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Plane stuck in a tree. Dangerous leaving it overnight?

Platon

Junior Member
#1
Hey,

I flew my blunt nose versa today and somehow I came into a roll that was impossible to stop. After some jamming with the sticks it landed in a tree. This was an evening flight and it was starting to get dark. It's pitch-dark now and I won't get it down tonight. Is it safe leaving it there overnight?

Thanks.
 

earthsciteach

Moderator
Moderator
#2
The worse that will happen is you will overdrawn the LiPo. Most likely, you will be able to recover it by charging it as a NiMH battery, then balancing. I've left a couple of planes in trees overnight without issue (other than the battery).
 

Platon

Junior Member
#3
The worse that will happen is you will overdrawn the LiPo. Most likely, you will be able to recover it by charging it as a NiMH battery, then balancing. I've left a couple of planes in trees overnight without issue (other than the battery).
Ok, so the battery won't catch fire?
 

csitas

Junior Member
#5
Hello guys; Here is just an experience I had a short while ago. I had the same thing happen to me . I lost sight over the top of my forest. I knew the plane went down, but where. I looked for three weeks and finally we had a big wind storm. Found the plane the next morning. Of coarse the battery was deader than a mother in laws kiss. I done the same as mentioned here and brought it back to life, and it is still in great shape .I treated the thing with kid gloves for quite a while though.Ten months have now gone by and it's still in great shape, so I am trusting like all my other batteries. By the way this stupid thing is still flying,it's a high wing trainer type.
 

Gryf

Active member
#6
Funny, my FT Mustang ended up in a tree when I maidened it the other day. And while the tree itself didn't damage anything, once I'd scored several direct hits with a thrown stick while attempting to knock it down, the plane was sorely in need of a trip back to the workbench. The stick pretty much rearranged the Mustang's turtle deck, but fortunately it was a very easy fix.

Now to get the CG sorted out so it doesn't happen again! ;-)

Gryf
 
#7
I have more experience with this than I would like to admit (see my handle). Your LiPo will likely be dead. I think it is safer to just dispose of the Lipo rather than trying to revive it. There is no chance of the battery catching fire in the tree, but there is a chance (I think) of it burning while trying to bring it back from the dead.


I'm in the US, so I went to home depot and bought three 10ft lengths of 1" PVC electrical conduit. Each 10ft length only costs $3, and they have a molded in connector that allows each piece to be connected to the next to make a very long pole. So for $10 you can reach up to 30ft in the tree and use the conduit to gently push the plane out. The trick is to start from the opposite side of the tree trunk from your plane and use a lower branch as brace to help support up the conduit.
 

ftwingnut

WWI Flying Ace
#8
I also have planes, yes plural, that have had to spend the night in a tree. It just comes with the territory when you fly near them. I have always been able to revive my lipo packs after such an ordeal, but they usually don't have the capacity they did before the discharge. I only had one battery that puffed after reviving it, but it still worked well for probably 2 dozen more flights before I decided that it had enough. Just be careful when charging an overly discharged lipo. Charge it outdoors and keep a bucket of sand nearby to extinguish any flames that might try to leak out. I've never had a fire while charging, but have seen enough videos to know that it can and will happen. Sand is the cheapest, easiest, quickest way to put out a lipo fire.
 
#9
I had this happen one summer. As a firefighter, I was in the adjacent city flying at a park. I was nervous to leave it over night since I heard the potential of the battery failing and causing a fire. The Apprentice was a good 40' in the tree... deep into the tree. I considered calling the fire department for their aerial truck, but was not sure if that was a good idea. Had it been my jurisdiction I would have just gotten it myself and considered it aerial training.

I ended up calling my old man, he brought an extension ladder and his pickup truck. It was pretty and not even close to safe, but I got it down. I do not think I have ever been that far up in a tree before.

Needless to say, had drinks with that Chief last night after a holiday party and mentioned the story to him. He said I should have called. I don't know if I could have lived up to that one. :)