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Getting planes out of trees

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2003 7:26 am
by aeajr
I don't know if trees and planes are attracted to each other like magnets, but somehow we seem to be pulling someone out of a tree every few weeks. Fortunately it is not me these days, though I am sure I will find one again. I can see them reaching for the plane as I fly by. The guys tell me it is the wind, but I think they are calling my plane.

So, how do you get your plane out of a tree? Here are some methods I use, or have seen used. Some are simple and cheap. Some are complex and some are expensive. You have to decide which to use and when.

In my book, chain saws, axes and things that will kill the tree are not an option. Call me a tree hugger, but I just can't see cutting down a tree to get a plane. There is usually a better option.

I am going to list the ones I know, roughly in effective range. I hope you can provide some others, preferably before I need them.

8-12 Feet (2-4 meters) -

Good old hand reach combined with anything to stand on and maybe a local stick or branch - Cost $0

10-30 Feet (3-10 meters) -

When I fly I bring a 6 foot extension pole for a paint roller that I purchased in Home Depot for $14. It extends to 12 feet. I have seen 4, 8 and 10 footers that double as well. I also saw an 8 footer that almost triples to about 22 feet.

15-50 Feet (5-16 meters) -

I carry a spool of 130 pound test mason's line in my field box that has an 8 ounce rounded fishing weight attached to it. Costs about $5 total. With a good throw I can usually get it up and over the branch holding the plane so I can shake it free. Hitting the branch can take lots of throws and hitting the plane is a real risk, but it is better than leaving it there. If your plane is sitting on a very strong branch, use the lighter line to pull up a heavier line. -

30-100 feet (9-32 meters) -

A bow and arrow work well at this height, but you have to develop some skill in order to get the needed accuracy. I estimate this at $50-$100 - One problem is that you can get the arrow stuck on a different branch which only compounds your problem. The line will have to be light, so use it to pull up heavier line or so you can break it if the arrow gets stuck.

A spinning rod with a weight also works but again, the line is light so you carry stronger line that you pull up to the branch using the lighter line.

Other methods I have heard about but never used or witnessed.

Tree climber - Somehow every RC club has the phone number of a guy who climbs trees for a fee.

Helo - I heard of one guy who used an electric helo to fly a line and weight up and had some kind of release to drop it onto the branch. Sounds like a good justification for a helo when I speak with my wife.

A really original idea

Control line kite - This one surprised me, but one of our members got his plane stuck in the top of a high tree, over 100 feet up. He also flies the large kites that look like arc shaped parachutes. He has two control lines on the kite that let him direct it, dive it and move it around the sky. He used it to attack the tree until the tree gave up the plane. I like the idea of attacking the tree!

I need some more ideas - those trees are calling my planes! What methods have you used or seen used to get the darn plane out of that darn tree?

Ha to retrieve a plane from a suspended animation ?.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 10:11 pm
by Ray
Hey dude, you may wanna try chimney sweep's telescopic rod.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 2:29 am
by aeajr
Wow, that's a great idea, but is it rigid enough to hold straight without the support of being inside a chimney?

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 9:51 pm
by Guest
How about a 12 gauge with 00 buck you can just bow off the offending branch. and it wont kill the tree. :lol: just kidding

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:08 pm
by Guest
How about a servo operated match ?