From the REGULATION area, you can see that it takes a lot of work to set up a launch. This task is generally undertaken by a rocket club for periodic organized launches. Clubs are basically mandatory for all but model rockets, but even model rocketeers benefit from club membership. You should make an effort to find a local club in your area. See the list of NAR Sections and Tripoli Prefectures for clubs in the U.S. and the list of C.A.R. Clubs for clubs in Canada.

A club will have a field somewhere near the majority of their membership base where they will have periodic flights. Most model rocket clubs have flights monthly or weekly and most high-power clubs have flights less frequently (some as little as twice a year). Because the launches are periodic, most of the club will attend and this creates a social atmosphere and the launches become “events” with flyers, friends and spectators.

Another good reason to attend club launches is that the club provides the launch equipment. Launchers and ignition systems are complex and bulky and having the club provide these facilities makes it much easier to come out and fly. Also, many clubs have vendors who will sell motors (and other parts and equipment) right at the launch site. Even if you don’t plan to enter the hobby yourself, look for a club in your area and attend a launch to see first-hand what it’s all about.

Probably the best reason to join a club is the chance to learn from more experienced rocketeers. The Internet is great for gathering information, but nothing beats seeing other’s rockets and showing them yours for gaining knowledge.

Submitted by: John Coker