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Tuesday, September 26 2017 @ 01:00 AM AEST

CASA gets the word out

I had occasion to pop into my friendly Local Hobby Shop today. I admit to not having done so for several months. I was somewhat surprised to see a smart looking CASA flyer on the counter with the friendly catch line "New to Model Rockets? Get to know the rules." on the front. On the back is some notes about what kind of rockets can be flown where. It's great that CASA has produced an informational flyer like this. I think it's testimony to the great work that some of the clubs around Australia have done in growing this amazing hobby.

But..

It's a shame they made a small error in describing their own regulations that would incorrectly shut out an almost entire impulse level from use in small model rockets..


In the section called "The basic rules", the very first bullet point states


Your small model rocket must weigh less than 500g, carry less than 25g propellant, produce less than 20 newton-seconds of impulse and be made of balsa, wood, paper or plastics or a combination of those materials, but contain no metal as structural parts.

This implies that all all those conditions must be met, but that isn't the case. The flyer actually lists the following references:

Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 Part 101 sub parts A, B, & H (online here)
Casa Advisory Circular AC101-2(0)(online here)

What they actually say is


2) In subregulation (1):
small model rocket means a model rocket that weighs less than 500 grams and either:
(a) uses no more than 25 grams of propellant; or
(b) produces no more than 20 newton‑seconds of impulse.

Notice the subtle difference? That is, your small model rocket will always weigh less than 500 grams, but you may also satisfy the definition by having up to 25 grams of propellant, or up to 20Ns of impulse. Choose a or b, but it doesn't have to be a and b. Some times when this might matter is if you wanted to fly a motor that meets the propellant weight requirement, but not the impulse. Such a motor is the Aerotech RMS E11J that has 25grams of propellant, and 32.7Ns of impulse. There are many other Aerotech E impulse reloads that fit within the actual regulations for small model rocket motors.

OK, that all said, the flyer is really fantastic.

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