Central Illinois Aerospace holds regular launches twice each month. All club launches are fully insured, and occur on land where we have obtained permission from the owners or governing body. We file paperwork with the Federal Aviation Administration and communicate with the local Air Traffic Control facility to enhance safety, and to get permission (called a 'waiver') to fly the larger rockets. Anyone is welcome to fly at our launches. The club maintains high quality launch gear, and has recovery wadding available on site. Just bring your rockets, engines and igniters, and you're all set!

a family prepping a rocket
A family prepping a rocket at GARLO 2008
If you want to see what our launches are like take a look at the pictures on our picture web site.

Launches generally start at noon and we fly until 6 p.m. or dark, whichever comes first. We schedule launches in all months of the year, so weather may exceed safety limits. Check with Greg Smith on the morning before any scheduled launch for the latest update at (217)840-1678.

On the second and fourth Saturdays of each month you will usually find us in Dodds Park near Parkland College in Champaign on Bradley Avenue, between Mattis Avenue and Duncan Road. Dodds is a very large park, with baseball facilities on its Northern half. The southern half has soccer fields. Flights at Dodds are limited to an altitude of 4000' MSL (~3250 AGL), with a motor size limit of H (320 nt-sec). Any rocket weighing less than 1 pound (454 grams) with an engine of less than 120 nt-secs can be flown without a waiver.

Occasionally we hold launches waivered for larger rockets and higher flights. These take place at the Rantoul Aviation Center on the old Chanute airbase and at a farm near Monticello, Illinois. Since the fields are used for farming we are restricted to flying there when there are no crops being grown. We intend to schedule launches at these locations in the late fall and early spring. At these sites we have a waiver allowing flights up to 10,000 feet. Members have flown rockets weighing in at over 25 pounds, and motors as big as 'K' class (equivalent to about 1000 'A' motors!). Contact our Director of Operations, Greg Smith, at operations@ciarocketry.org if you plan to fly motors of "L" impulse or greater. big tall rocket picture
CIA members launch a 22-foot rocket at GARLO 92

Each year, near the 4th of July, we hold a gigantic launch at Dodds Park in Champaign. The Great Annual Rocket Lift Off (GARLO) is an all-day event, with ribbons for extra special rocketry, and awards given to members deserving of special recognition for the past year's efforts. A picnic finishes off a day of over one hundred rocket liftoffs. We generate a significant amount of publicity from this event, usually landing a moment or two on the evening news.

We sponsor several demo launches and build-and-fly workshops each year, so there are times when we will be flying rockets that are not obviously listed in the schedule. Check the special events listing for these events.

For a schedule of events for the year, see the Operations page.

To receive announcements of launches and other CIA activities subscribe to the CIA Yahoo email list. Find out about the list and subscribe here. Contact cia-list-owner@ciarocketry.org if you have any trouble with the list or if you wish to be added to the list without creating a Yahoo account.

Obviously, we have a pretty busy schedule. If you want to fly rockets, this is the club to be in!


CIA web pages are maintained by webmaster@ciarocketry.org, last update March 3, 2013