(Updated 9/7/12, see below) A dilemma faced by many: “I, or my son or daughter, received a model rocket for Christmas (or birthday, or graduation, or other occasion). Where do we go to launch it?” So here is a short guide to flying a model rocket in the metro Atlanta area.
First of all, know that most park systems in the metro area have rules against flying objects of all types. Sometimes you can go fly a rocket or two in your local park, but at some point a friendly policeman will come by and say you can’t do that. That said, there are a couple of parks where we have gotten assurances that model rockets are allowed. One is Garrard Landing Park on Holcomb Bridge Rd near the Chattahoochee River. The entrance to the park is in front of a large building; just follow the signs back to the park. Garrard Landing is suitable for the average Estes beginner rockets.
Another park that allows rockets when other activities are not scheduled, is Custer Park in Marietta, on Hyde Dr. off of Fairground Street. Be very careful at this location as it is close to major streets and commercial areas. We have been notified by Marietta Parks, Recreation and Facilities that model rocket launches are not allowed at Custer Park.
Schools, church athletic fields, and, of course, private property can sometimes be used if you approach the appropriate people first.
The best advice we can give is for you to wait and attend one of SoAR’s launches, where you don’t have to worry about permission, or even whether your launch equipment works, since we provide it, along with free recovery wadding! For the next few months we’ll have two launches a month, usually one in Alpharetta for smaller model rockets, and one at another location for all model rockets. And then we have our GRITS launch in spring and fall for rockets of all types.
And keep checking the web site. You never know when we’ll find other locations where we can fly.