The primary goal at the FAR site is to be safe and to operate safely.
To achieve this goal, FAR has the following safety equipment and facilities:
The blockhouse allows approximately 12-people to operate within 50-feet of a static firing or launch. The blockhouse is buried to reduce blast hazards to the occupants and to not block the visibility from the viewing bunkers and puts the occupant eye-level just above the ground. The blockhouse has approximately 8-inches of reinforced concrete for overhead protection, 16” of reinforced concrete in the outward directions, removable ½” polycarbonate windows with a 360 degree view, and has internal clearance for persons which are 6-foot 4-inches tall. It has internal lighting, internet connections, and electrical power.
There are four viewing bunkers. Each bunker can accommodate approximately 20-people. These bunkers are above ground with dirt berms in front for blast protection. Each bunker has approximately 8-inches of reinforced concrete for overhead protection, 16” of reinforced concrete in the forward direction, and has internal clearance for persons which are 6-foot 4-inches tall.
The test site has water fire extinguishers and shovels for fighting small fires. For fighting fires off-road we have a quad-motor cycle. For large fires we have an off road towable 500-gallon water tank with gasoline power water pump and hand-directed monitor.
There are six explosive magazines on the test site. These magazines allow site users to safely and securely store commercial and site fabricated rocket motors, black powder, electric matches, and igniters.
Explosives Manufacturing License
The FAR site is licensed by BATFE to manufacturer explosives. Rocket motors are no longer considered explosives, but associated electric matches and black powder are. This permit allows us to use and store electric matches and black powder. It allows us to make explosive devices that can be used for ignition and recovery of rockets. With this license, the officers and associates of FAR have had background checks to verify that they do not have criminal records, and these persons can supervise other unlicensed persons in the safe and legal use, handling, and storage of explosive materials.
We have a large first aid kit, oxygen tank, and heart defibrillator at the test site.
There is a helipad for a medical evacuation helicopter.
The officers and many associates of FAR have pyrotechnic operator licenses. A pyrotechnic operator license indicates that the person understands the laws, operates safely, and is not a criminal. This license is administrated by the California State Fire Marshal Office and is required by California Health and Safety codes. The licensee is required to supply fingerprints for a background check, supply five reference letters from other licensed pyrotechnic operators vouching for the licensee, and take a law and technical knowledge test. A pyrotechnic operator can supervise other nonlicensed people to safely and legally static fire and launch rockets.
Pyrotechnic Operator Classes
The FAR directors believe that all amateurs that fabricate rocket motors and launch rockets should obtain a pyrotechnic operators license. There are three classes of pyrotechnic operator license. Class 3 is for launching rockets with commercially produced high-powered solid and hybrid rocket motors. Class 2 is for fabricating your own solid rocket motor. And finally, Class 1 allows the same rockets of Class 2 and 3 plus individually fabricated liquid and hybrid rockets. Periodically FAR holds pyrotechnic operator classes to encourage people to get these licenses.