April MASA meeting – Hennepin County
The fourth MASA meeting of 2013 was held at
the Hennepin County Plymouth Library on April 4. A total
of 14 people attended the meeting.
The next regular club launch will
be on Saturday, April 27. The tentative location is the
Nowthen sod fields - depending upon the condition of the fields.
The backup location will be the VFW soccer fields.
The next meeting is planned for
Thursday, May 2 at the Hennepin County Plymouth Library.
The meeting topic will be Safety - Field layout, ground, signage
and fire training.
Reminders & Discussion:
- 2013 dues for new and renewing members may be paid anytime.
- The 2013 FAA waiver renewal for the Nowthen sod fields is in
- See the Outreach page on
the web site for a list of upcoming Outreach events.
Additional details will be sent out on the masarocketry email
There is an outreach event planned for April 20th for
a cub scout pack, it will involve a build session for 4-5 kids.
They plan to join us at the April launch.
Gary Stroick informed the membership that
he will not be attending the April Launch. He also announced
that Dale Haggert is now the L3CC member for Minnesota.
President Neal Higgins reported that the
sod farm landowner has granted permission for us to place a
porta potty at the Nowthen launch site. Neal is working on
The events and date for the year's first
regional contest will hopefully be announced soon.
Alan Estenson has not yet selected a date
for "MASA Family Fun Night" to be held at his house. It
will probably be in late May or early June.
Show -n- Tell:
Meeting Topic: Safety and RSO/LCO Training
The planned topic for this month's meeting
was the safety review, led by President Neal Higgins.
We began by reviewing the NAR's 2005 study
of range safety, and concluded by covering our RSO/LCO
checklist. During the review, several points were made:
We should have a means of noting
rockets that prove to be unstable in order to prevent them
from being flown again before the problem is corrected.
There was considerable discussion of
the hazards arising from rockets landing in power lines.
Chris Feld and Steve Hum both told stories illustrating the
hazards of high voltage electricity. Chris Feld told of an
incident that occurred during the construction of the Wakota
bridge. An inattentive signaler signaled an equally
inattentive crane operator to boom up- straight into a 350kv
transmission line. The crane was a brand new Grove all
terrain crane. The contact with the line rendered the crane
inoperable, and left every component of it unsalvageable.
The boom had to be torched off, and the crane had to be
pushed onto a trailer by a bulldozer. If contact with a
transmission line will do all that to a piece of heavy
machinery, it will certainly make quick work of a human
being. Steve Hum told about various videos he had veiwed
on the Cooper Electric website, that showed the hazards of
arc flash. In addition to the potential for electrocution
and burns, high voltage arcs can send objects flying.
According to Steve, several of the videos showed
electricians being thrown considerable distances by arcing.
The membership was asked to immediately report any rocket
they see hanging from a powerline. The membership was
also reminded that if any rocket on a powerline is hanging
low enough to be reached from the ground, a person must
remain in attendance to ensure that no unauthorized persons
attempt to remove it.
It was suggested that we have a siren
or air horns to use in heads up situations, and that we take
steps to prevent overuse.
Steve Hum told a story of an RSO
inspection he performed several years ago. As he was
checking the rocket, he found that the nose was too loose.
As a result, he refused to allow the rocket to fly, until
the problem was corrected. Rather than correcting the
problem, the flier proceeded to argue for about five
minutes. At this point, Steve reminded the flier that the
RSO's descisions are final. The membership was reminded
that this can happen while acting as RSO, and that the RSO
has better things to do than argue with fliers about safety
It was suggested that we publically
post the address of the launch site, so it can be given by
anyone calling 911.
It was asked whether we have a first
aid kit, and people trained and certified in first aid/CPR.
We have a first aid kit, and several members indicated that
they had received training, but that their certifications
were not current.
It was suggested that we obtain an AED,
it was decided that it would be too costly at this time.
The membership was reminded that
when they call heads up, that they should point to the
The membership was reminded that
rockets using electronic deployment should not be armed
until they are on the pad in the launch position.
It was suggested that we provide
distinctive headgear for designated experts, who would be
available to assist newcomers.
PDF of the
updated MASA RSO & LCO checklists. (Recommended
reading for ALL MASA members - not just those who serve RSO &
[Chris Feld and Alan Estenson]