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Harrowing Rescures

JohnRambozo

Posted a thousand or more times
#1
I'm sure everyone at some time has had to go to great lengths to retrieve their beloved plane. Today was that day for me.

It started as a beautiful, quiet day with a slight breeze but quickly showed some pretty aggressive gusts. I was having too much fun to quit so I just battled the wind and was having a lot of fun doing it. Eventually I pulled a big half loop going straight up and leveling off inverted. As soon as I tried to level off, a huge gust just bent my wings so they pretty much clapped hands and sprung back quickly... Uh oh! I rolled out and seemed to have decent control when upright. Now you'd think THIS would be the time I'd come in for a landing, but no, not me.

I continued flying around, taking it easy, wanting to fly out my battery. I got blown toward the only tree there, tried to turn away, tried to climb to safety but another gust stalled the already injured Spitfire and my stomach dropped as I waited to see if it would bounce down the tree. It did not. I could barely see it in the tree as I approached. It was high and that green/blue camo really did its job.

I just stared wondering if there was any way to climb up safely or if the wind might blow it down but those gusts weren't doing me any favors today. I searched the trunk of my car for some makeshift rescue gear. All I could come up with was a big plastic cleaning brush, 3 pair of shoelaces (I don't know why I had so many shoelaces in my trunk) and a length of wire. I tied them all together hoping to throw it over the branch and pull or shake it down. I didn't have a lot of hope but I wasn't leaving my plane up there.

I threw it a few times and wasn't even coming close. With the wind and the tow line weighing it down, I couldn't get much height on my throws. Then a family of 5 and their dog showed up to picnic at the table under the tree. I thought about what to do. I decided I had to explain myself. They were immediately interested in helping get it down. They got a football, tennis balls, a water bottle... They were throwing and throwing for over an hour. It had become a challenge for them. haha.

Eventually I got the idea that I could spin the weighted line and if released at just the right time it would arc neatly onto the branch and I could do what I set out to do. I thought, yeah right... Who do I think I am, Indiana Jones? I tried a few times and I got the height I needed finally but had no accuracy. It was a tricky shot through the leafy branch. No way I was going to get that branch. After a few more tries I started to get more confidence. Finally, I spun that thing as hard as I could. I looked up, then I looked at the spinning brush and tried to focus, to visualize the moment when the rotation was just right to arc onto that branch. I let it go and looked up.. it was sailing high, the angle was good, but was it high enough? I couldn't tell. It settled into place and the oldest kid asked, "Did you get it??" I said, "I don't know. I can't tell."

I started pulling on my line and the branch I wanted actually started moving. Not only did I get it, but I Indy'ed that thing. The brush wrapped itself around the branch and the line, locking itself into place!! I couldn't believe it. I started shaking the branch but the plane was wedged into a tight spot at a fork in the branch. I was hanging hard on the line, then letting it go to try to dislodge the plane. I did this until I got blisters. It had moved a little but not enough. So close!!!

I let the guy from the helpful family give it a try. He shook it and shook it... never giving up... An elderly grumpy couple walked by giving a very disapproving look at us. The old guy said, "That's not how you cut a tree down." I think he was joking, but he looked angry so its hard to tell. The helpful family guy says, "We checked the internet. We googled it. This is what it said to do." I laughed.

Finally the tree had held as long as it could, punished me long enough and it let the plane down. My spitfire was on the ground - battered and torn, but in my hands! We shook hands. I was elated and he was satisfied to have overcome the obstacle. I told his kids they saved the day.

What a day at the park! On the positive side, I've repaired and reinforced the plane so it should be better than ever, I have this cool story and that family had a unique day together helping a stranger get his plane down.

What harrowing rescues have you had to do?
 
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#2
Yesterday, I was flying my 200qx fpv. I was having a great time flying through through the trees. I had my mobius on to record for my youtube channel (Klinger RC). My timer for some reason was going up instead of down and I didn't notice. After about eight minutes the battery died. The quad dropped right into the middle of about an acre of thorns... I searched and searched for about 45 minutes and still couldn't see it. Finally I heard it beep. Clad in jeans and a jacket, hopeing not to get jabbed 1,000 times, I slowly mad my way into the thorns towards were I thought the sound had come from. Following the beeps that went of every 30 seconds, I finally found the quad. The mobius battery was dead and when I checked the flight battery it was at 3.58 volts per cell. Now I always start my timer and check it before I fly, and I bought a battery alarm that stays on the quad and beeps loudly at 3.8 volts per cell. The footage should be on my channel by Wednesday if you want to see it.
 

Noob

Senior Member
#3
No Harrowing rescues for my plane yet. It has been in the tree for a week and a day. Might have a story tomorrow though.
 

JohnRambozo

Posted a thousand or more times
#4
Yesterday, I was flying my 200qx fpv. I was having a great time flying through through the trees. I had my mobius on to record for my youtube channel (Klinger RC). My timer for some reason was going up instead of down and I didn't notice. After about eight minutes the battery died. The quad dropped right into the middle of about an acre of thorns... I searched and searched for about 45 minutes and still couldn't see it. Finally I heard it beep. Clad in jeans and a jacket, hopeing not to get jabbed 1,000 times, I slowly mad my way into the thorns towards were I thought the sound had come from. Following the beeps that went of every 30 seconds, I finally found the quad. The mobius battery was dead and when I checked the flight battery it was at 3.58 volts per cell. Now I always start my timer and check it before I fly, and I bought a battery alarm that stays on the quad and beeps loudly at 3.8 volts per cell. The footage should be on my channel by Wednesday if you want to see it.
Oh man, that sounds pretty agonizing. Great story, though. Thanks for sharing. I'd love to see the video. I hope its not an hour of brambles and beeping. ;)
 

JohnRambozo

Posted a thousand or more times
#5
No Harrowing rescues for my plane yet. It has been in the tree for a week and a day. Might have a story tomorrow though.
Oh no! Get that plane! (at least the electronics)

How did it end up there? Of course I can guess the general details, but specifically. :confused:
 

Noob

Senior Member
#6
Oh no! Get that plane! (at least the electronics)

How did it end up there? Of course I can guess the general details, but specifically. :confused:
Two Sundays ago I maidened my first ever balsa built plane that I put together. It flew great! My brother in law was flying with me that Sunday. After watching my plane for a little while he put his plane in the air and immediately parked it in a tree. This is very unusual for him as he is a great pilot. In fact a better pilot than me. I landed my plane and we set off for the next 3 hours trying to get his plane out of the tree. We finally got it down using a stick with a rope tied to it but his vertical stabilizer needed repair. So being the nice guy I am, I asked if he wanted to try out my plane. Not sure what went wrong but the plane took an immediate right and climbed. Next thing I know it stalled and planted itself in the top of the tree. About twice as far up as his plane was. There it sits to this day.

For pictures see my post "lost in a tree".

Tonight I plan on trying to shoot the branch with slug from a 12 gauge shot gun to get it down.
 

JohnRambozo

Posted a thousand or more times
#7
Two Sundays ago I maidened my first ever balsa built plane that I put together. It flew great! My brother in law was flying with me that Sunday. After watching my plane for a little while he put his plane in the air and immediately parked it in a tree. This is very unusual for him as he is a great pilot. In fact a better pilot than me. I landed my plane and we set off for the next 3 hours trying to get his plane out of the tree. We finally got it down using a stick with a rope tied to it but his vertical stabilizer needed repair. So being the nice guy I am, I asked if he wanted to try out my plane. Not sure what went wrong but the plane took an immediate right and climbed. Next thing I know it stalled and planted itself in the top of the tree. About twice as far up as his plane was. There it sits to this day.

For pictures see my post "lost in a tree".

Tonight I plan on trying to shoot the branch with slug from a 12 gauge shot gun to get it down.
Maybe that is your last resort... or a crossbow. Let us know how it goes. Someday I may be brave enough to build a balsa plane. The level of detail achievable is kind of amazing. Good luck!
 

Noob

Senior Member
#8
Well, my plane is finally out of the tree after a week and a half. I didn't even have to use my shotgun. I ended up buying a sling shot from a local store and bought 50lbs test fishing line. After several attempts my brother in law and I were able to put the fishing line over the branch my plane was in. We then tied a rope to the fishing line and pulled it up and over the branch. My brother in law pulled on one side and I on the other. At first it did not look like the plane was coming down. It was really in the tree bad. We must have been moving the branch in all directions about 10 feet or more but the tree held on to that plane with all its might. Finally I got a rhythm going and was able to use the branch in a catapult type of way. Finally the plane shot up and out of the branch and down to earth. There is a little bit of damage (mostly holes in the monokote) that will need to be fixed but she will fly again for sure!
 

JohnRambozo

Posted a thousand or more times
#9
Well, my plane is finally out of the tree after a week and a half. I didn't even have to use my shotgun. I ended up buying a sling shot from a local store and bought 50lbs test fishing line. After several attempts my brother in law and I were able to put the fishing line over the branch my plane was in. We then tied a rope to the fishing line and pulled it up and over the branch. My brother in law pulled on one side and I on the other. At first it did not look like the plane was coming down. It was really in the tree bad. We must have been moving the branch in all directions about 10 feet or more but the tree held on to that plane with all its might. Finally I got a rhythm going and was able to use the branch in a catapult type of way. Finally the plane shot up and out of the branch and down to earth. There is a little bit of damage (mostly holes in the monokote) that will need to be fixed but she will fly again for sure!
Congrats, man. Great idea to use a slingshot with a line. I bet that was a good feeling.