Here is a simple rundown of what you need to know if you are under the age of 18 and want to participate in High Power Rocketry. Credit (and a big thanks!) to Sabrina “The Wild Child” of the Wisconsin Organization of Spacemodeling Hobbyists (WOOSH) for this write-up.
LIMIT = Single Use “F” Motor
There is a national law (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission) that says motors above ‘F’ power class, and all motors that use metallic casings (including reloadables) regardless of power class, may only be sold legally to those 18 years of age or above.
What this means is that you can use any “single use” F motor by yourself, but you can’t fly anything larger without adult assistance.
YOU CAN DO EVERYTHING BUT FLY-
You can build ANY size rocket you want – there is no age or certification restriction on BUILDING a rocket. You can then give this rocket to an adult to fly for you. This does not require you to be a member of TRA or the NAR. The adult has to purchase the motor, and is the flyer of record. (OROC note: final approval of the flight is still at the discretion of the flight safety officer and/or range safety officer per OROC flight policy)
TRIPOLI MENTOR PROGRAM (access to high power pads)
If you are at least 12 years of age, you can join Tripoli (TRA) and take a WRITTEN mentor program test. After passing the test, you may build and fly an L1 rocket (H or I motor). Successful completion of the test allows you ACCESS to the High Power launch pads at a TRA launch when accompanied by a High Power Certified adult member. If you pass the flight portion, you will receive an “M1” certification, which will convert to a full L1 certification when you turn 18. If you only do the written, you will still need to fly/certify L1 when you turn 18. (OROC note: this is especially relevant to OROC launches as all of our HPR launches in Brothers are sanctioned under TRA rules)
NAR JR LEVEL 1
With a NAR membership – if you are at least 14 years old, you can Build a level 1 rocket, and fly it successfully with the assistance of a NAR High Power Certified adult member to receive “Junior Level 1” certification. This converts to full L1 status on your 18th birthday, no additional flight needed.