Member Launch Sunday, September 16, 2018 9 am - 1 pm

posted Sep 14, 2018, 11:52 AM by James Cramton

SARA's September Member Launch is a go! SARA has received FAA authorization to operate Class 2 high power rockets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Sunday, September 16, 2018, at the TIMPA facility near Picture Rocks. The operating altitude is from the surface of the Earth to 6,500 ft. above ground level. Note that despite the hot weather, this is our first launch of the season on the winter schedule, with a later start and longer hours.

As always, the use of spark producing motors is subject to the Range Safety Officer's review of field conditions.  Do not automatically assume that spark producing motors may be flown.

This launch is also a NAR-sanctioned NRC launch, so come out to try your hand at NAR competition rocketry in these events:
  • A Boost Glider Duration
  • 1/4A Helicopter Duration
  • 1/4A Parachute Duration
  • B Payload Altitude
  • C Egg Loft Altitude
  • B Egg Loft Duration
Rocketry Works will be on site with a supply of Estes black powder motors for sale at 10% off for SARA members. You can shop on site with credit card or place your order online ahead of time with free delivery at the launch. Just use the coupon code SARA 2018.

Sunday's weather forecast calls for sunny skies with low winds, and temperatures in the 80s and 90s. Be sure to come dressed for a morning outside in the Tucson summer weather, with long sleeves, long pants, closed toe shoes, a hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water!

We hope to see you out there!

James Cramton
Southern Arizona Rocketry Association

Launch Cancelled June 16 2018 due to rain and muddy range conditions.

posted Jun 16, 2018, 7:42 AM by James Cramton

It is currently raining hard at the SARA launch site, and the field conditions are very muddy. While the rain may let up later in the day, the muddy conditions will take longer to dry, so we are cancelling our June launch. On the plus side, it would have been a great day to fly sparkles!  We will pick up launch operations again July 15, 2018 from 8 am - 11 am. 

Enjoy your weekend!

James Cramton


Southern Arizona Rocketry Association

Watch This Spot for June 2018 Public Launch Weather Status

posted Jun 15, 2018, 1:22 PM by James Cramton

SARA has received FAA authorization to operate Class 2 high power rockets from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. this Saturday, June 16, at the TIMPA facility in Avra Valley. The operating altitude is from the surface of the Earth to 6,500 ft. above ground level.

As always, the use of spark producing motors is subject to the Range Safety Officer's review of field conditions.  Do not automatically assume that spark producing motors may be flown.

Weather notice: Weather forecasts for Saturday have been highly variable, but most now point to heavy rains overnight Friday night and again Saturday, although there may be a lull in the rain and low clouds during the 8 am - 11 amplanned launch.  I will be at the launch site at 7 am Saturday to make a go/no go decision, and I will reply to this thread and announce on the SARA website and SARA's Facebook page whether or not we will set up launch range. So stay tuned, but my advice is to come out early, help set up, and be prepared for a rain delay or a cancellation.  The concern is not just the rain, but the low cloud deck, so don't plan to fly very high Saturday. Remember the safety code mandates that we not fly above the cloud deck. Most low power flights should be fine, but flights over 3,000 ft AGL will likely not be possible. A rain date on Sunday is unlikely due to scheduling conflicts and anticipated windy weather.

James Cramton
Southern Arizona Rocketry Association

April Launch Recap

posted Apr 11, 2018, 1:26 PM by James Cramton

We had a good day of flying on Sunday, although it did start to get windy toward the end of the day's flying.  Nevertheless, we saw a lot of great flights, including 2 certification flights!   Photos are available at our flickr site, thanks to Steve Fraser!

Happy New Year!

posted Jan 1, 2018, 9:28 PM by James Cramton

SARA wishes you a happy new year and a productive 2018! We look forward to seeing you out at the launch range!

James Cramton
SARA President

Have a productive New Year!

Try Contest Flying!

posted Sep 19, 2017, 8:08 PM by James Cramton

Zachary Cramton at NARAM 58 with his 1st Place C Parachute Duration and 2nd place 1/2 A Superroc modelsNAR recently announced major changes to the structure of competition rules for the 2017 - 2018 season, and the result is that organizing and participating in competition launches will be much easier than in the past!  In fact, it's now so easy to hold a competition meet, that every SARA launch will be a sanctioned NAR contest. And under the new rules, all you need to do to get on the NAR National Rocketry Competition (NRC) scoreboard is to bring a model, and one our SARA members will help you try for a qualified flight!  SARA has a number of members well versed in competition flying, including several long time competitors and coaches, the author of the new NRC rules, and a Junior National Champion! (Zachary Cramton, shown here at NARAM 58 with his 1st Place C Parachute Duration and 2nd place 1/2 A Superroc models).  Contest flying is a great way for kids and adults to have fun and expand their horizons, and SARA has the experience to help you learn more!

For the 2017 - 2018 season, the following NRC events will be scored and tracked on the NAR scoreboard, so you can see how your performances stack up against other competitors nationally: 
  • 1/2 A Parachute Duration
  • A Streamer Duration
  • A Helicopter Duration
  • 1/2 A Boost Glider Duration
  • A Payload Altitude (with altimeter)
  • C Egg Loft Altitude (with altimeter)
The idea with these events is that they are all low power events that are (mostly) simple and cheap to build and fly, and don't tend to risk losing rockets to the winds. The goal of altitude events is to see how high you can fly the model with a certified altimeter on board. The goal of duration events is to see how long your model can stay in the air.  The simplest events to try are streamer and parachute duration events; for example, in A Streamer Duration, the goal is to fly a model on an A motor with a streamer recovery device, and see how long you can keep the model in the air (hint: finding thermals with a big streamer and a light model is key). And the goal of the C Egg Loft Altitude event is to fly and recover unbroken a raw egg of specific size and weight as high as you can on a C motor, with a certified electronic altimeter on board to measure the maximum altitude.  The rules for each event are of course more specific than that, but you can read all about the events here:

If you think you might want to give one of these events a try, by all means, come out to any of our launches and give it a try!  To officially enter the competition, you need to be a current NAR member 7 years or older, but SARA is happy to help anyone who wants to give competition rocketry a try with help, encouragement, and an unofficial entry. Feel free to come out and ask questions!

August Public Launch

posted Aug 20, 2017, 9:13 AM by Randall Shanyfelt   [ updated Aug 20, 2017, 9:16 AM ]

It was a beautiful day out with some light wind, but very nice overall. We had a pretty good turnout to the point we had to turn on the second set of low power pads. There will be no Flickr album this launch as our favorite photographer was out of town. The star of the show was Andrews dark matter K. Thanks to all that came out, and Steve for running the range.

SARA Board of Directors meeting Tuesday, September 5th

posted Aug 16, 2017, 2:36 PM by Kenneth Weaver   [ updated Aug 16, 2017, 6:32 PM by James Cramton ]

SARA Board of Directors meeting
When: Tuesday September 5, 2017 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Direct map to meeting room entrance:

Direct entry door is on North side of building of 7460 N la Cholla Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85750

Video conferencing available

Tentative Agenda:
 - Nominations for youth NAR membership award
- Relay box status update
- Discussion of how/whether to hold Desert Heat 2018
- Getting an earlier start on proposed schedules this year--and what it will take to coordinate with TIMPA earlier
- Upcoming outreach coordination/staffing

Summer Update

posted Jul 22, 2017, 7:50 AM by Randall Shanyfelt

I have not been around in a while so some updates from SARA. 

We are currently scouting for new launch sites, so if you know anyone with a 1-2 mile square farms or land away from airports send a message to It is not a replacement for TIMPA, just a backup. 

We have held 3 summer launches and had a contingent out at NSL. There have been Certifications and CATO's and everything in between. 

Next launch is 8/19 and we look forward to seeing everyone, stay hydrated! 

Happy Fathers Day!

posted Jun 18, 2017, 4:03 PM by Randall Shanyfelt

1-10 of 58