It has been identified that the current understanding of RSO functions at an HPR launch consist of 2 separate and distinct roles. One is to inspect
each and every rocket prior to flight, and the second is to supervise the active range. These two functions have very different mind and skill sets.
To reflect this, the former RSO Certification program has been modified to have a Rocket Inspector role, and the Range Safety Officer role.
This program is taken very seriously.
This system defines the safety program and the technical safety requirements for individuals acting as Range Safety Officers and Rocket Inspectors
in order to comply with Transport Canada's Requirements for Launching High Power Rockets In Canada. It is needed to protect new members certifying
to fly high power rockets, launch proponents, the general public and private property from hazards associated with failure of rocketry components and
The Range Safety Officer (RSO) shall be appropriately qualified and/or certified to oversee the rocket launch. This will occur by proof
of experience and knowledge of launch procedures, equipment and regulations governing launching rockets, and by unanimous approval of a panel of peers,
currently the new RSO Committee.
The Rocket Inspector (RI) Levels 1 - 3, shall be appropriately qualified and/or certified to approve each and every rocket for flight.
This will occur by proof of experience and knowledge of high power rocketry systems and regulations governing launching rockets.
The Range Safety Officer (RSO)
and the Rocket Inspector (RI)
shall have knowledge of the following documents:
Transport Canada, Requirements for Launching High Power Rockets in Canada, Jan. 4, 2000.
Transport Canada, Authorization Requirements for Use of Hybrid High Power Rocket Motors
CAR/ACF, High Power Rocketry Safety Code
CAR/ACF, High Power Rocketry Formal Certification Process
Natural Resources-Explosives Division, The Explosives Act
Tripoli Rocketry Association, High Power Rocketry Safety Code
Tripoli Rocketry Association, Tripoli Certification
National Association of Rocketry, High Power Certification
National Association of Rocketry, Safety Code
Aeronautics Act - Definitions
Canadian Aviation Regulations, sec.(s) 602.43; 602.44; 602.45
a Rocket Inspector (RI) shall have written the CAR/ACF High Power Rocketry Exam and achieved an acceptable mark as well as
the Transport Canada Regulatory Exam, and obtained an acceptable mark.
The Rocket Inspector (RI)
Certification Levels attest to the following individuals experiences:
understand how to calculate center of pressure (CP) and center of gravity (CG) to determine whether or not a rocket will be stable in flight.
determined that the recovery system used is appropriate for the size and type of rocket being flown.
experience to recognize if electronics are used for recovery systems, the electronics are connected appropriately for the expected "g" force
used computer software programs to determine a rockets expected altitude, location of CP and CG.
best rocket motor for optimum performance and thrust computations.
responsibilities vary among rocket launch meets. General allocation of the safety responsibilities and requirements
for pre-launch, launch and post launch can include:
protecting people, property and the environment from safety risks that may arise during the pre-launch, launch, flight recovery of high power
validating that temporary restricted airspace is in place for the rocket launch, validating the times the airspace is activated for, and advising
participants of times;
briefing all spectators and participants of expected behavior, boundaries, accepted practices for certification flights, review countdown
procedure, recovery process for rockets;
acquiring the expertise to determine cloud heights by use of equipment available from Environment Canada or Transport Canada,
stopping a rocket launch when the wind exceeds launch limits specified;
developing and implementing ground and flight safety rules for launches that are consistent with federal, provincial, municipal laws,
requirements and accepted safe practices;
reviewing and approving the schedule of launch operations;
reviewing and approving launch operations and procedures;
monitoring launch operations and controlling surveillance areas to minimize risks to all persons;
monitoring countdowns and procedures for holds and misfires;
supervising and controlling the allocation of safety roles for other participating safety monitors;
investigating and completing a report of anomalies for each rocket launch meet;
developing, approving and/or verifying accident contingency plans; and
in the event of a mishap, securing the launch site and ensuring all relevant data and materials are impounded for investigation.
||Accident Contingency Plan|
The Range Safety Officer (RSO)
is responsible for, and shall carry out, actions necessary to ensure the safety of persons and
property at launch operations. This checklist sets out primary elements that should be addressed, in whole or in part, in the event of a mishap causing
significant damage to property or injury or death to persons.
Attend to injured person(s);
Call Emergency Services, as required
Establish security of accident site - restrict site access, ensure site and debris are not disturbed pending accident investigation;
Secure all documentation/evidence pertaining to launch operations;
Notify responsible authorities, as required;
- Fire Department
- Transportation Safety Board
- Transport Canada
- Notify NavCanada that operations have ceased, airspace can be opened
- Document names, addresses, telephone numbers of participants and witnesses
The primary purpose of investigating accidents is to determine the cause, identify corrective actions and take preventative measures in future rocket
The following procedures are suggested:
rescue of personnel shall always take precedence over safety investigations
secure the location of the accident
control access to the mishap scene/area
a photographic record should be made if possible
get witness accounts, as they often provide important details
advise appropriate authorities
have technically qualified individual assist in evaluation
complete a written report detailing facts of occurrence as soon as possible, to keep details accurate