This table is a combination of tables from the Model Rocketry handbook and the “Laws and Regulations for Transportation, Use and Storage of Fireworks in California”
|Equivalent Motor Type||Maximum Combined Total Impulse(N-Seconds)||Minimum launch Site Dimensions(Diameter in feet)||Radial Distance of Launcher from People(Feet)|
|1/2A||1.25||50 NAR/CA||15 NAR, 30 CA|
|A||2.5||100 NAR/CA||15 NAR, 30 CA|
|B||5||200 NAR/CA||15 NAR, 30 CA|
|C||10||400 NAR/CA||15 NAR, 30 CA|
|D||20||500 NAR/CA||15 NAR, 30 CA|
|E||40||1,000 NAR/CA||30 NAR/CA|
|F||80||1,000 NAR/CA||30 NAR/CA|
|G||160||1,000 NAR/CA||30 NAR/CA|
|H||320||> of 1,500′ or 1/2 expected altitude NAR, 1,500 CA#||Simple 100 NAR, Complex 200 NAR, 30 CA|
|I||640||> of 1,500′ or 1/2 expected altitude NAR, 2,500 CA#||Simple 100 NAR, Complex 200 NAR, 150 CA|
|J||1,280||> of 1,500′ or 1/2 expected altitude NAR, 3,500 CA#||Simple 100 NAR, Complex 200 NAR, 150 CA|
|K||2,560||> of 1,500′ or 1/2 expected altitude NAR, 5,000 CA#||Simple 200 NAR, Complex 300 NAR, 200 CA|
|L||5,120||> of 1,500′ or 1/2 expected altitude NAR, 7,000 CA#||Simple 300 NAR, Complex 500 NAR, 300 CA|
|M||10,240||> of 1,500′ or 1/2 expected altitude NAR, 10,000 CA#||Simple 500 NAR, Complex 1,000 NAR, 500 CA|
|N||20,480||> of 1,500′ or 1/2 expected altitude NAR, 15,000 CA#*||Simple 1,000 NAR, Complex 1,500 NAR, 1,000 CA*|
|O||40,960||> of 1,500′ or 1/2 expected altitude NAR, Not Legal in
|Simple 1,500 NAR, Complex 2,000 NAR, Not Legal in CA|
|>O||>40,960||> 1,500′ or 1/4 altitude||FAR101.22c Class 3|
* Complex rockets up to 20,480NS are legal in CA. Simple rockets must be under 10,240NS.
#Waivered flights require that the launcher is 1500′ from any occupied structure whereas unwaivered rocketry, the launcher can be anywhere inside the launch site to optimize use of the prevailing winds.
Simple is a single motored rocket.
Complex is a multi motored rocket.
CA State Fireworks regulations doesn’t define how the Min Launch Site dimensions is measured, so I used the Model Rocketry handbook definition. Nor does the CA State Fireworks regulations define how to use “…estimated altitude likely to be achieved by the rocket..” in launch site dimensions. The Model Rocketry handbooks says “… shall be not less than one-half the maximum altitude..” I interpret this to mean the above table is minimum unless you fly higher than double launch site diameter. The Model Rocket Safety Code does not include expected altitude in it’s launch site size calculation. The High Power Rocket Safety Code of March 2006 now includes expected altitude as part of launch site dimensions.
From State Fireworks Regulations, Title 19, California Code of Regulations,
Chapter 6 Article 17. Model Rockets (Applies only to FAA waivered activities, unwaivered isn’t addressed.)
§1037. Launch Site Standards
- The launch site shall consist of a launching area and a recovery area. The launching area shall consist of an area surrounding the launching devices a radial distance from the launching device as specified in Table above. The recovery area shall consist of the launching area and the minimum area necessary to retrieve the rocket, based on the estimated altitude likely to be achieved by the rocket. These calculations shall take into account the weight of the rocket and the specific type of motor used (or combined total impulse). Table above shall be used to determine the minimum launch site dimensions for the various classes of experimental high power rockets.
- The launch site shall not be located in any grain field, dry grass, brush or forest covered lands.
- The launch site shall not contain any buildings or structures, unless specifically approved in advance by the authority having jurisdiction, and under no circumstances shall such buildings or structures be less than one thousand five hundred feet (1,500 ft.) from the launch site.
- The launch site shall not contain any high voltage electrical lines or major highways.
- The launch site shall not contain any natural or artificially constructed obstacle deemed by the authority having jurisdiction to pose a hazard during launching.
- The launching area shall be located as near as possible to the center of the launch site but in no case less than seven hundred fifty feet (750 ft.) from the boundary of the launch site.
- The launching area shall have appropriate barriers around it such that spectators will be restrained from encroaching upon it. These barriers may be of any type approved by the authority having jurisdiction.
From the Model Rocketry Handbook
4.9.1 For a circular area, the minimum launch site dimension shall be the diameter, and for a rectangular area it shall be the shortest side.
4.9.4 As an alternative to the minimum launch site dimensions of the above table, the size of the launch site shall meet one of the following criteria:
- It shall be not less than one-half the maximum altitude as stated by the manufacturer for the model rocket and motor(s) combination being flown.
- It shall be of a size approved by the authority having jurisdiction based on flight demonstration or data required to substantiate the anticipated altitude.