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HomeLCO Spotter

LCO Spotter

Primary Responsibility

Ensure that launch operations are conducted safely

Reports to

Launch Control Officer


Any adult volunteer who can perform the duties required

Job Description

The Spotter has the single most important role in ensuring that rockets do not come down and injure people. The Spotter should stand close to the LCO so that the Spotter can immediately attract the attention of the LCO and notify them of any unsafe condition anywhere in the range, but particularly over spectators or flyers loading or recovering rockets.

The Spotter should follow each launch, with binoculars if available, until it is apparent that the rocket is safe, whether under a drogue chute or in a part of the range where people will not be injured. If there is only one Spotter should inform the LCO that they are ready to launch the next rocket.

If a rocket is coming over the crowd or flyers preparing rockets in a manner that could expose them to risk, immediately attract the attention of the LCO, point at the rocket, and identify the risk.

It is not necessary to inform spectators and flyers that a rocket is coming in ballistic or with a tangled chute unless the rocket appears likely to come down over people. For example, calling “heads up,” or “coming in hot,” when a rocket is coming in over a closed portion of the range and is safe is not only unnecessary, it causes participants and spectators to disregard genuine safety risks.

Between launches, quickly scan the sky over the range for rockets that might come down over spectators or flyers preparing rockets.