Southern Arizona Rocketry Association

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  • 27 Apr 2024 14:40 | James Cramton (Administrator)

    As of late April, 2024, the road conditions on Manville Rd on the way to the Agua Blanca launch site are quite good. Modest 2WD SUVs or pickup trucks should have no problem. Lower clearance sedans or wagons may need to consider carpooling, but the conditions are some of the best we've seen.  The roughest part of the drive is the first quarter mile, with the deepest dip immediately west of the Agua Blanca Ranch gate on the way into the Ironwood Forest Access Point Parking Lot.  The western portion of the road is primarily loose sand with decent traction, but it's best to keep moving slowly and steadily. 

    You'll see a Rocket Range Ahead sign about 1/4 mile before you reach the Agua Blanca Launch Site. When you reach the launch site, you'll see the activities north of the fence just before the fork in the road. Take the right fork and then proceed through the signed gate, follow the road a short ways till you see the last of the signs into the launch range. Stay to the right on the established tracks to stay clear of the launch pads, and proceed south toward the road to park in the spectator area. 

  • 15 Nov 2023 15:21 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thank you to all who helped SARA have an outstanding 2023.
    Congratulations to our incoming 2024 board of directors.
    They are:

    President: Michael O'Brien
    Vice President Ken Weaver
    Secretary Val Moreno
    Treasurer: Jeff Black
    Members at Large:
    Davin Uurtamo,
    Kevin Westfall
    Tripoli Prefect: John Carey
    NAR Sr. Section Advisor: Steve Lubliner

    Ken Weaver
    SARA vice president

  • 19 Apr 2023 10:31 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Members of Southern Arizona Rocketry Association, 

    We’d like to inform you that our SARA Club President, James Cramton, submitted his resignation to the board in order to pursue other priorities, effective 5/31/23.

    We are very grateful for his many contributions to SARA as he served in this role for the last several years and wish him all the best. 

    Per our bylaws we will hold a special club election on a Zoom meeting: Thursday, May 11th, 2023, 7:30 PM.

    We are now accepting nominations of individuals to serve as club president in writing.

    You may email them to (preferred) or submit them directly to a board member and we will reach out to them to confirm that they accept the nomination.

    Additionally, we will accept nominations from the floor during the meeting on the 4th.

    Please be aware that for in-meeting nominations, the nominee must be present in order to accept. 

    If you have any questions, please reach out to the board at

    ZOOM link:

    Join Zoom Meeting

    Meeting ID: 831 5721 7606

    Passcode: 280166

    One tap mobile

    +17207072699,,83157217606#,,,,*280166# US (Denver)

    +12532158782,,83157217606#,,,,*280166# US (Tacoma)


    Ken Weaver

    SARA vice president

  • 23 Aug 2022 13:45 | James Cramton (Administrator)

    SARA is returning to its long history of contest rocketry! Buoyed by a large collection of donated C6-7 motors, SARA is providing motors for our 2022 C6-7 altitude contest!  The gist of the contest is to fly an electronic altimeter in one of 4 common model rockets on a free C6-7 motor. The highest flight wins!  Eligible model rockets include:

    Estes Alpha (not the Alpha III)
    Quest Astra
    BMS School Rocket (BT-50 size)
    Rocketry Works Socrates

    Material substitutions are permitted, provided the overall profile of the rocket is consistent with the kit parameters--same length, diameter, nose cone profile, etc.  

    Prizes include a $25 Rocketry Works gift certificate, plus others TBD. 

    The contest will be held at SARA's October launch at the TIMPA site, on the weekend of October 21-23. We'll have a running tally of results throughout the launch. 

    Contestants are welcome to borrow an Altus Metrum Micropeak altimeter from Rocketry Works for this event.

    The full contest rules are linked below, but the intent of this contest is to be an entry level contest  to build interest for members new to contest flying. Certain arcane contest trickery is explicitly excluded. Let's just go out and have some fun flying models rockets! It's a great way to get kids involved in contest flying, too!

  • 10 Jun 2022 16:04 | James Cramton (Administrator)

    SARA President James Cramton completed his Level 3 certification at LDRS 40 at Lucerne Dry Lake in California. James' L3 build is called Window Sticker Mayhem--an extended Madcow Blue Iguana--a 5 inch diameter, 12 foot long fiberglass kit with a camera bay. The flight on an M1400 motor reached an altitude of 7930 ft AGL with a smooth recovery not far from the flight line. James and his son Zachary made the trip to LDRS 40 to complete the flight before Zachary heads off to college this fall.  Full technical details, including flight data and images from the ground and air are available here.

    Near apogee looking south toward Big Bear from Lucerne Dry Lake

  • 7 May 2022 17:02 | James Cramton (Administrator)

    Click to view 360 VideoSARA held its first overnight at its new Agua Blanca launch site, in Ironwood Forest National Monument, under permit from the Bureau of Land Management. Attended by a handful of fliers, it was a class 1 launch, since we are still in the process of applying for our class 2 FAA waiver for this location. That means we were flying model rockets weighing less than 1500 grams (3.3 pounds) pad weight, with less than 125 grams of propellant.  We flew a variety of low and mid power flights Friday evening and Saturday morning, with our largest flight of the day being James Cramton's  H195 powered, 3 inch diameter rocket with a GoPro Fusion 360 video camera on top.  The flight captured a great interactive video (click the image to view video) showing the boost phase, as well as the descent with the parachute bundled in a JollyLogic Chute Release until 500 ft above ground level.  This device minimizes drift, yet still allows a slow, safe landing under parachute.  A trained eye will spot the unintended release of the altimeter pod from the payload bay at apogee, but the payload and main rocket body recovered within 30 ft of each other, on the slopes of the nearby "Hill of Repression," as it is known in Google.

    The overnight camping portion of the event was a nice way to avoid the approaching summer heat in Southern Arizona, enjoy a friendly camp out, and get our flying in before the morning heats up.  Although the site has no water and no facilities, it has outstanding conditions for rocket camping, with dark skies, only wild or bovine neighbors, and an early start to flying in the morning. Keep your eyes on SARA's event calendar for more launches at this great launch site, which can support motors into the M, N, and O range once we secure an FAA waiver.

    In the interactive 360 flight video, the nose cone looks like it's split in 2 because the camera has 2 lenses offset slightly. One of the great things about working with GoPro's 360 camera line is that the post-processing software does a great job of automatically leveling the horizon and providing a stable and interactive video that you can watch like you're along for the ride; you can drag the video in real time to look around. James 3D prints the nose cone with the GoPro mount built in, and the camera is secured with Kevlar line that provides a secure connection to the rest of the rocket and the parachute.  Without that Kevlar, this flight would have ejected the GoPro with the nose cone, without the parachute! The camera would not have landed as safely as the altimeter bundle!

    Steve Fraser also shot photos from the launch site and environs. It's an interesting location!

    Click to view photo album

  • 7 Mar 2022 21:47 | James Cramton (Administrator)

    Desert Heat 2022 is ready to go in 3 weeks!  Friday through Sunday April 1 through 3 is the date, and if you register by March 27, you'll save $5 per day of the regular registration fees! Members save $5 per day on registration fees.

    We have a full weekend of flying planned, with a volunteer thank-you launch and pot luck dinner Friday afternoon and evening, a full day of flying Saturday, followed by a night launch Saturday evening, and more flying Sunday morning. RV and tent camping is available on site; just sign up and pay the $25 camping fee for the weekend during registration.

    Also, you can pre-order your Desert Heat 2022 T-shirts on the registration form to ensure we order enough shirts in your size. We'll order extras you can purchase at the launch, but we may run out of some sizes before the end of the launch.

    Our FAA waiver for class 2 high power rockets will be 5,000 ft above ground level (3,000 ft after dark), with flights from 1/4A up to M power. 

    You can find plenty more details available at SARA's Desert Heat page

    Or, you can jump right in to register now!

  • 28 Jan 2022 14:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Just a reminder.

    vNarcon 2022 is ongoing this weekend.

    Fri, Jan 28, 2022 at 6:00 AM - Sun, Jan 30, 2022 at 8:00 PM (MST) 

    vNARCON 2022 (

    It can be interesting and useful.

    And checkout SARA's own James Cramton's presentation!

    Level 1 Certification Build session

    Saturday 29 Jan 12:00 PM (MST)

  • 5 Dec 2021 16:38 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The club owes you all a big thanks and debt.

    This has been an extraordinary effort by 20 people, spending over 170 personnel hours on the field, for the club to be able to have the possibility of flying the TIMPA field again!

    Thanks to all of You!

    David Bailey

    Stuart Bailey

    Jeff Black

    Bob Brown- TIMPA tractor driver

    Evan Brown

    Eric Burch - Personal tractor and driver

    Matt Christensen

    Steve Fraser

    Kevin Hedspeth                                                                                                  

    Llyn Fulmer

    Terry Gilpin

    Dan Grossman

    John Grove

    Anson Knoblach

    Gerrit Kaup

    Paul Kaup

    Steve Lubliner

    Bill Olsen

    Ken Weaver

    Tim Wharton

    This does not take into account all the hours of behind the scenes effort, spent by other members to take care of the many other items that allow everyone to fly rockets.

    Please remember to thank them the next time you see them and please help the in any way you can. The club only works if we all pitch in and help wherever we can.

    Ken Weaver

    SARA vice president

    NAR section # 545

    Tripoli Prefecture # 93

    12042021-SARA-TIMPA Field Post Clean-Up.mp4

  • 5 Jun 2021 10:23 | James Cramton (Administrator)

    SARA is pleased to announce launch policy updates in response to recently changed CDC public health guidance and revised regulatory mandates from state, county, and city authorities. 

    • Fully vaccinated individuals (2 weeks after final vaccination shot) are not required to wear facemasks. With this freedom comes the individual responsibility to honestly represent your vaccination status.
    • Unvaccinated individuals must wear facemasks when away from their car at a SARA launch.
    • Please continue to practice social distancing; park every other space in the parking lot, and maintain 6 feet between you and others not in your bubble
    • Please stay home if you are sick or have been exposed to someone who may be sick, or if you or a family member may be at increased risk of COVID-19 complications.
    • The flush toilets at the TIMPA runway are now available again, so we have eliminated the port-a-potty on site and the associated $5 fee that was necessary during the height of the pandemic. 
    • Preregistration is required for SARA events, and a waitlist is available if we exceed the newly raised 50 attendee limit for the TIMPA facility. Fliers are welcome to register a number of guests, but all attendees count toward the total. This limit is likely a practical limit on the number of attendees we can support at this launch site during a 3 hour launch.
    • SARA is an all-volunteer organization, so please consider volunteering at a launch. Launches don't happen without volunteers, and we will need to stop launch operations if we are understaffed. If you haven't volunteered a 1 hour shift recently, it's time to step up to carry your share of the load. You can sign up for a variety of roles when you register for the event. 
    • All events for the remainder of 2021 are now posted in the Events section of the SARA website.  You are welcome to register for any of these events as soon as they are on the website. So if you want to fly in September, you can sign up in July to ensure your space.
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