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10.6 What's an FAA waiver? Which rocket flights require one?




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This article is from the Model Rockets FAQ, by Wolfram von Kiparski with numerous contributions by others.

10.6 What's an FAA waiver? Which rocket flights require one?

An FAA waiver is official permission by the Federal Aviation Administra-
tion allowing the launching of rockets exceeding a certain size. The rules
appear in FAR 101.
FAR 101 is on the web: http://www.faa.gov/avr/afs/fars/far-101.txt

The following are the relevant sections of FAR 101, regulating the
launching of model and high power rockets.

----------------------- FAR 101 Subpart A--General --------------------

Sec. 101.1 Applicability.

(a) This part prescribes rules governing the operation in the United
States, of the following:
(3) Any unmanned rocket except:
(i) Aerial firework displays; and,
(ii) Model rockets:
(a) Using not more than four ounces of propellant;
(b) Using a slow-burning propellant;
(c) Made of paper, wood, or breakable plastic, containing no
substantial metal parts and weighing not more than 16 ounces,
including the propellant;
and
(d) Operated in a manner that does not create a hazard to persons,
property, or other aircraft.

[Doc. No. 1580, 28 FR 6721, June 29, 1963, as amended by Amdt. 101-1, 29 FR
46, Jan. 3, 1964; Amdt. 101-3, 35 FR 8213, May 26, 1970]

Sec. 101.3 Waivers.

No person may conduct operations that require a deviation from this part
except under a certificate of waiver issued by the Administrator.

[Doc. No. 1580, 28 FR 6721, June 29, 1963]

Sec. 101.5 Operations in prohibited or restricted areas.

No person may operate a moored balloon, kite, unmanned rocket, or unmanned
free balloon in a prohibited or restricted area unless he has permission
from the using or controlling agency, as appropriate.

[Amdt. 101-1, 29 FR 46, Jan. 3, 1964]

Sec. 101.7 Hazardous operations.

(a) No person may operate any moored balloon, kite, unmanned rocket, or
unmanned free balloon in a manner that creates a hazard to other
persons, or their property.
(b) No person operating any moored balloon, kite, unmanned rocket, or
unmanned free balloon may allow an object to be dropped therefrom,
if such action creates a hazard to other persons or their property.

(Sec. 6(c), Department of Transportation Act (49 U.S.C. 1655(c)))

[Doc. No. 12800, Amdt. 101-4, 39 FR 22252, June 21, 1974]


--------------- FAR 101, Subpart C--Unmanned Rockets ------------------

Source: Docket No. 1580, 28 FR 6722, June 29, 1963, unless otherwise noted.

Sec. 101.21 Applicability.

This subpart applies to the operation of unmanned rockets. However, a
person operating an unmanned rocket within a restricted area must comply only
with Sec. 101.23(g) and with additional limitations imposed by the using or
controlling agency, as appropriate.

Sec. 101.22 Special provisions for large model rockets.

Persons operating model rockets that use not more than 125 grams of
propellant; that are made of paper, wood, or breakable plastic; that contain
no substantial metal parts, and that weigh not more than 1,500 grams,
including the propellant, need not comply with Sec. 101.23 (b), (c), (g), and
(h), provided:
(a) That person complies with all provisions of Sec. 101.25; and
(b) The operation is not conducted within 5 miles of an airport runway or
other landing area unless the information required in Sec. 101.25
is also provided to the manager of that airport.

[Amdt. 101-6, 59 FR 50393, Oct. 3, 1994]

Sec. 101.23 Operating limitations.

No person may operate an unmanned rocket--
(a) In a manner that creates a collision hazard with other aircraft;
(b) In controlled airspace;
(c) Within five miles of the boundary of any airport;
(d) At any altitude where clouds or obscuring phenomena of more than five-
tenths coverage prevails;
(e) At any altitude where the horizontal visibility is less than five
miles;
(f) Into any cloud;
(g) Within 1,500 feet of any person or property that is not associated with
the operations; or
(h) Between sunset and sunrise.

(Sec. 6(c), Department of Transportation Act (49 U.S.C. 1655(c)))

[Doc. No. 1580, 28 FR 6722, June 29, 1963, as amended by Amdt. 101-4,
39 FR 22252, June 21, 1974]

Sec. 101.25 Notice requirements.

No person may operate an unmanned rocket unless that person gives the
following information to the FAA ATC facility nearest to the place of
intended operation no less than 24 hours prior to and no more than 48 hours
prior to beginning the operation:
(a) The names and addresses of the operators; except when there are
multiple participants at a single event, the name and address of
the person so designated as the event launch coordinator, whose
duties include coordination of the required launch data estimates
and coordinating the launch event;
(b) The estimated number of rockets to be operated;
(c) The estimated size and the estimated weight of each rocket; and
(d) The estimated highest altitude or flight level to which each rocket
will be operated.
(e) The location of the operation.
(f) The date, time, and duration of the operation.
(g) Any other pertinent information requested by the ATC facility.

[Doc. No. 1580, 28 FR 6722, June 29, 1963, as amended by Amdt. 101-6, 59 FR
50393, Oct. 3, 1994]

 

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