Lifetime Membership Awards

The ROC Board of Directors would like to extend a gratitude of thanks to Mike Ostby and Kurt Gugisberg for their years of hard work and dedication to the club.

Mike Ostby has served as President for the last four years.

Kurt Gugisberg has and continues to serve as the club’s equipment manager always keeping the club’s equipment in top condition.

We would like to thank them by providing lifetime memberships. Thank you both for your continuing dedication to the club.

ROC Board of Directors

ROC Board of Director Self Nomination Announcment

It’s that time of year folks! If you’ve ever wondered about the “behind the scenes” of your club, wanted to become more involved in club decision making, simply want to “pay it forward” or just want to learn more about rocketry then consider self-nominating for a seat on the ROC Board of Directors.

There are three full term (three year) and one partial term (two years) Director seats up for election this year. David Erbas-White has once again volunteered to collect the nominations. Andrew Wimmer is this year’s Election Chairman. Any adult ROC member in good standing can self-nominate by writing a Statement of Self-Nomination and short bio. Make sure to include a photo. Please send to: The deadline for self-nomination is August 31st, 2018 at 11:59 PM.  Ballots will be cast electronically via the Wild Apricot Membership Portal during Sept and Oct.  Results of the election will be announced during the Annual Members Meeting November 10th, 2018 at ROCstock. If elected, your annual club fees are waived.

Please consider running for a Board of Director seat. It’s a great way to become more involved and have fun while making a difference in the hobby we all love so much!

Mike Ostby,  President

2017 ROC Board Election Announcement

ROC Membership
The ROC Board wanted to give you all an update on the 2017 elections. First of all, we want to thank David Smith, Rick Dickinson, and Rick O’Neill for their support over the last three years as Board members. Consistent with the ROCbylaws, the club sought volunteers to fill the three open Board positions through election. Thanks to David Erbas-White for being our election chairman this year.
We are pleased to announce that long time flyers Adam Dean and Allen Farrington put their names in the hat and will be awarded three-year Board terms commencing on Saturday, November 11, 2017 at ROCStock. Both Adam;s and Allen’s statement for self nomination are attached below.
Although we were not able to fill all three open Board positions, the good news is we have multiple volunteers to fill the remaining open position. Over the next several weeks the current Board will decide how to award the remaining positions. We will announce the plan during our annual ROC meeting at ROCStock.
We are fortunate to have such a strong club with great people.  Please join me in congratulating Allen and Adam on their new positions.
Neal Hunstein
NAR #84101 Tripoli #15950 L3
ROC Secretary
Self Nomination Adam Dean
My name is Adam Dean, I am a born again rocketeer. I became obsessed with the hobby in the mid 1970s, building and flying Estes Rockets with my father and brothers.  I found myself looking at rockets on the internet about 3 years ago after my parent’s death and needed something to get my mind off what had happened. When I was at my dad’s house going thru things before the estate sale I had found pictures of us in the desert launching rockets and had dreams of one day building a large rocket and ran into the Rocketry organization of California web site on line and found a local launch at Lucerne Valley Dry Lake bed. I was hooked as soon as I went to the first launch and built and earned my Level#1 certification on the next months launch, and only a couple months later I obtained my level#2 Certification, now all I have to do is talk my wife into the idea of me doing a Level#3 project, man where the eyes rolling. Well here I am with permission from the wife and well on my way to new heights.
The day finally came, I was at the lakebed in December of 2016 as was going to make my level#3 flight but the wind came up and I had to scrub the launch, and after that it was either too wet from all the rain or windy for 6 more months. After taking everything out to the lake for the following 6 month it was finally calm and I made a successful flight first thing in the Morning July 2017. During the last 3 years I have learned so much about Rocketry and made so many new friends, Mike Ostby and  Gregg Halligan and have become close friends and Gregg offer to be my L3CC Mentor,  I am now ready to take what they taught me and pay it forward. I would like to nominate myself for any position that my be of help to ROC
Self-Nomination For Allen H. Farrington NAR#73474 Tripoli#12280
I’ve been a ROC member since 1998 and obtained my Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 certifications at Lucerne Dry Lake. I enjoy flying rockets of all sizes and complexity and I am a professional rocket scientist at JPL where I organize and manage teams to execute planetary space exploration. I served on the ROC board for multiple terms in the past years, so hopefully I know what I’m getting myself into. While not currently on the BoD, I have supported ROC behind the scenes for the past several years as the BLM Representative. Last year, I was the Launch Director for ROC’s hosting of LDRS35. My wife, Cindy, is currently serving as ROC’s Treasurer, however, she is not on the BoD. ROC is currently enjoying a period of financial prosperity with a solid membership of approximately 100 executive members, has some of the best launch equipment in the nation, and has secured our launch site for the next 5 years with the BLM. As a member of the BoD I would endeavor to support the day-in-day out operations of the club. The challenge facing ROC over the next few years is similar to other clubs across the country and within Tripoli in that as our projects increase in complexity, attention to both range and spectator safety is paramount. With our proximity to Los Angeles, we are positioned to experience a more than average attendance of participants and spectators that don’t fully understand the inherent danger in our hobby. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not broken! But, the stakes are very high in that one major issue with a significant injury would have serious, potentially existential consequences. In addition to tracking the changes coming from Tripoli regarding safety, I would help the BoD take a leadership role in defining operational practices that enhance our safety for all participants.

November 14, First Anniversary of a Tragedy

On the same weekend as ROCstock in November of 2015, a boy scout leader died from injuries sustained when he was hit by a model rocket. Mike Bentley was a long time scout leader, and a family man. He is survived by his wife and four sons.mike-bentley

He had lost track of the rocket, which came in ballistic and struck him in the face as he was looking for it.

It was not a high power rocket, but what we think of as “mid-power”. It was launched by another adult at the annual “Rocket Rave” event hosted by the local Boy Scouts of America council. Mike was one of the organizers of the event, and had done so for several years. The accident took place in Johnson Valley, about 25 miles east of the ROCstock launch site.

We at ROC were stunned by the news. So far as we can tell, this is the only fatality at an organized launch in the 60+ year history of model rocketry.

Even small rockets can have a great deal of kinetic energy, and if they strike anyone at high velocity can be very dangerous. Of course, the risk increases with the mass of the rocket, but even small rockets should be launched at an appropriate location, under safe conditions, and with precautions taken to minimize risk of injury. This is one of the central reasons ROC exists–to provide a safe launch environment.

Earlier in November, 2015, Tripoli Rocketry Association published some additional guidelines for conducting safe launches. The ROC board reviewed the new guidelines and since has incorporated them into our launch procedures. You may have noticed the way we man the RSO position has been made more formal, and we have more detailed “job descriptions” for the volunteers who help run the launch. You can find more information on this page:

But all the rules and guidelines only help when they are actively applied. Among the changes we have instituted, and are still working to improve, include ensuring that rockets are angled downrange during launch, so a ballistic recovery will only hit empty lakebed. We have also clarified some of the roles and responsibilities of volunteers conducting a launch. Recently we have been using an additional “head-ups” horn at the LCO table to get everyone’s attention if a rocket is coming down over the safety zone or spectator areas.

We have also clarified that if rockets consistently fly over the safety zone or spectator areas, the launch is to be suspended until we can ensure safe flight paths.

If we can’t launch safely for any reason, the launch will be cancelled.

In addition to cooperating with all safety rules and instruction during a launch, it is especially important that everyone stay aware of rockets being launched and recovered, and if anyone yells “HEADS UP!” stop what you are doing an pay attention to the rocket that may be flying toward you!

Please join us in remembering Mike Bentley, and in doing what we can to make sure no one is injured at our launches!

More information about the accident last year:

Self-Nomination Deadline Extended.

The ROC board has extended the deadline for self-nomination for board positions through this weekend.

There are a number of members, and regular guests, who volunteer to help with the tasks needed to keep the club running. However, the board of directors generally are the ones who ensure things get done and the club operates as efficiently as it does.

Last year we didn’t hold formal elections because there were not enough members who self-nominated to fill the available positions. Vacancies were filled with appointments by the board. Those appointments were valid until the next (this) election.

We are in danger of having the same situation this year. At present we do not have enough nominees to fill the five positions that are up for election.