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Re: [Balloon_Sked] Different HAB Regs?

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  • Mark Conner
    http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&rgn=div5&view=text&node=14:2.0.1.3.15&idno=14#14:2.0.1.3.15.4.9.1 [this should be authoritative - not sure
    Message 1 of 34 , May 1, 2009
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      http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&rgn=div5&view=text&node=14:2.0.1.3.15&idno=14#14:2.0.1.3.15.4.9.1
       
      [this should be authoritative - not sure I trust a flight-sim website for the latest info........ :) ]
       
      The free balloon exemptions are still in place.  It appears there were other changes to FAR Part 101 made in late 2008, but not affecting ARHAB.  The other language for non-exempt balloons has not been changed since 1974 according to the GPO website.
       
      73 de Mark N9XTN

      On Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 18:12, Pete Lilja <plilja@...> wrote:


      I fly high powered rockets in addition to an interest in HABs.  There was a recent change in FAR 101 regarding rockets and the FAA.  A fellow HP rocketeer and HAB enthusiast was looking over the new regs and noticed some seeming differences in FAR 101 regarding unmanned balloons.
       
      The text of pps. 8 and 9 are copied below.  Are these new regs we need to be concerned about?  Or are those payloads under 6 lbs. still exempt?  Is this new stuff (as it is with high power rockets)?
       

      Subpart D—Unmanned Free Balloons

      § 101.31 Applicability.

      This subpart applies to the operation of unmanned free balloons. However, a person operating an unmanned free balloon within a restricted area must comply only with §101.33 (d) and (e) and with any additional limitations that are imposed by the using or controlling agency, as appropriate.

      § 101.33 Operating limitations.

      No person may operate an unmanned free balloon— (a) Unless otherwise authorized by ATC, below 2,000 feet above the surface within the lateral boundaries of the surface areas of Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class E airspace designated for an airport; (b) At any altitude where there are clouds or obscuring phenomena of more than five-tenths coverage; (c) At any altitude below 60,000 feet standard pressure altitude where the horizontal visibility is less than five miles;

      (d) During the first 1,000 feet of ascent, over a congested area of a city, town, or settlement or an open-air assembly of persons not associated with the operation; or

      (e) In such a manner that impact of the balloon, or part thereof including its payload, with the surface creates a hazard to persons or property not associated with the operation. [Doc. No. 1457, 29 FR 47, Jan. 3, 1964, as amended by Amdt. 101–5, 56 FR 65662, Dec. 17, 1991]

      § 101.35 Equipment and marking requirements.

      (a) No person may operate an unmanned free balloon unless— (1) It is equipped with at least two payload cut-down systems or devices that operate independently of each other; (2) At least two methods, systems, devices, or combinations thereof, that function independently of each other, are employed for terminating the flight of the balloon envelope; and (3) The balloon envelope is equipped with a radar reflective device(s) or material that will present an echo to surface radar operating in the 200 MHz to 2700 MHz frequency range. The operator shall activate the appropriate devices required by paragraphs (a) (1) and (2) of this section when weather conditions are less than those prescribed for operation under this subpart, or if a malfunction or any other reason makes the further operation hazardous to other air traffic or to persons and property on the surface. (b) No person may operate an unmanned free balloon below 60,000 feet standard pressure altitude between sunset and sunrise (as corrected to the altitude of operation) unless the balloon and its attachments and payload, whether or not they become separated during the operation, are equipped with lights that are visible for at least 5 miles and have a flash frequency of at least 40, and not more than 100, cycles per minute. (c) No person may operate an unmanned free balloon that is equipped with a trailing antenna that requires an impact force of more than 50 pounds to break it at any point, unless the antenna has colored pennants or streamers that are attached at not more than 50 foot intervals and that are visible for at least one mile. (d) No person may operate between sunrise and sunset an unmanned free balloon that is equipped with a suspension device (other than a highly conspicuously colored open parachute) more than 50 feet along, unless the suspension device is colored in alternate bands of high conspicuity colors or has colored pennants or streamers attached which are visible for at least one mile. (Sec. 6(c), Department of Transportation Act (49 U.S.C. 1655(c))) [Doc. No. 1457, 29 FR 47, Jan. 3, 1964, as amended by Amdt. 101–2, 32 FR 5254, Mar. 29, 1967; Amdt. 101–4, 39 FR 22252, June 21, 1974]

      § 101.37 Notice requirements.

      (a)

      Prelaunch notice: Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, no person may operate an unmanned free balloon unless, within 6 to 24 hours before beginning the operation, he gives the following information to the FAA ATC facility that is nearest to the place of intended operation: (1) The balloon identification. (2) The estimated date and time of launching, amended as necessary to remain within plus or minus 30 minutes. (3) The location of the launching site.



    • wb8elk@aol.com
      Hi Paul, Actually there are many folks in AMSAT who have an interest in Near Space....I attended the AMSAT conference last October in Atlanta and presented a
      Message 34 of 34 , May 3, 2009
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        Hi Paul,
         
          Actually there are many folks in AMSAT who have an interest in Near Space....I attended the AMSAT conference last October in Atlanta and presented a talk on Near Space and using it as a way to test out satellite transponders....there was another talk that included Near Space from the Auburn folks and yet another group from Miami talked about balloons as a stepping stone to satellite payload research. I discussed flying an SDR (software defined radio) system similar to that going up in SuitSat2 on a balloon and that received some interest in doing that as well.
         
          AMSAT actually does have a NearSpace link on their website but it hasn't been updated for awhile.
         
          As to working with the FAA....EOSS has a great relationship with the FAA and if any rule changes are forthcoming....we could start with that relationship.....also I attended a conference in Iowa a couple years ago that was focused on Near Space....there are several big companies that operate under Part 101....Space Data...and NearSpace Corp....I'm certain that they both have a voice and some clout as any changes to Part 101 would tremendously affect them. At that Smallstat conference I talked with the fellow who heads the FAA department that deals with scientific and sounding balloons (he presented a talk about the possibility of balloons striking aircraft)......a handful of near misses and one possible strike with no damage after 60 years of ballooning.....he's a very approachable and open person...I'll look up his contact info. However, I'd advise not asking for clarifications or updates to the rules unless we get word that there appears to be a rule change in the works since government rule changes usually are MORE restrictive than less.
         
        - Bill WB8ELK
         
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