NAR Section leaders HPR information that is of value

J E Thompson

For NAR Section Leaders,


Due to some recent inquiries/incidents, there a couple of items that I'd like mention. Please share with the rest of your leaders and membership as appropriate.


If you having any kind of launch site issues, please do not hesitate to contact me for support.  I will do everything that I can to assist.  I of course cannot guarantee a positive outcome, but having the support can't hurt either.  Keep in mind that it may be easier to sway local government officials than private landowners.  Government officials typically have to answer to their constituents so are more likely to at least listen, private landowners only have themselves so may not.


If you are currently without a launch site but are looking, also feel free to reach out to me for assistance.  You will of course have to do all the local leg work, but again, I will assist you in any way that I can.  I have sent coordinates for potential sites to quite a few Sections over the years and then provided indirect support during their use negotiations.  I am happy to do that again.


If at your launches you launch ANY rockets with a motor considered to be a High Power Motor and listed as such on the Combined Motor List (, then you must follow the NAR High Power Rocket Safety Code. The NAR Model Rocket Safety Code does not cover any flights with motors above the 320 N-sec threshold as well as those using certain propellant types (sparky). There are some "F" & "G" motors that are considered High Power motors due to their propellant formulas so they must be flown under the NAR High Power Rocket Safety Code and therefore conform to the minimum distance table. The FAA may consider Class 1 rockets as model rockets which may be flown without a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization, but this does not make them Model Rockets according to NFPA 1122. To ensure your insurance coverage remains in effect, make sure you understand and follow the rules. If you think a loophole exists that allows otherwise, bring it to the HPR Services Chairman's attention. He can be reached at hprservices@....


Do not launch high power rockets into ANY clouds, not even thin, wispy ones that you think that you can see through. FAR 101.25(c) is specific and says that you must not operate Class 2 rockets into any cloud. Thin, wispy clouds are still clouds.  Also, launching through "holes" in the clouds isn't advised. FAR 101(b) states that you must not operate Class 2 rockets at any altitude where the horizontal visibility is less than 5 miles. That means in order for you to launch through a hole in the clouds, that hole must be at least 10 miles wide and your rocket must go through the exact center in order to maintain the 5 mile horizontal visibility all around. We all know that we have no control over that so it's best not to do it. On top of that you cannot operate Class 2 rockets at any altitude where the clouds or other obscuring phenomena of more than five tenths coverage prevails. In other words, if the sky is more than 50% covered by clouds at 2,000 feet AGL, you must stay below that altitude with all your flights.


As I mentioned, these items were prompted due to some recent inquiries/incidents and are just meant to be reminders. As Section Leaders, it is your responsibility to ensure compliance with the appropriate regulations.


Let me know if you have any questions.



Chuck Neff

Section Activities Chairman