The officers and some associates of FAR have pyrotechnic operator licenses. A pyrotechnic operator license indicates that the person understands the California Health and Safety laws regarding the testing and launch of amateur rockets, operates safely, and is not a criminal. This license is administrated by the California State Fire Marshal (CSFM) office and is required by California Health and Safety codes. The licensee is required to supply Live Scan fingerprints for a background check, supply five-reference letters from other licensed pyrotechnic operators vouching for the licensee competence and experience and take a law and technical knowledge test. An applicant for the pyrotechnic operator's license needs to keep a logbook showing his or her experience. This logbook may be requested by the CSFM office to help justify giving the applicant the next higher license. A pyrotechnic operator can supervise other non-licensed persons to safely and legally static fire and launch rockets.
There are three classes of pyrotechnic operator license.
Class 3 allows you to launch rockets with commercially manufactured high-powered and hybrid rocket motors.
Class 2 allows you to launch Class 3 rockets, plus you can launch experimental rockets where you fabricate your own solid rocket motor.
Class 1 allows you to launch Class 3 and 2 rockets, plus you can also launch experimental rockets where you fabricate your own hybrid and liquid rocket motors.
Pyrotechnic Operator Classes
The FAR directors believe that all amateurs that fabricate and launch commercial or experimental rockets and rocket motors would benefit by obtaining a pyrotechnic operator license. Periodically FAR holds pyrotechnic operator classes to encourage people to get these licenses.