The fight over reporting continues

general discussions of the explosive kind.
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Space Captain
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#1 The fight over reporting continues

Post by Commander »

Over on YORF I got a response from Royatl to a request I made of an individual to come visit us at the cantina and make a post in this forum.

Royatl's response:
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.
to which I responded:
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?
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luke strawwalker
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#2 Re: The fight over reporting continues

Post by luke strawwalker »

That's part of the reason I just plain QUIT NAR years ago... They *DEFINITELY* have this "we know better than you" syndrome over there... Every time I've dealt with NAR HQ it's just been dripping with this "WTF are you bugging us with this?" mentality or attitude. H3ll I even had a former NAR Prez tell me as much in his return correspondence... (after they solicited suggestions for possible "money makers" for NAR and I suggested they put all the back issues of "The Model Rocketeer" and "American Spacemodeling" and "Sport Rocketry", the NAR magazines down through the ages, onto an indexed CD-ROM like "FARM SHOW" magazine has done with *all* their back issues all the way back to #1, which would be a valuable resource for rocketry hobbyists and rocketry historians or researchers alike... and I got back this cursory and very patronizing letter from the NAR Prez asking "if I was volunteering for the job", and after informing them in another letter that I did not have the requisite computer skills for such an undertaking, it was made clear that, basically, "if you're volunteering to do it, STFU..." At which point I just threw up my hands and said, "Screw them and the horse they rode in on-- YOU ASKED, A-HOLES!"... course I didn't send that but it just drove home the point that I had made the right decision in quitting).

They don't want to hear about updating rules or streamlining procedures, either... times change and we have to change with them. Well, at least *most* of us do. NAR's leadership simply sits back and condescendingly tells you that what you suggest is impossible or not wise and that they have the "better idea" and have been doing it that way since dirt was new and all this other BS (speaking here of the motor certifications) and then they blow you off like yesterday's newspaper...

NAR exists to serve basically TWO groups-- HPR fliers that they want paying dues to NAR rather than TRA, and competition. Since I'm interested in NEITHER (I REFUSE to get a friggin' certification for a HOBBY activity, let alone the expense of HPR) and have ZERO interest in competition, the only *value* my NAR membership provided was the "Sport Rocketry" magazine, which of course *mostly* caters to the two previously mentioned subgroups within rocketry that they are solely focused on... so again, the content is of little interest by and in large.

That being the case, and having to pony up $62 bucks a year for the privilege of receiving this treatment and magazine, I quit. That $62 a year was basically 25% of my hobby rocketry budget for the year, more or less, so it was a no brainer...

SO, basically, the same attitudes displayed at your (and others) attempts to get them to be more "transparent" about the information is in NO way surprising, at all... after all, like *all* good organizations, "they know better than you!"...

If they REALLY wanted to provide the information, they have (or could easily obtain) statistics of motor production and then correlate the MESS report data in a spreadsheet to produce failure rate percentages, and then at the very least make THAT data available... they could also report on the TYPES of failure modes (ruptured case, spit or broken nozzle, failed ejection charge, erratic delay, etc) and also a breakdown on storage conditions or other information that they gather; report it as statistical breakdowns rather than as specific information, so that the relevant comparisons and stuff can be drawn without "unfairly" denigrating or targeting any particular manufacturer or their products...

BUT, of course they won't... because, like the Kennedy files, you're "incapable of properly interpreting the data" and thus it has to be kept from you, for your own good... "after all, they know better!"


Later! OL J R :)
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