The BLM has implemented Stage II fire restrictions for our launch site at Lucerne Valley. While this action was taken early in the year, restrictions have not been lifted.
For Stage II restriction no open fires are allowed. Even for camp stoves and similar devices with a shut-off valve, a California Campfire Permit is required. The permit is free, but you must ensure it is issued and you have a hard copy in hand before lighting any such device.
Smoking is limited to an area where there is no vegetation within five feet, so basically the entire lakebed.
From the BLM Order, Number CAD-000-2019-01 (Fire Prevention Orders):
“Stage II Restrictions – Setting, building, maintaining, attending, or using open fire of any kind is prohibited, except campfires within approved fire pits and grills provided for in developed recreation sites; or campfires within the Imperial County Special Recreation Management Areas with a valid California Campfire Permit. Controlled flame devices such as portable stoves and lanterns with shut-off valves, using gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel are allowed and require a valid California Campfire Permit. Smoking is only permitted within an area that is clear of any vegetation for a minimum of 5 feet in all directions. “
Due to guidance from our national governing organizations, as of October 2019, the ROC board has decided to prohibit the use of all drones, UAVs, RC aircraft and any other flying devices that are not rocket powered boost gliders, regardless of location or time at our events.
Radio controlled rocket gliders are permitted, when following the NAR Radio Controlled Rocket Glider Safety Code.
We have had a number of issues with the conduct of people flying these devices, including an injury earlier this year that resulted from someone not following the previous policy.
I want to remind everyone that attends a ROC Launch of ROC’s Drone Policy.
Two incidents, one potentially serious, occurred at the July 20 ROC launch due to flyers improperly assembling Aerotech Reload Adapter System hardware.
In the more serious incident, a rocket was launched with an improperly assembled motor. The rocket took a very long time to come up to pressure, and during this time sat smoldering on the pad. It then did pressurize and had a far less than adequate flight profile. After the flight it was determined that the RAS was assembled incorrectly, causing the fight problems and causing damage to the hardware.
The motor had been assembled with the spacer at the bottom of the motor against the nozzle. The spacer(s) should always be installed between the floating forward closure and the matching forward closure ring. The spacer is not designed or constructed to withstand the heat of combustion, and should never be in or as part of the motor combustion chamber.
In a second incident, an inexperienced flyer had incorrectly assembled a motor, receive incorrect advice resulting in reassembling the motor in a different wrong configuration, before finally getting the correct information and completing a successful Level 1 certification flight with the motor correctly assembled.
Incorrect assembly can cause unsafe flight profiles that may result in injury. In one incident today the incorrect assembly only resulted in hardware damage, and the second was recognized and corrected before flight.
Equally, perhaps more important, when giving advice on how to use rocketry hardware it is essential that the advice be based on following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Cesaroni hardware using spacers must also be assembled following the manufacturer’s instruction. Only the correct combination of spacers may be used, and the spacer(s) must be forward in the casing, ahead of the reload.
There are links below to the Aerotech instructions. The RAS is a great hardware system and increase the versatility of motor casings, but must be used correctly and safely!
Aerotech Instructions Page: