BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF LCO DUTIES:
The Launch Control Officer's primary duty is to fire the rockets
with an audible countdown after ensuring that the range and sky
are clear. The LCO will follow the flight path of each rocket
until it has safely deployed its recovery system and keep the
spectators informed of any threat to their safety, particularly
if the rocket does not deploy its recovery system properly.
DETAILED JOB DESCRIPTION AND REQUIREMENTS:
Requirements: The LCO shall be a mature individual, at
least 18 years old, certified Level 2 in TRA, and knowledgeable
about rocket theory, motors and the high power rocketry safety
regulations (NFPA 1127).
Job Description: Launch rockets safely,
keeping spectators informed of any danger.
- Collect flight cards from the Pad Manager, review/arrange
the cards for an orderly launch, noting especially which flights
will be "heads-up" or for certifications.
- Ensure that the electronic launch system is in a safe
configuration before allowing any flier to approach the pads for
loading rockets. Notify fliers when they can approach the pads.
- Perform continuity testing only after all fliers have
departed the launch area.
- As the rockets are being placed on the pads, note any that
look unsafe in any way, especially if the rod angle is unsafe.
- Before launching any rocket, stop and think about the rocket
and its motor. Does it look like it will fly into the clouds,
or that the winds are too high? Ask yourself: Is it safe to
launch this rocket?
- Check flight card to see if the flight is a "heads up"
flight. There are two types of heads-up flights: One is to get
everyone's attention to watch the rocket, and the other is that
everyone gets on their feet and is observing the launch.
Any rocket that appears marginal, is multi-staged or clustered,
is an automatic heads-up/stand-up flight. In this situation,
alert the spectators and make sure everyone is standing up before
proceeding with the launch.
- Check the flight card to determine if the flight is for a
certification. If so, alert a prefect via the P.A. and make sure
they are watching to verify the flight.
- Launch each rocket with an audible countdown only after you
visually verify that the range and sky are clear for a safe launch.
If it is a cert flight, alert the prefects via P.A.
- Follow the flight of each rocket until it is obvious that
the recovery system has functioned properly. Keep the spectators
informed of the status of the flight. If the recovery system
fails to deploy properly, or pieces have come off, or the descending
rocket may land in the spectator area; use the public address
system to continually alert everyone until the potential danger
LCO CHECK LIST:
When Pads are Empty:
the Launch Control System
- Use the P.A. to Announce the Availability of
- Switch off Mike
When Pads are Being Loaded:
- Order the
Flight Cards & Read them Over
- Check the Pads for Unsafe Situations: Rod
- When Pads are Loaded, Clear Everyone From the
- Perform Continuity
Checks When the Area is Clear
- Check the Flight Card for "Heads-up or
- Announce the Flight (Name, Rocket, Motor,
- Visually Clear the Range and Sky and Announce
Safety Status via P.A.
- Give an Audible Count to Launch
- Follow Rocket Visually Until Safe Deployment.
- Keep Tabs on any Unsafe Situation, Keeping
- Safe the Pad When the Rockets are Gone. Announce
Announce Which Rocket(s) Need to be Removed