1. What about the wind?
You have to plan for weather delays. Winds over 20 miles an hour are too strong and can make your rocket unstable in flight. Even NASA has to postpone for high winds. Below that speed you can compensate by angling your launch rod into the wind and allowing the rocket to drift back to you on it's parachute or streamer.
3. How can I check the Launch Control?
You can check the launch controller and your batteries by connecting the two alligator clips together with no igniter. Insert the safety key. The bulb should light brightly. The wire underneath the insulation where it attaches to the alligator clip receives a lot of stress. You can often feel this break through the insulation with your thumb nail. The alligator clip will need to be replaced. In the field you can cut and strip the wire. Then use the alligator clip like a clothespin to connect the bare wire to the igniter. This way you won’t have to cancel the launch.
4. Which engine should I use?
ONLY A8-3 OR A6-4 ENGINES / MOTORS MAY BE USED FOR THE RFTS COMPETITION
In general, I suggest using the smallest engine recommended for your rocket. It greatly increases your chances of recovering your rocket for additional flights and minimizes the possibility of damage.
Over and over again I have heard about people who tried rocketry once, lost the rocket on their first attempt and never tried rocketry again.
2. What can I do about ignition problems?
3.....2.....1.......???? !! No liftoff. It is frustrating. Remind everyone that even NASA has last minute launch problems. Make sure you have a light on the launch controller. Try the countdown again and make sure you hold the launch button down firmly for a few seconds. If it still doesn’t ignite - wait one full minute before approaching the rocket. Check to see that all connections are tight and that no wires touch each other or other metal. You may need to replace an igniter and, rarely, an engine.
Fresh batteries are very important. It is best to have a back up set.