiles all around, and on *video* ("The whole world is watching!"), because it makes the powers-that-be look like the fools that they are.
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http://www.lulu.com/product/cd/what...of-2%29/6126511
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  #9  
Old 01-31-2015, 02:16 PM
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blackshire blackshire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironnerd
I like that!
Thank you! My friend Matthew Webber is a gifted artist, writer, and poet, particularly in equine and monoceran (unicorn) matters (see: http://www.unicorn-dream.co.uk/ ).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironnerd
All very helpful data, thank-you.

These folks have very short spans of attention. More than a couple of pages, and they are lost. I am working on a short, interesting power-point to show them that model rocketry is safe. Then I have to prepare myself for several completely ignorant questions.

It boils down to this:
30,000,000 kids between the ages of 5 and 14 will play organized sports this year. 3.5 million of them will make a trip to the ER due to injuries received while playing these sports. Sadly, three or four kids will die playing Baseball this year.

In over 60 years of organized model rocketry, and over 500,000,000 launches, one kid went to the ER for an eye injury, and four people have died (while attempting to retrieve rockets from power lines). For those who follow the rules, there have been ZERO injuries or fatalities in six decades.

A couple of points I want to get across is that in almost every sport permitted on public parks, some kind of protective equipment is required. In rocketry, we don't wear our protective equipment, we keep it in our heads. Having a group-launch means we make sure everyone follows those rules, and has fun.

Second is that model rocketry is used in STEM, and in classrooms all over the country. It is used by Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4H, etc... Were it actually dangerous, these youth organizations would not permit it.

OKAY - we're down to 60 seconds on the Delta Launch. I gotta cut out to watch
I agree, and I wasn't suggesting that you give print-outs of those publications to any but interested officials (most are intellectually incurious and do indeed have short attention spans, but there are exceptions); but those works do contain useful information that you could incorporate into a brief presentation document. Your preparation (for totally ignorant questions from them) is prudent. Your listed points regarding the safety and educational value of model rocketry are just what's needed. Model rocketry is used by the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Campfire USA (it might be written "Camp Fire USA"), 4-H Clubs, the Civil Air Patrol, Challenger Centers, the Young Astronauts, and by innumerable public and private schools and colleges. The hobby is also endorsed by the United States armed forces for its educational value. Regarding your problems with the county and the school:

Officials don't like to have to deal with problems, which is why "the squeaky wheel gets the grease"; people who keep coming back and coming back (especially if they are polite and pleasant, never being confrontational and making themselves enemies of the officials) wear them down, so that they say, "Oh, give them what they want! They'll just keep coming back!" If you ask polite but pointed questions (such as, "WHY is the field no longer available? Is someone else using it? We'll work out a schedule with them."), they will be less wont to just blow your club off. If your children and other club members' children attend a school whose field you would like to use, bringing the matter up at PTA meetings (starting a club at the school would be great "creative subversion") and not just taking "No" for answer (insisting that they explain *why*) will wear them down. (That's an excellent selection of contest events that you described. Rocketry does *not* have to be high-impulse in order to be fun -and- competitive!) In addition:

If you get permission to use a field (county or school) that doesn't have a specific use date, just keep using it until/unless they tell you otherwise. By leaving it as neat and tidy as you found it, you'll take away any argument they might have concerning litter. It could also be helpful to get the local news media involved (rocket events, especially those involving children, are "feel-good" human interest stories), because officials don't like to be portrayed as latter-day Scrooges where childrens' fun and educational activities are concerned. In all of your interactions with them, act with great decorum, and "kill them with kindness," because it denies them any rhetorical footing--they *won't* be able to complain, "Those rocket people are a bunch of rude, ill-tempered troublemakers!" This could also serve to bring pressure to bear on them from some of their fellow officials ("Why do you want to deny them the field? They seem like pleasant, polite, and responsible folks who want to help children learn!").
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http://www.lulu.com/content/paperba...an-form/8075185
http://www.lulu.com/product/cd/what...of-2%29/6122050
http://www.lulu.com/product/cd/what...of-2%29/6126511
All of my book proceeds go to the Northcote Heavy Horse Centre www.northcotehorses.com.
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  #10  
Old 01-31-2015, 03:09 PM
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Excellent suggestions. Mostly along the lines I was thinking, but you guys do add a lot of polish to my plan.

GHROCKETMAN: for my personal or family launched I just hit the local park. Parks and rec is actually fine with that, but Cobb county (Atlanta, GA) actually has a law prohibiting organized model rocket events.

Crazy, but true.
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