COVID – Planning for Return to Flight
Fiesta Island has re-opened (within limits) for individual and single-family activities. However, the SD Parks & Recreation Department is not issuing permits for any group activities. Groups that already have permits (such as DART) cannot hold events now but can reschedule for a future date.
We will continue to check with the SD Parks & Rec to see when group activities are permitted.
Fiesta Island partially reopened on June 8. However, access is limited to pedestrians, dogs and cyclists only. Vehicles (cars, SUVs, trucks, etc.) are not allowed at this time.
Since vehicles are not yet allowed on Fiesta Island, we cannot transport the launch equipment required to host a launch. We will not be able to conduct the launch scheduled for June 21.
Fiesta Island is scheduled to open for vehicle access on July 6. Normally, DART does not have any launches scheduled during the summer due to the Over-The-Line (OTL) tournament. However, the OTL tournament for 2020 has been cancelled. We will check to see if any dates become available for holding a launch.
At this time, our next scheduled launch is after our summer hiatus on August 16. If we are able to obtain any dates for a summer launch, we will announce this via the website, email, and Facebook page.
We are looking forward to resuming model rocket launches when we can do so safely. John Hochheimer, president of NAR, has announced that NAR launches are allowed again as long as we follow all federal, state, county, and local regulations and public health requirements.
Fiesta Island remains closed at this time. However, San Diego is beginning to re-open. Our next scheduled launch is June 21, then we resume again August 16 after our summer hiatus. Fiesta Island may be re-opened before the June launch.
When we can proceed with launches, we will implement the following steps to maintain a safe model rocketry launch including COVID considerations.
- We will have a limited number of launch pads, separated by a minimum of 15′. This provides generous social distancing while also satisfying the Model Rocket Safety Code.
- We will orient the launch range to such that people are not downwind from each other. Assuming typical west-to-east wind direction, people and launch pads will be arranged in a north-to-south layout (see map).
- “Dog barf” wadding will be available in Ziploc baggies.
- All people shall wear masks/facial covering while in the vicinity of the launch pads and prep areas.
- When your rocket is prepped and ready to fly, approach the launch range (maintain 6′ social distancing from any others waiting to launch). The Launch Control Officer (LCO) will assign you to a launch pad. Place the rocket on the launch rod, then withdraw 15′ from the launch pad. DART personnel will attach the microclips to your rocket and do a safety check. The LCO will then perform the countdown and launch your rocket. This process will maintain social distancing and minimize surface touches.
It is possible that the re-opening regulations may place limits on crowd size and may require that we collect information for contact tracing. We will address these issues when we have additional insight about the re-opening process.
Our primary obligation is the safety, health and welfare of our community and the people who attend our launches. We appreciate your cooperation with these new procedures.
Next Launch – TBD
Welcome to DART!
DART supports low-power and mid-power model rocketry for the greater San Diego region. We also work closely with the local Tripoli prefecture (http://tripolisandiego.org/) for high power rocketry.
DART has launches on Fiesta Island approximately twice a month (except for our summer hiatus). The launches are free and open to the public. Anyone may participate
in the launch, or just to come by and watch. If you attend a DART launch, you won’t need any permits. Just show up and fly your rockets! DART already has the required permits and forms with the SD Parks department and Fire department. We also provide launch pads and a central launch control.
You’re welcome to become a member of DART, although this isn’t required to attend DART launches. Click on the “Membership” tab for more information.
Please contact us if you have additional questions. We hope to see you at a future DART launch!