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Becoming a member of the forum. => Australian Rocketry FAQ's => Topic started by: wolfies gurl on February 25, 2008, 10:15:01 AM

Title: Safety Code/ Height Restrictions
Post by: wolfies gurl on February 25, 2008, 10:15:01 AM
You have just purchased your new rocket kit and you read the safety code supplied which is an NAR safety code, what does it all mean? Does it appply to Australia? Do the different states have different rules and regulations? Who do I contact for more information? What is 400ft AGL? Can I launch just at my local park?
So many questions but where do I get the answers? Read below;

Title: Re: Safety Code/ Height Restrictions
Post by: wolfies gurl on February 25, 2008, 10:31:10 AM
The most common debate in Rocketry is about where and how high you can fly your rockets in Australia. Again the information is in the CASR PART 101.H Rockets document but this can be a little too much to read for the newbie to rocketry.
First up the most important rule is before your launch your rocket is to familiarise yourself with the safety code and to make sure you do not launch a rocket that is not an aircraft in a way that creates a hazard to aircraft, person/s and property.
State and Territory laws may also be relevant in governing the handling and use of rockets. ( in most cases this refers to the motors themselves)
It is recommended but not law to join a local Rocketry Club in your area/state they are supposed to know the rules and regulations in the states and can advise you of your obligations. You will learn alot more in a Club than going it alone.

Title: Re: Safety Code/ Height Restrictions
Post by: wolfies gurl on February 25, 2008, 11:26:43 AM
Safety Code - The safety code is supplied by law with your new purchase of your rocket kit this is so you can get the basic rules and regulations that reflect on "model rocketry".
What does 400ft AGL mean?  AGL means Above Ground Level do not confuse it with "above sea level" as these are too different terms. Above ground level is from the ground you are standing on and up into the sky (airspace).
What is controlled airspace? Controlled airspace means that the airspace is monitored and most traffic is directed, to varying extents, by ground-based air traffic control [ATC] specialists; and air routes are designated by ground based radio navigation aids.

eg: There are many parks around my area 1 park in particular the controlled airspace starts from 0 AGL where 2kms away the other park starts at 1500 AGL this can be very confusing.
Can I launch my rocket at a 0 AGL park? (CASA 101.435) states a person must not launch a rocket including a "model rocket" to higher than 400ft AGL in controlled airspace, except
(a) in an approved area
(b) in accordance with an air traffic control clearance.
This means a person may operate a rocket in controlled airspace without permission if the rocket does not fly higher than 400ft AGL.
Ok I understand the above question my next question is;
If controlled airspace starts at 1500ft AGL, can I launch above the 400ft AGL?  Yes as stated above you can only launch a rocket including a "model rocket"  to 400ft AGL in controlled airspace the key word many people miss is  "in controlled airspace". So if controlled airspace starts at 1500ft AGL you are not flying in controlled airspace unless you exceed over 1500Ft AGL. You will however need to comply with any restrictions the landowner/council may have in place and abide by the site dimensions recommended by CASA.
I went and brought the biggest rocket I could find can I launch this up to the 1500ft AGL if its not controlled airspace?  Firstly is the rocket a "model rocket" or a High Power Rocket"? Definitions are supplied within this board please read them to understand the definitions. If your rocket classes as a "High Power Rocket" (HPR) then no you cannot launch your rocket as a HPR must only be launched at an approved area with appropriate notification to CASA.
If you are ever in doubt I recommend you contact your local CASA office or a reputable rocketry club in your state.
400ft = 122 metres

Title: Re: Safety Code/ Height Restrictions
Post by: wolfies gurl on February 25, 2008, 12:02:20 PM
Can I launch my model rocket in a fire ban season?  No you may not unless you have the relevant approval ie a fire ban permit and written permission from the landowner/council.
Can I launch my model rocket within 5 nautical miles of an aerodrome?  Yes you may launch your model rocket up to 400ft AGL provided it is not a movement area or runway of an aerodrome; and it is not the approach or a departure path of a runway of an aerodrome.

Can I launch my small model rocket above 400ft AGL within 5 nautical miles of an aerodrome?   When operated in a manner that does not create a hazard to persons, property or aircraft and not operated in a movement area or runway of an aerodrome and/or the approach or departure path of a runway of an aerodrome. A small model rocket (when operated in this safe manner) may be operated at any time day or night, in any airspace, at any height and at any distance from an aerodrome.

Title: Re: Safety Code/ Height Restrictions
Post by: wolfies gurl on July 13, 2008, 05:16:45 PM
How do I apply for a waiver to launch rockets above 400AGL in controlled airspace?
First of all there is no such thing as a "waiver". However you may apply for a permission/intsrument to fly from your local CASA office. You will need to provide the Longitude and Latitude of the said site you have in mind and have the land owners written consent. If you are just launching small and model rockets sometimes it is easier to find a location that has a decent height to controlled airspace eg: 2000ft to controlled airspace then you would only require land owners permission.
When applying for a permission to fly make sure you specify what rockets you will be flying at this said location eg: small, model and/or HPR rockets. Keeping in mind that small model rockets are "deregulated" so you will save yourself time, money and effort.
Do I need a permission to fly if it is 4500Ft to controlled airspace? This will depend on what you are flying at the site in question. If you are flying small or model rockets then the answer is no. If you are flying High Powered Rockets then the answer would be yes.

It would be mindful to ensure how far away local airfields and the next height drop (step) are from your location. If you are for instance 3 Nautical miles away from a 2000Ft drop(step) it would be advisable to calulate if flying to 4500Ft would hinder any air traffic 3 Nautical miles away. If in doubt contact your local CASA office they can advise you on best practise.