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Flying Meetings : Web Site Update
on 2012/12/5 19:13:48 (480 reads)

The SARA website will be undergoing a re-vamp over the winter.
Stay Tuned!

Flying Meetings : October 20th Launch
on 2007/10/19 23:01:07 (1720 reads)

Dear Friends.

This is to confirm the arrangements for the previously proposed SARA Rocket Flying Meeting at the Fairlie Moor Site.

A NOTAM, to 15,000 Feet (4,572 Metres) Above Ground level (AGL) has been confirmed. Under this NOTAM our hours will be 1pm to 6pm. I have shortened the usual 1pm to 7pm period by one hour as it is getting darker earlier in the late afternoon now.

In view of the above hours all attending should get to the site for 12.30pm - 1pm if they can. Location of launch pads will be dependent upon the wind direction and strength as always.

Under the above NOTAM the meeting will be open to Model and High Power rocket flying. If anyone has anything experimental in mind or planned/in preparation for the October 20th meeting, be it a flight vehicle or a ground test, please let me know in advance, either this weekend or during next week. This is requested so that Site operational arrangements and experimental windows can be to some degree be planned in advance. The defintition of what is "experimental" is of course somewhat flexible, especially with our group of rocketeers. Best practice and judgement, drawing on our extensive collective experience - which I estimate to be around 120 man-years of very varied rocketry, and guided by the UKRA Safety code, will be applied at all times.

Weather permitting - wind & cloud cover in particular - Colin MacLaren hopes to attain a new Scottish amateur rocket altitude record of 12,500 Feet AGL. The present record is circa 9,000 Feet AGL set by Michael Caine at IRW 2007 with the weather rocket that he launched for the flight of Corpulent Stump.

For those of you not previously informed of the link, photos from the September 29th rocket flying meeting at the Fairlie Moor Site are now posted in albums at

There are also photos from the IRW 2007 event in a separate album at this link.

I look forward to seeing as many of you as can come along on Saturday 20th October at the Fairlie Moor Site.

Yours ever,

John Bonsor,

Flying Meetings : Latest Flying Meeting
on 2007/9/14 21:10:00 (834 reads)

Dear All.

Well the smoke from the 270 or so rockets launched during International Rocket Week 2007 (IRW 2007) has cleared away, and it's over two weeks now since any of us have launched any rockets, so it's time to be thinking about our next rocket flying meeting.

The next SARA (Scottish Aeronautics & Rocketry Association) Rocket Flying Meeting will be held, weather permitting as always, on Saturday 29th September 2007, at the Fairlie Moor Site. I have sent an e-mail to David Grove at the Civil Aviation Authority (our regular contact there) requesting a NOTAM to cover this activity on the above date between the hours of 1pm and 7pm BST (12.00Hrs to 18.00Hrs GMT). I have further requested a ceiling of 15,000 Feet (4,572 Metres) Above Ground Level (AGL) for the 29th September meeting. This is particularly to accommodate the 11K Feet AGL rocket that Sean O'Neill of the North West Rocketry Society (NWRS) has asked to bring to and fly at the 29th September launch meeting. If anyone has anything that might go higher still, well we have another 3,000 Feet to work with.

I know that the SARA web site had Saturday 15th September down as our next rocket flying date, with the 22nd as the roll over date. Th 29th was decided upon as the actual date just after the IRW. I apologise for the delay in getting this update out to you all, but I have been extremely busy with other business since getting back from the IRW (five days after the end of the event). I hope that this late notice about the change in date does not put any of you seriously out.

The regular recipients of the circular e-mails that announce the monthly SARA Rocket Flying Meetings at the Fairlie Moor Site (from Feb/March to Oct/Nov each year) will have noticed that the list of e-mail addresses is a bit longer this time. During the rocket workshop days at Kelburn that preceded the IRW 2007 event proper, and during the IRW itself we made a number of new contacts, and renewed contact with an old friend, Martin Carden. Everyone asked to be kept posted about the next rocket flying meeting on Fairlie Moor, so here are the details to all of you whom we met during the rocket workshoips and the IRW. It would be good to see you all on the 29th, even if you don't yet have rockets to fly. If you would like to get actively involved in building and flying your own model rockets we can soon get you started through the SARA club.

I am also trying to encourage another old friend to come back into rocketry - this means you Bob. I know that photogrpaphy is one of your hobbies now, so why not turn your lensmanship to rocket recording. The more pictures that we get from different points of view the better.

For those of you who have not been to the Fairlie Moor Site before, for directions go to the IRW web pages at:-

and click on SITE LOCATION in the index (Left hand side on Home/Welcome page), then scroll down to the foot of the SITE LOCATION page and click on the Fairlie Moor Map. If you have any difficulties or queries about getting to the Fairlie Moor Site, or about the Rocket Flying Meeting arrangements, please do not hesitate to e-mail me or phone me on 07733 250135.

If you will need a lift to the Site, again please get in touch with me and I will try to arrange a lift for you.

Particular Points about the 29th Sept. Rocket Flying Meeting.

1) As this will be a NOTAM'd Rocket Flying Meeting, for any rockets likely to exceed 2,000 Feet AGL altitude, Launch Windows will be arranged by mobile phone contact with Glasgow Air Traffic Control (GATC), who will also arrange clearance with Scottish Airways Operations Support at Prestwick for any rocket flights above 6,000 Feet AGL.

2) I will act as Launch Control Officer liaising with GATC.

3) For any rockets flying to below 2,000 Feet AGL Launch Windows will not be required.

4) As we will be flying both Model and High Power Rockets at the 29th September meeting there will be two separate Launch Areas - one for Model Rockets (probably at our usual location at The Pillars) and one for High Power Rockets, possibly at the area used during the IRW. However, actual location of the Launch Areas on the day will be dependent upon the wind speed and direction.

5) As this next Rocket Flying Meeting will be a bit more involved than our usual meetings at the Fairlie Moor Site I would ask that we all rendezvous at the Car Park at the Fairlie Moor Site at 12.30pm, so that a briefing can be given about the afternoon's operations, RSO's appointed (two each at least for both Model & HPR flying so that everyone who wants to gets to fly their rockets), and positioning of the Model and HPR Launch Areas decided upon.

One other thing to mention. I have checked with Mr. & Mrs. Fergie, owners of the Knockendon Farm land by whose kind permission we carry out our rocket flying activities on Fairlie Moor, with regard to any concerns they might have about people coming onto their land in the present revived Foot & Mouth situation (presently confined to Surrey when I last heard the news this morning). The Fergies keep sheep and a splendid herd of Highland Cattle on their Fairlie Moor land, and obviously we do not want to put any of that live stock at risk. As matters stand at present the Fergies are happy for us to go ahead with rocket flying on their land on 29th September, provided that -

a) the Foot & Mouth situation does not get worse and spread significantly,


b) that no one from the Surrey area, or who has very recently travelled through Surrey be present in our rocket flying group.

I am notifying our 29th September Rocket Flying Meeting to the UK rocketry community generally - through the UKRA web site and the UTR newsgroup - with an open invitation to travel up here and participate but with the the above provisos - a) & b) - very clearly emphasised.

Should there have to be any change in the plans for 29th September due to the Foot & Mouth situation I will advise you all as quickly as I can. The same goes for any other issue that might arise cause a change in plan. I will keep an eye on the TV and on-line weather forecasts in the week running up to 29th September. If the weather is definitely and clearly unflyable a day ot two before the 29th then arrangements will be made to roll the NOTAM from the CAA over to Saturday 6th October, and we will try again on that day.

As usual, if as many of as can do so could let me know if you will be at and taking part in the Saturday 29th September Rocket Flying Meeting at the Failrie Moor Site, that will be helpful.

I apologise if this e-mail has seemed at lot to read through, but as there are new factors in the next SARA flying meeting and as some of you are - very welcome - new contacts, I felt it important to put out all the relevant facts and information.

I look forward to seeing you all at the Fairlie Moor Site on 29th Septmber, and I will keep you all informed as promised above.

Ok, I am off to Tesco in Kilbirnie now, as there is no food in the house.

Yours ever,

John Bonsor.

Flying Meetings : 2007 Flying Meetings
on 2007/5/23 18:32:27 (742 reads)

As discussed at the AGM, here is a schedule of dates for Summer 2007 Launch Meetings at the Fairlie Moor Site. This schedule is organised on the basis of Prime Dates and Roll Over Dates (if weather is unflyable on any of the Prime Dates), as follows:-

Saturday 2nd June Prime Date
Saturday 9th June Roll Over Date

Saturday 23rd June Prime Date
Saturday 30th June Roll Over Date

There are fve Saturdays in June this year, which allows two Launch Meetings in the month; this will also help us to catch up with our rocket flying after being grounded over April and May due to the lambing season and sundry Bank Holidays.

The UKRA 2007 national launch event will run from Friday 13th to Sunday 15th July, hosted by the Black Knights rocket club, at their Milson Site (which is somewhere in the Midlands) - details are available on the UKRA web site at The reason for mentioning this event here is to ask if any SARA members are planning to go to it? If few or none, then we could go ahead with a Launch meeting at the Fairlie Moor Site that weekend (i.e. 2 weeks after the last date in June). So, depending upon the answer to the question above, the SARA July dates are provisionally -

Saturday 14th July Prime Date
Saturday 21st July Roll Over Date

A possible alternative for July, to avoid "clashing" with the UKRA event is -

Saturday 7th July as Prime Date, and
Saturday 21st July as Roll Over Date.

Saturday 4th August Prime Date
Saturday 11th August Roll Over Date

And then of course we are into IRW 2007 - Monday 20th to Monday 27th August, with the associated Public Space & Rocketry Days at Kelburn on Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th August.

September & October
Allowing time to recover from the exertions and excitements of the IRW,

Saturday 15th September Prime Date
Saturday 22nd September Roll Over Date

Saturday 13th October Prime Date
Saturday 20th October Roll Over Date

This schedule of dates enables six Launch Meetings (not counting the IRW). If all six were accomplished then with the three already flown in February and March we would end the year with nine Launch Meetings flown at the Fairlie Moor Site (plus Aaron's very successful flights at Longbar last Saturday after the AGM), and if the weather allowed we might be able to have an additional one in November - we have done that before. In 2006 we had 8 Launch Meetings.

I hope that the above schedule of dates is clear enough. It would be very helpful if -

A) you could let me know your availability for the above dates (by phone or e-mail) as far as is practicable at this time, &

B) you could let me know if you plan to go to the UKRA launch event in July?

I hope that this schedule of dates will be convenient for everybody, and that over the months it will enable everyone to get in a good number of Launch Meetings and a good amount of rocket flying.

I am writing up the Proceedings of the AGM, and will send them out to you all within seven days of this e-mail.

I hope that you are all well.

Yours ever,

John B.

Flying Meetings : Flying Meeting 24th March
on 2007/3/20 22:13:15 (1401 reads)

I have just checked the BBC on-line 5 Day weather forecast and the Metcheck forecast. Both are very favourable as regards rocket flying at the Fairlie Moor Site on the Saturday afteroon coming.

Average temepertature will be 12 deg. C, wind will be less than 10mph (possibly as low as 3mph) blowing to the the WWN to W. At Noon there is forecast broken cloud and sunshine; from 3pm clear sky. Rain is forecast as nil for the afternoon. I would say that these are eminently flyable conditions.

Therefore we are go for launches on Saturday. Hope to see you then if you can come along.

If anyone is planning to launch any rockets to above 2,000 feet Above Ground Level this Saturday could you please let me know in advance by e-mail or phone, thanks.

As this meeting is the one rescheduled from last Saturday because of the unfavourable weather forecast for that day (and boy was it a doozy foul weatherwise here last weekend), we still hope to hold a Launch Meeting on Saturday 31st March as well, before we have to leave off for April and until mid-May for the lambing season at Knockendon Farm.

Yours ever,

John B.

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Fairlie Moor Weather
Partly Cloudy, 13 C