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Old 08-22-2013, 12:08 AM   #1
mstram
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Default How (not to) get a plane out of a tree

Aug 02, 2002

I was flying my firebird XL in a local baseball diamond at.

After a few false starts I finally had the plane up in the air about 50 - 100' up and was actually doing some nice fairly controlled 'racetracks'.

There was about 5-10 mph wind, and this was really the *first* time that I'd flown a "real" RC plane. I did spend more than a few hours with the FMS sim, and MSFS, and found that the actual plane was easier than the sim.

Anyway, keeping the 'Bird under reasonable control, until it started to wander a little bit downwind. I *should* have just cut the power, but NO ... I had to try and fly it back. Well it just went further downwind, over the outfield fence .... and into a tree about 50-60' feet up. It also probably had the people sitting on a picnic bench under the tree wondering what was going on.

So I come over to the tree, and apologized to the couple, then tried to think how to get the darn thing down.

1) Went to variety store, bought kid's plastic ball. Forget it ! Threw it about 20 feet up in the air.

2) Bought kids badminton set, tried to use tennis balls with the badminton racket ... Yeah right.

Couple of days later :

3) Bought *real* tennis racket ... hey I could use one anyway (it was cheap). Nice velocity now and plenty of height ... but accuracy lacking.

Hmm if we tie a string to the tennis ball .... String launch successful, but string broke when trying to dislodge plane. We need a bigger rope !


Couple of days later :

Go to Canadian Tire, buy 60' of nylon rope. Also buy more tennis balls The tree is starting to look like a Christmas tree with 3 or 4 tennis balls hanging down from strings.

Tape thin nylon string to tennis ball, then tie string to nylon rope. Launch with Arthur Ashe precision The tennis ball's connected to the .....nylon string ... the nylon string's connected to the .. nylon rope. Haul it up .. now we got us some real power (1/2" nylon rope). Tie one end of the nylon rope to another nearby tree. Start hauling, jumping. pulling. The branch is moving ! ... but the plane seems to be embedded into it. And this is one thick branch (about 3-4 inches).

1/2 hour later. One BROKEN NYLYON ROPE ! .. The tree is just laughing at me, not a real scratch on it, but I've sweat out a few pounds and still no Firebird. Ok enough for today, I give up.

Couple of days later :

The rope is not going to work, need more leverage. Go to lighting supply store, buy 40' of plastic conduit for $30.00.

The tennis racket is not working that great either, It's taking me 5 to 10 tries every time to get the rope on the right branch.

Go to Outdoor store, buy kids Archery set !

Go to Canadian Tire, buy *thicker* nylon rope.

Ok, we're all set now. Back to the park.

Hmm haven't fired a bow and arrow for awhile (ever ). No one's around, do a test fire to see how far it might go if I miss. Well *only* a couple of hundred feet, that's a relief.

Ok, tape nylon string to tip of arrow, tie to nylon rope. ..... After a couple of tries I'm able to *pinpoint* the rope about 5-6 inches from where the plane is.

Haul up the nylon rope. Haul up the 40' of plastic conduit attached to the rope.

After 15-20 minutes of sweating, cursing, get the conduit "looped' over the branch. Nice leverage now, can bounce that branch up and down a good 4-5 inches ....... ..... 25 minutes later ... still no plane, but now there's a piece of conduit hanging from the tree

Give it up for today


It's now been about a month, and the FB is still sitting in that tree.

The latest thing I've bought is a camper's / outdoor portable chainsaw thingy that can be attached to a rope. The plan was to cut that sucker of a branch down.

Since I bought the saw, though I haven't tried it yet. I can just see me sawing down this fairly large branch, when a parks employee drives up and asks just what the hell I think I'm doing

I think the FB maybe in it's final resting place.

Mike

P.S. Even if I pay myself minimum wage, with time and supplies, (the bow/arrow alone !) I exceeded the price of the plane !

It was just a challenge that I refused to give up on.... until even my patience was vastly exceeded
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:19 AM   #2
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LOL!

Take care and thanks for posting at WattFlyer!!

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Old 08-22-2013, 12:46 AM   #3
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I prefer to use #9 bird shot

Its better if it rests in pieces than if it rests in place.
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:20 AM   #4
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Great read and plenty of laughs.
I had plane treed that was in a pine about 60 feet up never did get it down. Used stop and walk into the woods to see if the wind gods where kind to me and blow it out. Never did happen, and as far as I know that plane is still up there.

I learned that a fishing rod was the best thing to get a plane down from a tree. I can cast pretty accurate with a lead wgt. on the end got pretty good with it in my first year.
Ya me and trees had a thing going for a while.
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:22 AM   #5
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Why sure, take your 410, 20 or 12ga shot gun out loaded with #9 to the local public ball field in broad daylight and take a couple of shots ......sorry officer (while face down being cuffed), I thought it was Firebird season........not at all amusing fhhuber ....

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Old 08-22-2013, 01:33 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by gramps2161 View Post

I learned that a fishing rod was the best thing to get a plane down from a tree. I can cast pretty accurate with a lead wgt. on the end got pretty good with it in my first year.
Heh, I don't think I ever thought of that, would have been fun !

Mike
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:38 AM   #7
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My father in law shot a branch off a oak tree that I had flown a plane into with his 10 gauge shotgun. Not a pellet touched the plane. I said good shot. He said I know, don't do my daughter wrong. I said yes sir.

Take care and thanks for posting at WattFlyer!!

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Old 08-22-2013, 01:52 AM   #8
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WOW...a 10ga....only Browning and Remington still make them and generally not for sport......more of a self-defense item and shells very difficult to come by......I assume the oak was on private property and not a public ball field......still, rather an extreme method to retreive a hobby model.........!

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Old 08-22-2013, 02:55 AM   #9
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my idea was to buy a wristrocket slingshot,the kind that use surgical tubing and can fire off a splitshot lead fishing weight with heavy gauge nylon fishing line crimpped on. i never had to go to that length as trees aren't to great a threat where i fly...but if i did I'm sure aiming at the branch that needs shaking i would have a direct hit.....through the fuse and the wing of whatever bird i was trying to rescue...thus destroying it while still in the tree.

i used to fly over the marshes in NJ's medowlands[not a medow at all,just wetlands] a guy crashed a 60size bipe plane in a 35maybe 40ft tree top that had a 8" round trunk....the president of the club had been down this road before and hiked out there with the pilot and myself tagging along....a small flip out of the handle type saw and in minutes it was "timber",he dropped the tree perfectly and no added damage to the bipe.

of coarse in a local ball park it's not a good idea,especially since you've been seen there so many times and left so many pieces of evidence with DNA and finger prints. just wait...time will bring her down safely into the arms of whoevers there at the time and after a year or 2......

narrow is the place to land...wide is the space to crash....choose the narrow way!
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:01 PM   #10
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My fishing catapult has never failed. It has so far rescued in excess of 10 treed models. (Not all mine) you just tie the string to a stone and catapult it above the model then shake the branch from above the model. If you're a particularly good shot (practice helps) you can get the string round the model and simply pull it down.
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Old 08-24-2013, 02:38 AM   #11
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pvc pipe. cheap and can easily extend it.

or find someone like me that climbs poles or trims trees.
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:47 PM   #12
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Chainsaw, works every time. After 6 months of trying everything else unsucessfully, I finally got her down. Plane was trashed but all the electronics minus the battery worked fine.


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Old 09-12-2013, 07:09 PM   #13
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You need this guy:


Retired
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:23 PM   #14
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No body climbs trees anymore?
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:39 PM   #15
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Get high enough and the branches are too small to climb.
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:54 PM   #16
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True. And I have probably climbed trees I should not have been climbing! No plane is worth a fall!
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Old 09-15-2013, 02:30 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Rltkktlr View Post
No body climbs trees anymore?
not at my age
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Old 09-15-2013, 03:12 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by fhhuber View Post
I prefer to use #9 bird shot

Its better if it rests in pieces than if it rests in place.


Happy flying may your crashes be limited and if they are not limited let them be cool.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:58 PM   #19
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Stuff that works... (Personal experience)

1. Foam Planes - The apple of death. Ca toothpicks into a small apple and tape string to it. Use an exercise band like a flip to impale the foam without doing any real damage. (Just holes) then yank and pray.

2. Coastal Region - an extendible gaff works great! You can add poles to it too.

3. Wind.

4. Time.

Nice read guys!
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