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Last updated: Jan 10, 2010
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April MASA meeting Hennepin County Plymouth Library

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 process.
  • 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 list.
    • 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 arrangements.

  • 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:

  • Art Gibbens showed off the Raspberry Pi that he bought.  He is contemplating uses for it.

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 decisions.

  • 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 hazard.

  • 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 & LCO duty!)

[Chris Feld and Alan Estenson]

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