Launch Information

TRIPOLI HOUSTON conducts launches almost every month at the Municipal Airport in Hearne, Texas.  Please see the schedule in the menu for launch dates.  Members and guests are encouraged and welcome to fly with us at these launches.  Please see the Membership section of the web site or click on the Join TRIPOLI HOUSTON menu option for club membership information. Membership is not required to attend or launch with TRIPOLI HOUSTON. If you enjoy launching with us and find yourself attending regularly, then we recommend you join our merry band of cloud shooters as a club member.


TRIPOLI HOUSTON is a member of the Tripoli Rocketry Association.  We hold normal commercial, low, mid and high power launches on the 2nd Saturday of each month.  On the 2nd Sunday of each month, Tripoli Houston holds a RESEARCH launch which allows more advanced and certified members to launch rockets using propellants they mix themselves.


WEATHER – With the fickle weather in Southeast Texas, launches can often be cancelled with short notice. To avoid any miscommunication, you should visit the Tripoli Houston Yahoo group to get the latest information on launch status.


Airport Use - Rocketry activities are only permitted at the Hearne Airport on the designated launch weekends and then only during designated launch windows. TRIPOLI HOUSTON uses the location as a guest of the City of Hearne.  Our use of this site can be revoked at any time so we must always be on guard to be friendly and thoughtful custodians of the grounds.  What you carry in, you should also carry out: Please remove ALL of your garbage at the end of your flying day.


Launch Equipment - For those of you who have never flown with a rocket club before, TRIPOLI HOUSTON provides all necessary launch equipment.  You don't need to bring a launch pad or controller.  Our low power pads can hold up to 8 model rockets at any one time. For High Power flyers we have 1010 and 1515 rails and larger diameter rods.  Any rockets flying on an L or M motor or over 30lbs should check with the club prior to planning a launch.  For additional details on High Power requirements, please see below. 


FAA Waiver - TRIPOLI HOUSTON has obtained an FAA waiver for High Power flying.  The waiver caps maximum altitude at 16,000 feet AGL and the size of the field limits rocket motors to a single M motor. We fly using the Tripoli safety standards.


High Power Certification Requirements - If you plan to fly a high power rocket (as defined by the Tripoli Rocketry Association), you MUST show proof of current NAR or TRA membership and corresponding high power certification level.  No matter what academic, technical or professional expertise you may have, our insurance only covers certified high power flyers. Additionally you may only fly in your certification level as shown on your membership card, except for a certification flight.


RANGE FEES - TRIPOLI HOUSTON members AND guests are asked to pay a range fee of $10 per day for High Power launches. Low and mid-power flyers launch fee is $5. Children under 18 fly for free.  If you fly with us regularly, please consider joining the club!


Launch Rules - At TRIPOLI HOUSTON launches, the range safety officer (RSO) will designate the angle rockets must be launched at depending on the wind speed and direction.  The angles are designed to keep rockets from flying over the flight line.  The RSO reserves the right to refuse to launch any rocket deemed to be unsafe for flight.


What should I bring with me - A typical rocketeer planning to spend the day at the launch site should pack the following:

  • Water, food snacks, etc
  • EZ-UP canopy (particularly during HOT summer months
  • Bug spray, sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher)
  • Tennis shoes or hiking boots, light pants, hat (if you have to go into the brush, shorts and a T-shirt won’t be fun)
  • Small table
  • Bag Chairs
  • Don’t forget your rocket stuff, if you do forget something, just ask someone to borrow theirs.

Restrooms - Restrooms are located near the aircraft hangers in the pilots lounge. The lounge has a combination lock. See the RSO for the combination.  Again, we are guests and should always respect the facilities as if they were our own. All children should be supervised at all times but particularly during restroom runs.


Children - Children are always encouraged to attend and participate in launches. To avoid any possible injuries, children should never be allowed at the High Power launch pads unless they are certified as Tripoli Mentors. Please don’t allow any children to roam freely around the airport.


NO SMOKING - No smoking within 50 feet of rocket preparation areas or launch pads.  Flammable rocket motors and black powder ejection charges don't mix with smoking!


Driving - Driving is only permitted on the airport tarmac.  Driving speed should be limited to under 30mph and lower, especially when children or pedestrians are nearby.


Launch Control - During launch operations, please always pay attention to the RSO!  When the Launch Controller calls "Heads Up!", it means there is a rocket overhead! Stand up, get out from under any canopy and look for the rocket.


ROCKET RECOVERY – Particularly in the HOT summer months, please be prepared before you head out looking for a wayward rocket.  Make sure to take a CHARGED cell phone, plenty of water and wear appropriate clothing.  Always make sure to ask for advice if your rocket is "way out there".  There are easier and harder ways to get to your rocket. Portable GPS handhelds help quite a bit.

Directions to the Hearne Airport Launch Site

Directions to the Launch Site:

  • From Hwy 6, travel North of Hearne until you see the Loves Truck Stop
  • Turn Left on FM485 to the Entrance to the Municipal Airport
  • Turn Left into the Airport
  • Drive past the several aircraf hangars and the Pilot Lobby
  • Drive onto the Airport tarmac and continue south past remaining hangars
  • Travel to the end of the tarmac and park along the grassy edge

Launch Site - Hearne TX Municipal Airport

Our launches are located at the Municipal Airport in Hearne, Tx. This town is approximately 100 miles NW of Houston. 

We have worked with the FAA to secure a 16k' waiver.  We have launch ground equipment to support rockets from very small to extremely large. 

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