April Launch Canceled

In classic Air Force manner, the airspace manager has sent an email out last minute canceling their approval for our launch tomorrow.

It has been pointed out that some land that may make a good launch location exists near California City that we originally dismissed due to it being BLM land ( which means we will have to pay to use it). I will check and see if it is outside of the airspace we are currently under and if it is I will verify cost and submit the FAA waivers needed to move our launch location there. This new area is a dry lake bed outside of cal city called Koehn lake.

It has become apparent that the increased weekend use of the airspace by the Air Force, is not a fluke or a temporary thing

March Rocket Lab

Hey all,

 

Just a friendly reminder that we have our rocket lab build session at the usual place and time tomorrow, noon to 3pm! Bring whatever you want to work on, but if you are planning in attending our night launch in July I definitely recommend checking in on the requirements, and getting some work done there! Check events for more details!

Feb 10th Rocket Launch is a Go

Hello Everyone!

Our launch for this Saturday from 0900-1400 has been approved. It is always possible that a last minute mission can happen, but as of right now we are good to go. For directions on how to get to the launch site, go here: http://www.skarclub.org/launch-information/

 
We will have some motors available, all sizes of launch rods, and we will be attempting a makeshift rail setup.
 
If you need motors you can contact Mike at Bay Area Rocketry http://bayarearocketry.com/ or mike@bayarearocketry.com If you order on the site make sure you select launchsite pickup and in the notes write Mojave SKAR drop off.
 
If you order via email just let him know it is for Mojave SKAR drop off then let me know and I will pick it up for you Friday evening, as long as he is coming through the area (which he usually does)
 
you can contact me at skarclub@gmail.com

Updated Update NO LAUNCH Jan 2018

Updated Update.
 
NO LAUNCH this weekend. Yes it sucks, and I am sorry. Received a followup email from the 412 OSS OSO/DO addressing some of the issues. Some of them they are taking care of, like the fact that the R2515 Airspace Management voicemail is full so no one can leave messages.
 
They also restated their authority to deny our launch request on ALL classes. I have forwarded this to the Air Traffic Control Specialist with the WSC/Operations Support Specialist that I had been speaking to at the FAA. Until the FAA clarifies I do not want to do anything to risk losing our Airspace Agreement.
 
I will also begin to look for a new launch site again.
 
Below is the email.
 
 
Hello Chris,
 
Thank you for contacting me today.
 
We checked the R-2515 voicemail and it is indeed full. We’re working to get it cleared out.
 
Our airspace office will make every attempt to let you know when they receive your request. Please be patient. They may not always be able to give you a prompt answer at the time of your request (they may be waiting on the status of certain test missions). They will send approval/denial of your operation as soon as they are able, based on Test Wing (TW) flying.
 
Policy:
IAW CFR 14 101 para 101.5 No person may operate a moored balloon, kite, amateur rocket, or unmanned free balloon in a prohibited or restricted area unless he has permission from the using or controlling agency, as appropriate. IAW CFR 14 101 Subpart C, an Amateur rocket includes Class I rockets.
 
R-2515 is NOTAM’d continuously active SFC to Unlimited. Approval from the Using Agency (the 412 TW/CC) is required IAW CFR 14. When we are not using the airspace for TW missions, we release the airspace (above 6K) to Joshua Approach for shared-use. However, you still require approval from the TW from the SFC to 6K. The TW/CC has approved your operation (via the instructions of your LOA) on a non-interference basis with the 412 TW mission.
 
Please continue to coordinate with R-2515 as normal. If you are unable to get in touch with the R-2515 office, feel free to contact me for assistance.
 
Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.
 
Thank you.
 
V/R
Trish Fisher, NH-III, USAF
412 OSS OSO/DO
235 S. Flighline Ln
Edwards AFB, Ca. 93524
DSN: 527-8582/Comm: (661) 277-8582
Email: Patricia.fisher.6@us.af.mil
 
 

Update on issues with the R2515 Airspace Management office and our Jan launch

Hello everyone. I just wanted to update you on our ongoing issues with the R2515 Airspace Management Office.
 
So I have ascertained that at the heart of the issue is that the person we have been working with (who was absolutely amazingly helpful) has changed to another office.
 
I sent our request for this weekend last Thursday. We used to get an email confirmation letting us know they got our request and will get back to us ASAP. Then, by Tuesday evening we have a tentative yes or no, and they contact us back again by Thur to confirm. This is how it has been for near 3 years.
 
For the last 3 months, it has not been this way. There has been no confirmation that our request was received. We have not been getting a response until thursday or friday.
 
Previously we have had issues where we were not allowed to launch on Sat, so we would launch Sun. This is why we request those days as backup from the FAA.
 
Out of the last 5 request, 3 of them (Including this weeks) have been outright denied. No sat or sun launch. No changing of altitude, no changing of flight times, just a no.
 
When I was working with the FAA this last month to submit our FAA waivers for 2018, the supervisor of our area based out of Seattle Wa mentioned that he used to work in this airspace management office (2515), and during the course of our conversation this issue we are having came up.
 
He informed me that R2515 can NOT outright deny our requests. They must work with us on days, times and altitudes if able, and if not they must provide us in writing a reason as to why. Further, they can not deny us the launching of Class 1 rockets at all. He said that if we had any further issues to let him know and he will contact the facility.
 
So today after having not heard back from R2515 I attempted to call them. There was no answer, and I could not leave a voicemail as the box was full. I contacted the next level up which is the 412 Operations Support squadron. While being polite, they were very adamant that they were the Air Force, and have no obligation to allow any civilian use of any kind of the air space. I mentioned my conversation with the FAA, and was told they would look into it and get back to me.
 
roughly an hour later I received an email simply stating the following:
 
“Sir/Ma’am,
 
R-2515 is unable to approve your operations on the requested dates.”
 
I have forwarded this mail to the FAA supervisor for our area that I spoke to before, with a brief explanation.
 
As of right now, So long as anyone wants to launch Class 1 rockets, I intend on showing up at the launch site Saturday morning at 9am, however our launches will be restricted to Class 1 rockets only (A-G motors).
 
I’d like to apologize to our members, especially our new ones who have not had an opportunity to launch yet, for the issues with our launches these past few months. I am working every angle I can to get us better access, and better communication for our launches, unfortunately the change in personnel at the office we coordinate with seems to have some issues.
 
I will update you all if anything else changes.

October Launch Information

Hey everyone,

Just got confirmation for the October launch. This month the launch will be Sunday, Oct 15th from 0900 to 1400. We have an approved ceiling of 10,000 AGL. You can find directions to the launch site here: http://www.skarclub.org/launch-information/

If you have any questions, please let us know! As per normal, you can make purchases from http://bayarearocketry.com/  For delivery options select launch site pickup and in the notes write that it is for SKAR launch pickup in mojave. Be sure to let me (Chris) or Kevin know as if we have stuff to pickup we can pick yours up also.  Looking forward to seeing you all out there!

Also, our build session this month will be Sat OCt 28th. from noon to 3pm. We may have a local boyscout troop with us building rockets as well, but that has not yet been confirmed. Our business meeting will be that same day at 3pm. We will have some pizza and drinks so be sure to make it if you can!

August Launch Canceled

Hey everyone,

Unfortunately the Air Force has contacted us and has rescinded their permission for us to launch this weekend. They will not let us launch on Saturday OR Sunday, not even with lowered altitude ceilings (I tried everything!!), While the AF has, in the past, not allowed us to launch on a Saturday, we have always been able to launch on at least the next day on Sunday. Unfortunately because they have denied permission on both days, we will not be able to launch again until September. This is because we are required to have an FAA waiver on our launch days. At the end of each year, I submit the entire year in advance to ensure we have our waivers in order. This process takes several months, so even if I were to put in a waiver today, it would not be approved until November at the earliest, which , as you can see, is a little late for an August launch date.

Our launch site location is pretty good, and has been utilized for over 20 years by the MDAR group. However, for SKAR, it has been a pain in the butt. We have to request special permission from the AF each month, and never know until a few days before if we are launching on a saturday or a sunday. This can be very frustrating for members, especially those that come out from farther away. Due to this issue, and this weekends completely cancellation without any reason given, Kevin and I have decided that we are going to search for a new launch location. One that is not in the R2515 or R2508 complex. Or any restricted airspace for that matter. I have gotten a lead on a couple of locations closer to Rosamond and will be checking them out this weekend. Hopefully one of these will pan out and we can have a much more stable launch schedule.

We will maintain the current launch site until a new one is ready, and the appropriate FAA waivers have been submit.

-Chris

July Launch and other events!

Hello everyone,

 

Sorry for the late notice, it took awhile to get confirmation back from the Air Force due to the holiday being on Tuesday. We are go for launch on Saturday, 9am to 2pm (though we tend to start picking up around noon most days).  As usual, we will be launching just north of Ariel Acres, you can get location information at http://www.skarclub.org/launch-information/ 

Also, we have our first community class being taught, Introduction to Rocketry, with a workshop. You can find out more information and registered here: http://www.skarclub.org/event/skar-101skar-101l-introduction-to-rocketry-w-workshop/

Lastly, due to our low memberships, we did not have enough nominations for officer positions to hold an election this year. As such, our current administration will continue to run until next year, where hopefully our membership will increase enough to have elections again. If you are interested in helping out, please attend the business meetings!

 

That is all for now!