to which I responded:The point is that showing MESS results would be heavily weighted against the most popular motors which is an unfair representation. Of course there will be many more Estes motors reported than anyone elses. If Estes, who makes a few million motors per year, has 1000 failures, it is not as bad as when company x makes 100,000 motors and has only 500 failures.
the MESS reports do go to the people who have some historical and statistical context, and they will be sure the right people at the companies involved know what's happening if they see something out of the ordinary.
So MESS is the MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO. Do not discourage the filing of MESS reports. A very close second is indeed contacting the manufacturer directly.
I do not discourage making a MESS report, I only ask that individuals share what happened to them with us at the Cantina, including the engine type and/or batch number. We don't claim to any statistical sampling nor give a failure rate. The "A" in the acronym is for "Anecdotal"
(of an account) not necessarily true or reliable, because based on personal accounts rather than facts or research.
This is the best that we can do because as stated before the numbers from the MESS reports are closely held. That is the option of the organization receiving the reports. I understand the reasoning, but this again does not help any individual rocketeer make an informed descision, or for that matter any type of decision whatsoever.
So let me state this as clearly and straightforward as I can.
If anyone has an issue with any type of mis-performance of any model rocket engine or motor, by all means please fill out a MESS form first. Help the manufacturers keep their product the reliable and safe item that in the vast majority of cases they are.
Than contact the manufacturer to receive any relief you can get from that avenue.
I only ask that you would also then visit the viewforum.php?f=27&sid=a85630a0f510b1cf3d88fde541d096a6 and give us a little information also, to help your fellow enthusiasts.
Having the information that the MESS reports people have would probably put the numbers in a better perspective. As mentioned in Royatl's example, a one in one thousand failure rate is indeed much better than a five in one thousand failure rate. Stating the numbers in that manner would be more helpful to all instead of just gross numbers.
However, withholding information from the consumer seems a little bit bureaucratic and acting like you have something to hide. Do you think safety statistics for automobiles should be held close to the vest by the NHTSA and the auto industry?