• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

My Second Crash

Hi. You may know me from the thread titled "My First Crash".

I am not feeling very smart. After my crash with a baby tree, I decided to go flying in a field edged with some 100 year old oak trees. Bad idea.
Look at it. It can't understand why I won't bring it down.
It's jammed between some branches 25 or 30 feet up. Tree is not climbable. Some really nice strong people took time out of their day to help me throw stuff at it. I really do appreciate that. I got the control board and receiver back :D Good thing I used adhesives to fasten them instead of screws.:)

But the bulk of it is still up there. Beeping helplessly. I felt so worthless, confined to 6 feet of altitude, looking up at it. Its shattered props lay below my feet. I don't know if I can sleep knowing it's up there. Beeping.

I live on a college campus, so I guess come Monday there might be some facilities employees who can help me out. Blegh. I am debating walking to walmart in the dark to buy twine and some weights or something. Maybe the police officers will shoot off the arm that is wedged between branches.

I feel so bad. My baby deserves someone who can fly it right. If I ever get it out of the tree, I will treat it to a nice pretty paint job. And give it a name. I've been trying to think of one. Maybe Tree Slayer. I hope it doesn't rain. Do motors rust?

Maybe one day we'll remember this ordeal and think of how far I've come as a pilot. I hope that day comes.

Here is a picture of all I have left:
my friend.jpg

Keep us in mind next time you think about flying recklessly near coptergobblers.

Here is the last picture I have of him. We had just flown together and he was glowing with happiness. I don't know what to do without him.
Last edited:


Dedicated foam bender
String and weights aren't a bad idea. A cheap fishing pole and some weights might be a huge help. That's what I usually use since the line is so light. Makes it easier to get up to those levels with a strong cast on 15 or 20 pound test...


creator of virtual planes
I'm sure a strong wind storm will eventually blow thru and knock your quad right out of the tree.

I think the best route is always a long stick. In this case, an extremely long stick. Fishing line and rope usually gets stuck to everything except what you're after.

Extendable tree branch trimmers can usually reach rather high. I'm not suggesting you buy one and use it to cut a branch off of that tree, because it's not your tree to defile, but use the pole to poke down your quad. Later on when you do the same thing, you'll already have the long pole. And if you ever get it stuck in your own tree, or a tree that some one is willing to let you trim, you can use the tree trimmer to cut off the branch it's stuck to.

Personally I hate the horror stories of people cutting down a tree to get their plane/quad back, but cutting off one branch isn't as bad. But still not preferred.


Misfit Multirotor Monkey
As was said, a bolo works good, believe me, I had to do it a few times. Just find some heavy string or light cord and put about 150g of washers, pennies, fishing weights, etc in an old athletic sock and choke it down and tie it off. Swing it underhand. Sooner or later, it'll either come down whole or in pieces, but at least you get the parts back before the weather ruins them.
Then don't watch this http://youtu.be/DQMi6Jk38g0?t=6m45s That cutting really did make me kinda sad. Poor tree been growing for years and suddenly gets selected for death. With my flying, if I cut down every tree I crashed in, then there would be no trees.:eek:

I do have a second, prebuilt quad.....NO NO NO NO no way craftydan is probably right

It's frustrating living on campus in middle of city. The quad is beeping in a tree that people often walk under, and if it falls out when I'm not around, who knows who will pick it up. One leg is caught between two twigs though, so it would be nice to be able to snip one of those twigs somehow, but I can probably tear it out if I get a pole or rope on it.
Alright here's my plan for tomorrow:

  1. walk to home depot
  2. buy telescoping pole, a hook, another pole, some twine, and something to weight the twine with (This is probably a good investment for later mistakes too)
  3. walk back to campus
  4. grab quadcopter with hook or throw weight and twine over branch and shake it down

Wish me luck!

missed a couple posts!
That is actually a really good idea. The structure of the knuckle quad would allow me to hook twine through it with an arrow. I saw a post online where someone put balls on end of arrows for more blunt force. Unfortunately campus is no-weapons including bows and arrows -.-

I will try something like this for sure. I have lots of spare change.
Last edited:


creator of virtual planes
Then don't watch this http://youtu.be/DQMi6Jk38g0?t=6m45s That cutting really did make me kinda sad. Poor tree been growing for years and suddenly gets selected for death.
That made me sad too. :( Cutting down a tree because it's in the way (construction, telephone wires, etc.) is fine. Cutting down a tree to make furniture and what nots, fine. Cutting down a tree for fire wood, also fine. Aw shucks I made a mistake and have $300 in a tree, better cut the whole thing down, no. Cutting one big branch that will end up making the tree look funny to retrieve $300? also fine. But not the whole tree for one plane.

Although, this is an argument probably better left avoided. Even if it is illogical to do all of the work, and make all of the mess, of cutting down an entire tree when it's a lot easier to remove one branch. A tree trimmer pole doesn't cost that much. They even make really nice battery powered ones.

I am now a firm believer in the pole-hook method for lowish tree landings.

This morning I got up and walked to home depot. It was scary. On the way back, a random person started talking to me and they told me they served 12 years in prison. They were pretty friendly though. He has to get up at 8 every day and go to a street corner and hope a construction manager picks him to work that day. Rough life.

Anyway I walked half an hour back to campus with 5 eight foot plastic stakes for gardening, duct tape, twine, and 2 metal hooks. Once under the tree where my baby was stranded, I taped together two poles, a total of 15 feet (1 foot overlap for tape). That didn't reach. Three poles (22 feet) barely reached. I then wrapped twine around a hook in case it came off the end of the poles, then I taped the hook to the poles.
Here is what it looked like:

Pretty easily, I managed to hook the hook inside the body of the quad, which is easy to do on the knuckle. Unfortunately, one of the arms was stuck in between twigs, which I couldn't manage to snap, so that arm snapped instead.

The Q-brain looks fine, but a couple motors are just gone. I will order new motors, and a spare frame. I am so happy to have it all back. I even got the battery strap. Thanks everyone for the ideas on how to get it down. I really appreciate it.

I'm pretty proud of this pole-hook-twine hybrid

Damage isn't too bad


vertical view

What should I do with this lipo? It is scaring me, even though it isn't puffed.

I think since the frame came from a tree, it just wanted to be one with the tree again. I haven't much hope for a couple of these motors, but we'll see.

I have seen a video on youtube where a guy gets 80 dollar toy quad stuck in an oldish tree and he just cut it down. I cringed :(. I think it would be okay to cut down a tree to get quad if you will later use it for firewood or something else you mentioned above.
Last edited:


Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member

Congrats on the successful recovery!!! A few broken twigs, you say . . . I think that tree got off too easy ;)

I saw the broken booms -- can't be helped, sometimes -- but why do you think the motors are shot? I think you'll find these brushless motors are more resilient than they look!

As for the Lipo, have you checked the cell voltages yet? What charger are you using? Even if a cell is below 3.3v, If you take it slow, watch it carefully, and be prepared to deal with the fire and acrid smoke, you may be able to resurrect it. Frankly, you should be doing most of this for a normal recharge anyways, just quite a bit faster and a bit less diligent watching it.

Start with a balanced charge using Nicad chemestry using the *Lowest* current the charger can provide just to bring the voltage up. Once the cells are up above 3.3-3.4v, switch the charger chemestry over to Lipo and continue slowly balance charge it up to full at 1C rate or less. If it looks like the cells are visibly puffing, getting very warm or charging badly out of balance, these are bad signs -- a little may be ok, a lot is bad -- your call, but stop it before you get smoke and fire.

If you can get it up, balanced, to full charge, let it sit for a few hours -- if it holds the balanced charge, it's should be OK to use, you'll know how well it performs after the next flight. If one cell is loosing voltage, give it a saltwater bath and dispose of it a few days later.

Good luck on the rebuild!!!
After reading what you said about the motors, I took another look at them. When I first got it down, I had a hard time spinning one of them even with my finger. I don't feel that much resistance anymore now, so maybe some debris fell out at some point. I definitely will be looking inside each of the motors that are currently sticking a bit after the crash and see if I can fix them. It would be fantastic if the motors all end up working because that means I only have to order a $4.50 boom from flite test!

The lipo's total charge is 3.84V. That's all three cells total :eek: The individual are all 1.something or 2.something. My current charger, which I had for smaller batteries, is pretty crappy, and charges only at 1000mA, which is really low for a 2C 2200. It doesn't have adjustable charge current, and it only does LiPos. I happen to have another charger on the way that I ordered before the crash that can do all of the stuff you mentioned (along with some spare batteries), so perhaps I should try then. I don't know if waiting for charger shipping is a good idea though. Hobbyking takes its time. Battery might be worthless by then. I think I will very carefully try to recharge with my current charger. In a closed plastic box, because I'm on the fourth floor with sensitive fire alarms.;)

I'm gonna be really busy over the next couple days (midterms), so I'll have to wait til Wednesday to assess damage and whatnot.

Thanks for all the good advice. I am learning a huge amount.

Flite test did a fantastic job with this frame. The arms break first, which is much better than the center plate or knuckles that hold the arms together breaking.
Last edited:


Some guy in the desert
I'm betting the motors are find, just a bit of grit in them. Try moving them bit by bit to work it out...or if you're up to it take the clip off the shaft and disassemble them to clean them out. There's really not much to these motors - just some wire, an armature, some magnets and a few bearings. The bearings can be replaced, the armature is pretty tough to damage and if the magnets came loose but are still in there they can be re-epoxied.

As for the boom. Walk back to that home depot and pick up a piece of 1/2" square pine dowel, should run you less the $2. Get a small cheap saw and cut your own! Quicker, cheaper and you could be back in the air today ;)
Ok the charger thinks the battery is a 2 cell. I think I'm done with it.

I am definitely going to take apart motors and clean them. I think I will order the booms because going to home depot was exhausting, and I have plenty of school work to do while waiting. In the future though, perhaps when I don't live in a college dorm, or when I have a vehicle, that sounds like a good option.

I do love my little quad baby. :eek: It's my second one and the first that I've built, so it's precious to me.


Some guy in the desert
Next time you get a chance to hit HD I still strongly suggest picking up some 1/2" square dowels. Booms break. 1 36" length for <$2 gives you 3 replacements :)

I've been gluing mine back together after I break them...but they tend to break a lot easier after being glued back together. But be ready for it. You'll probably go through a number of them ;)


Misfit Multirotor Monkey
I've been gluing mine back together after I break them...but they tend to break a lot easier after being glued back together. But be ready for it. You'll probably go through a number of them ;)
If you tightly wrap three or four layers of wood-glue soaked cloth around the break, along with gluing it normally, it is almost guaranteed not to break in that spot again.