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What are the restirctions/requirements to play with model rockets in your country? Answered

I wanted to start again with an old hobby of mine and buy some rocket motors and one or two easy rocket models.
Just for the fun of seeing things to fly high and come down slow you know?
Depending on which country you can call your residency now you might luagh about what happened to me:
I went to first model building shop I could find nearby in my Yellow pages.
Of course that had no clue about rockets, not even remote controlled cars as they only build build models for multiplayer board games.
Next shop was selected a bit better with a focus on all things remote controlled.
Here I was told that only a few shops actually sell any rocket related stuff due to the tough legal requirements of storage, handling and selling - WTF?? (excuse the language!)
But at least I got an address for a shop that would be abe to help me figuring it all out.
Last but not least I finally entered a shop filled with all sorts of model rockets, from simple to realist replicas of Saturn 5 engines.
"Can I see your permit please?"
"Do you have a club memebrship card stating you can buy engines?"
"Can you provide the required details on your storage facilities and fire control system?"
That were just a few of the questions thrown at me when I went to the checkout with 3 little rockets asking on where to find the engines and ingintion kits.....
Turns out here in AU it is far easier to obtain a firearm and license than to get what you need to shoot a plastic rocket 100 or 200m high in the air....
Without being a member of a recognised model rocket club you won't have access to a legal launch area.
Without your club permit you can't obtain a license required to buy a model rocket engine - yes we are taking about these paper tubes every kid uses....
Without the license, club membership and the required club permits you will never (legally) buy a rocket motor...
To make things worse the 4 clubs I contacted only supply motors they buy to their members, at about 20% above market price of course and you won't get a card to buy your own until you are a member for at least three years...

I already know in Germany and the US things are quite different but I would still like to know how exactly it works in your contry or if your face similar problems outside US and EU territory.


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4 years ago

I've never needed permit or lisence. U.S. I think you need training above a D engine. Wildfire is more likely with rockets than guns. Perhaps that is the concern.


Reply 4 years ago

Called the only club I could find within 200k's yesterday for some explanations.
Was told rocket motors were banned many years ago together with all fireworks as the motors fall into the same category.
The existing clubs at that time managed to lift the ban with massive restrictions, permits and so on.
Main concern for our gouvernment is misuse, e.g. making explosives out of the engines or use a model rocket in the city to cause damage and panic....
Sometimes I think I am in the biggest nanny state ever and wait for regulations on the use of toilet paper as the next step in evolution LOL
According to the club guy they are not aware of any incidents caused by model rockets, neither before or after the ban - not even a small grass fire.
I guess it is like knifes and the kids bb guns: If it is possible to injure smeone with it we ban it and make it illegal.
Maybe tradies need a special permit for their tool belts soon if they need a hammer or screwdriver...
All up it would cost me close to a grand to get all permits, licenses, club membership and to meet the storage requirements for the motors and fuses.
The later require a fully equipped gun safe that meets the current regulations for hand guns, so I would need one for the motors and a second one for the fuses.
Of course also a monitored alarm system and register with the local police so they know what to expect if called in one day.
Anyone else thinking this a tiny bit of overkill for something kids and adults play with all around the world?


Reply 4 years ago

Yes, it sounds like a lot of hassle for a hobby that is extremely rewarding very educational. Rocketry was one of my first hobbies, and I still go back to it often with my own kids.

For reference, I just bought some F size motors at a large chain hobby store here in the US. They were just hanging on a rack, accessible to anyone. I bet my 8-year-old could have bought them without the cashier batting an eye as well.

It's just kind of funny the different regulations there are around the world. Sad, actually!