Copyright © Indiana Rocketry, Inc. 2024
A SPECTATOR’S GUIDE TO INDIANA ROCKETRY EVENTS
Attending an Indiana Rocketry,Inc. event is a fun, family-
Event Times and Scheduling
Range hours posted for events are APPROXIMATE. Field conditions, road conditions, weather conditions (wind, rain, and/or cold temperatures), and other factors can affect the start time of activities. If questionable conditions exist, please check the club website or Facebook page for updates. Published range hours are the outer bounds of when activities will occur – that is, we will never fly before the start time nor after the closing time. Our events are governed by a waiver issued by the FAA which includes start and stop times, which are not flexible. Most of the time, flyers will arrive early in the day and begin prepping and flying their rockets shortly after the waiver start time. Your best bet to enjoy the activity as a spectator is to arrive early. The exceptions are if it is cold, overcast, windy or snowy. In those cases, things might start slowly in hopes of improving weather conditions. If it is a “slow” day and everyone has finished flying, we will pack up and go home early. There is no advance schedule of events. Nearly all projects are individual endeavors, and each participant has his/her own constraints. Sometimes there are lull periods when there is no flight activity, and other times there will be a rush of many rockets launching at once — for example, to enjoy particularly good weather conditions.
Operations and Flights
Spectators should always stay behind the marked flight line. Staying behind the flight line is mandatory and flight activity will not take place when persons are beyond the flight line. Each flight will be announced by the Launch Control Officer (LCO). The announcement will include the name of the flyer, the name of the rocket, the motor(s) being used and a countdown to launch. The LCO may also give a few more details about the rocket, including any flight control electronics on-
There will be model rocket flights from the closer set of launch pads. More complex flights occur at distances set back further from the flight line. Total installed power is classified by an alphabetical nomenclature that can give you an idea of what you might expect from the flight being announced. Small model rockets from the near set of launch pads have a designation of an A, B, C, or D class motor. For example, you will hear the LCO announce “On pad twenty-
A normal rocket flight will have a powered boost phase, during which time the motor is burning its fuel and the rocket is accelerating, a coast period after the motor burns out as the rocket continues skyward from the momentum generated by the motor, an ejection event near the peak altitude of the flight which deploys a parachute, and a controlled descent back to the ground under streamer or ‘chute. Some rockets will deploy a very small parachute (the “drogue ‘chute”) at apogee and descend quickly to a predetermined altitude where another ejection event occurs, and a much larger main parachute is deployed to bring the rocket softly back to Earth.
Sometimes things can go awry during the launch or recovery portion of a rocket flight. You should pay attention to the flights and all announcements and warnings, should an anomalous event occur. However, model rocketry has a time-
Some Safety Rules
Never attempt to catch a rocket descending under parachute. Never go near a vehicle caught in power lines. Do not attempt to remove anything from power lines. Spectators and especially children should not approach or pick-
Indiana Rocketry Events Are Fun!
Enjoy yourself while attending the launch. If you have questions about what is happening, most participants will be glad to discuss Indiana Rocketry,Inc. with you. A few people, like the Launch Control Officer (LCO) and Range Safety Officer (RSO), are ‘on-
We look forward to seeing you at the field soon!