Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Update on club-based permits

Rocketry Planet just posted an update on the prospects of non-licensed members flying high power rockets under a club permit. The BATFE had hinted at this as a possibility, and several groups and individuals around the country are independently pursuing this as an option. However, I had lost track of any progress.

Burl Finkelstein, a hobby rocketeer from Shenandoah, Georgia developed a document on how this process could work and submitted it to the BATFE in Washington, DC. They commented, and hopefully this will eventually result in an official notice to all field offices. The RP article contains the full text, which apparently includes the BATFE's comments. In summary:
  • The club must be a legal entity in its state.
  • The club's articles of incorporation must specify who has possession and control of the regulated items.
  • A non-licensed person, assuming they are not a prohibited person, can then purchase, check out and fly the motors (black powder and e-matches too).
  • The named responsible person or persons must be identified in the permit application and the club must have approved storage, etc.
  • A certified letter from said club to a vendor will allow that vendor to sell regulated items to the non-certified person. I assume the materials would have to be shipped to the club's responsible person(s).
This all sounds like what I've been hearing from other sources. I'm not really sure how this differs from an individual flying under a buddy's LEUP as long as the licensed person retains control of the motors. Maybe it's that there is no mechanism for the unlicensed person to acquire the motor. They can't buy it from a vendor, and the licensed person can't sell to them. So maybe this would work if your buddy gave the motors away?

I hope to hear more details on this soon.

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