How to plane get out of a tree?

What's the best way to get an airplane out of a tree?

My plane is about 50 to 60 feet up in a huge ficus tree. I can see the tail section sticking out of the leaves. If someone were to climb it, I don't believe that they can reach it.

Is there some common (or not so common) tool or device that can be improvised to get it down? Will the city workers get it down for me, if I ask?

I thought of trying to knock it down, but I want to minimize any damage to the plane.

Thanks in advance for any hints or tips!

Reply to
Steven York
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People have used pvc pipe sections strung together to make long reachers. I don't think you'll be able to handle a 60' pipe. You might be able to climb 40' and use a 20' assembly to snag the plane.

People have also fallen out of trees and gotten electrocuted trying to rescue things stuck in trees. Whatever you do, please come home in one piece afterward!

Depends on the city and the workers.

Two 10' sections of PVC pipe, large diameter, glued together. Run a noose out the top of the pipe made out of stiff twine. Arrange it so that you can tighten the noose by pulling on the loose ends coming out the other end of the piping.

Climb high enough to snag the tail with the noose.

Don't fall while lassooing or tugging the plane. :o(


Reply to
Martin X. Moleski, SJ

Tie a weight to the end of a light line and throw over the tail of the model. Lower the weight and replace with a loop or ring around the line, pull the line untill it encircles the model. Pass the line around a branch just above halfway up. Make a loop in the line with the 'neck' joined with a shorter length of rubber to act as a shock absorber. Pull on line!!!!!! Never tried this, let me know if it works. :o)


Reply to

I've had luck with the following ~

5-6 six foot lengths aluminum tubing, 5/8 inch ID, 3/4 OD 5-6 six foot lengths aluminum tubing, 3/4 inch ID 10-12 pieces of coat hanger, 3-6 inches one (auto) muffler clamp, 2 (auto) heater hose clamps

use the hose clamps to fasten the muffler clamp "hook" to the end of one piece of tubing. alternate large and small tubing, sliding each approx six inches onto the next; drill a small hole approx 3 inches from the end of each tube, and slide a coat hanger wire through to attach them, bend the ends of the wire. You now have the equipment ready ~ disassemble it....... The tubing is NOT strong enough to hoist to a vertical position while it's assembled, but by sliding and snaking each section (starting with the hook) into the tree, and connecting a new section as you lift the assembly, you can feed the device up through the branches, towards the plane, using the branches for support. Once you get to the plane, hook, push, rattle, pull, do whatever it takes. Expect some damage, but you've recovered (no pun intended) your gear.

Another quick trick involves an archery bow, and a fishing arrow ~ the arrow has a spring-loaded barb that will penetrate the wing/fuse, but cannot be pulled back out. It has a line attached to a spool on the bow. Shoot and yank.

Caution with aluminum tubes ~ check carefully for electric wires, and avoid contact. Caution with arrow ~ expect several misses, and be aware of where the arrow will fall if it speeds past the plane. Don't shoot straight up at the plane....


Reply to

Will the city workers get it down for me, if I

Good idea.

Try contacting some tree surgeons or groundskeepers who work for the city, or a local school/university. There could be one out there who would get it down for a reasonable fee, especially if you offer him/her a chance to fly your plane on a buddy box. It is amazing how little time it takes for a professional to SAFELY climb up a tree and retrieve your plane.

We have used one from the local university. He only charged $35 to get a plane down from a 50 foot ash tree. We bought him a breakfast on the way back from the field, to let him know how much we appreciated his reasonable service. He thought it was fun and we made a new (and valuable) friend.


Reply to
Tom Johnson

A couple of fellows I know were flying and got a plane stuck in a tree.... no problem said one, I'll just call the fire dept. to come get it out.... well he did, but the dispatcher didn't catch the 'model' plane part, and thought it was a real plane and sent every piece of emergency equipment they had....... when the chief got there, he was not amused..... and everyone left with the plane still in the tree...

One thing we use is a bow and arrow with a light line. Once the light line is over the plane, a heavier line is pulled up with a small grappling hook attached... it usually comes down in pieces, but sometimes.... big pieces. . Arne, USA (I would take up golf, but I don't have the time)

Reply to

Are you stupid?

All you need to do is train a small monkey to retrieve it for you. I once trained a dog to bark every time I said "speak" to it. The dog was called Sootie.

Reply to

Reply to

Find some electric company guys with a bucket truck out working. Ask them.

Reply to

Rent one of those Asian guys with a trick monkey.

Reply to

After falling 5 out of 40 feet (branch broke while I was hoisting myself up to the next branch and I landed on the branch below grabbing the trunk in a death grip) I slept on it and came back the next day with a fishing pole (didn't have a bow). Got off a lucky cast and hauled up a kite string that was strong enough to shake the branch pretty hard. It came out and started flying (kind of). Not right to me of course so it had a hard landing. Maybe if I'd had the transmitter and the rx battery wasn't quite dead yet.........

Reply to

Just in case the monkey wont come down, this may help:

How To Get A Gorilla Out Of A Tree

Get the following:

1) Long Pole 2) Heavy Net 3) Pit Bull (the dog training comes in handy here) 4) Shotgun 5) Helper

Go up the tree with the pole and use it to shove the gorilla out of the tree. (Leave the net and the shotgun down with your helper)

Train the pit bull to use it's powerful jaws to grasp the fallen gorilla by his nuts, thus immobilizing him until you and your helper can get the net on him.

Sometimes the gorilla will knock you out of the tree. In that case, instruct your helper to shoot the dog.

Reply to
Gregg Uhlendorf

Paintball gun. Trust me, it works. I've retrieved many a plane with one with minimal damage. Wal-Mart will have a decent one for about $60 dollars, gun, balls, and CO2. It can be used later at the field to try and shoot down other warbirds and makes combat interesting.


Reply to

If it's anywhere near a power line you may be able to get the power company to retrieve it for you. I'm a newbie with planes as my eperience has been with rockets. I have had the power company retrieve several rockets from or near power lines. They will come out especially if there is any chance some kid my try to get it down.

On another occasion (without me knowing about it) someone used a 20 gauge shotgun to get one of my rockets down. However, I wouldn't recommend this. Joe A.

Reply to

Get one of those whirlybird nuts in your club, who are always braggin' on how great they can fly and how super those eggbeaters are, to snag it and lower it down while scaring the hell out of everybody with one their low inverted mostly controlled passes.

Phil AMA609

Reply to

I used a wrist rocket sling shot - some heavy gage fishing line and a sinker. Tie the end of the fishing line to the sinker - put the spool on a stick, pencil, etc. Have a friend hold it so it will unwind. Use the sling shot to flick it up over the model. Actually, if you get it around the nearby branches, you can pull on the line and usually have the branches flip the plane out. If it falls into the next level of branches - no prob, rewind the line on the spool and start again. Never failed me yet!

Good luck with it!


Reply to

Hmmm, if you have trouble getting a small monkey to train, you can always use the hidden elephant.

You don't know about the hidden elephant?

Well, how do you hide an elephant? Paint his toenails red and put him in a cherry tree.

What? You've never seen an elephant in a cherry tree? See, it works!


Dr.1 Driver "There's a Hun in the sun!"

Reply to

The key here is to "throw over the tail". That would be the part that is the most difficult. :-)

Reply to
Steven York

My local club has a local tree surgeon who after being called in once saw the business opportunity and keeps his business cards stocked at our frequency board :)

Reply to
Patrik Henriksson

Okay, I got it down today after the plane had an overnight stay in that tree. This morning I surveyed the plane. The tail section was sticking out a bit. I also brought my Laser Range Finder (used when I play golf), and determined the plane to be 11 yards up (33') and not the 50 or 60 feet that I originally thought. Hey, when your first plane is in a tree, you think it was 1,000 feet up. :-)

So, I went to Home Depot and bought a three 10' sections of 1-1/4" PVC piping and two couplers to join them together. I ran 200# monofilament fishing leader line through the pipe and tied a big loop on one end. The other end, I tied a stick to it (so as to not lose the end of the line up into the pipe).

My plans were to place the loop over the tail section, and then pull the other end of the line through the pipe to tighten the "noose" and pull the plane out.

However, when I went back to the tree that afternoon, the winds had swayed the branches and the plane had settled in a bit more deeply into the tree. The tail section was no where to be seen from out from under the tree canopy. I could, however, see the plane standing directly under the tree. There were so many branches and leaves that there was no room for the loop be able to go around any part of the plane. So, at this time, I proceeded to just poke the plane. It fell about seven feet lower into the tree before getting hung on another branch. Finally, another couple of pokes freed the plane and I tried to catch it with one hand (while balancing this 30' pipe with the other). I managed to slow its decent down with my hand which flipped it upright and it landed directly on its wheels! No damage what-so-ever!

I guess I'm lucky *this* time. ;-)

Reply to
Steven York

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