ROCC launch site safety rules

(Revised Dec. 2009)


Rocketry of Central Carolina takes safety very seriously. We'd like to share with you our local rules so that everyone knows what is expected of them when they drive onto the site to attend a launch. ROCC follows the basic range rules set out in the safety codes of both the National Association of Rocketry (NAR) and Tripoli Rocketry Association (TRA). We do however have some additional rules that we have put in place to protect our land owner and our attendees based on our specific field. These are as follows:


  • In the event of any accident at our home field (the Williams Farm), whether rocketry related or not, the Williams family can not be held responsible in any way. All attendees, no matter if they have come to fly or just to watch, are to assume the responsibility of being there at their own risk. If anyone brings someone with them who is under 18 years of age, they are to take responsibility for that person's safety. If a rocket does damage to property or causes injury to a person neither the Landowner(s), NAR and/or Tripoli Rocketry Assn., nor ROCC/Tripoli Charlotte can be held responsible. The responsibility is on the rocket owner and/or flyer.


  • Minor incidents such as rockets landing on cars, etc. should be handled between the parties involved. We would hope that for minor dents and dings that the car owner would accept that these are some of the hazards associated with attending a launch. If you are worried about things like this, leave the "nice" car at home or park further from the launch pads, like back toward the farmhouse. There are no guarantees, of course, but it may lessen the chance of taking home a "souvenir" from the launch.

Launch Site rules

  • Stay out of the fields at all times unless retrieving a rocket or helping with retrieval of a rocket. Remember, this is a working farm. They can and do spray the fields with chemicals and spread fertilizer(s). These can cause reactions in some people.

  • There is to be no running in the fields.

  • Stay out of all buildings except for the areas the Williams have designated for storing our equipment. We have the one corn crib near the hog barn, the adjacent HP magazine and a porta-potty...and that is ALL.

  • Stay off any and all farm equipment.

  • Stay away from power lines. (There is one that crosses the upper field) If a rocket gets hung on a power line or pole we can arrange to get it back from the power company. Do not get it yourself!

  • Do not go over the fences onto the adjacent properties north of the field until you have cleared it with the LCO/RSO. You should always ask permission to go onto other people's property. If you or your rocket cause damage to equipment, fencing or structures it must be reported to the landowner and the LCO/RSO.

  • Park as far away from the flight line as possible, the closer you are to the pads the greater the risk of a rocket landing on you and/or your car.

  • No horseplay in the Parking and Prep areas, rockets can get damaged.

  • Always exercise common sense when on the field and flight operations are going on.

Flight Operational Rules

  • For most AP motors, both reloadable & single use, igniters should ALWAYS be placed in the motor only AFTER the rocket is loaded and vertical on the pad and the altimeter or electronics are turned on. For black powder "Estes" type motors, very small AP motors where the igniter must be placed in the nozzzle during assembly and some pyrodex initiated systems the ends of the igniter(s) will be shorted together to prevent a static electricity ignition.

  • Except for the LCO and/or RSO, Everyone is to stay behind the flight line on the Grass strip when rockets are being launched. This area has been marked off for the appropriate safety distance for launch operations.

  • Never catch a rocket that is coming down near you. Keep your eye on the rocket and step aside as the rocket approaches. Fins can cut you or cause other injuries if they hit you.

  • Listen to the LCO and RSO at all times. They will call out "Heads Up" and "Stand Up" launches (Rocket launches deemed as being higher risk than most, people should be standing and ready to move in case the rocket or parts of the rocket come their way.) These announcements can be made at anytime during the day. It is your responsibility to be attentive to what is going on.

  • Wait until all the rockets have been launched and the LCO/RSO has given the all clear to go and retrieve rockets. This is an announcement proclaiming, "The Pads are Safe".

Big Projects

Based on our field size and location all sanctioned launches at the Williams farm have an FAA granted altitude waiver of 4000 ft. AGL. Please plan you flights accordingly.

Some concerns have been raised about projects at the Williams farm based on the size of the field. In an effort to eliminate the concern and frustration of flyers we feel that projects that will be in the J power range or higher, or with predicted altitudes that will exceed 3000 feet should be reviewed ahead of time. Complex HP projects (multi-stage, clusters, etc.) should be well planned and cleared well in advance of flight day. All high power flights should use proven recovery methods that can be proven and/or tested on the field before flight.

The clearance procedure will be like the Tripoli TAP procedure for Level 3 Certification flights. The Prefect (Ralph Roberts) or a Certified Level 2 member must be contacted and the project reviewed. If it is deemed too powerful or risky for the field, you will have to scale it back or take it to another site. (ICBM in Orangeburg, SC has a flight waiver of 9,000' on most monthly launches and roughly 5 times the space that we do.) Ralph can be reached at 704-568-1070.

These rules are in place for everyone's safety and enjoyment of our hobby. We cannot take the chance of putting a big rocket through the roof of a house on an adjacent property. If there are any other safety concerns feel free to contact a club officer or volunteer member at any time. We want everyone to have a safe and fun launch.



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