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Sky Surfer climbed a tree and won't come down!


One of the kids in my RC build club at school purchased a Sky Surfer last week. It was a beautiful day this Thursday. Not a cloud in the sky, cool air and no wind. We went out at lunch to fly and he decided to make his second flight since purchasing the plane. He was doing quite well, but allowed the plane to get across the road and over the tallest tree for miles around. As he tried to turn back, he got disoriented, got thumb lock, and spiraled the plane into the top of said tree. There it sits today, about 50 feet up. We did recover about 2% of the foam as the tree removed one of the wings and broke a couple of chunks out of it for good measure.

I know flitetest did an episode on plane retrieval - unsuccessfully, I might add. I do have a potato gun, but the residents of the neighborhood where the tree sprouts toward the sky would not be appreciate the humor in that method. Shot guns would be appreciated even less.

Short of me risking life and limb (ha ha), any ideas? I do like climbing trees, though.....


Got Lobstah?
Site Moderator
I rigged up some strapping to shimmy up a very very tall pine. I did this even though our attempt to bring it down with the paintball gun only made my FFF F-18 full of holes and covered with paint. I had two straps, one for each foot and as I put my weight on one I would advance the other on up. This took some time and I was in quite a precarious position but since my better, more beautiful, and (for things like this) more sensible half wasn't there, I successfully risked life and limb (nice pun eh?) and brought down the even more colorful Blue Angel.

I wish you well, friend. I know what it's like to see something just out of reach and still worth something, at least the electronics if nothing else.
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Stuck in Sunny FL
Staff member
I've used a few different things.

Pine stripping like (I think) Jim suggested, you can buy a bundle of 6 8' lengths from Lowes for a few bucks. A couple bundles might do you.

I've used PVC pipe joined together before.

If the tree is particularly stubborn you could take a limb saw, and attach it to the end, and cut some branches.

I've seen the power company trucks get recruited to go up and get the plane down before too.


Junior Member
Get yourself a catapult and ball of string. Tie a stone to the string and unravel enough to get you above the tree height. Catapult the stone over the top of the model and gently pull on the string till it snags in the tree. Now you can shake that tree from above the model till it falls out. Have rescued loads like this and so far has never failed.


Stuck in Sunny FL
Staff member
A catapult might be a bit of overkill.

String, or high test fishing line, and a good sized nut should do the trick, if shot with something like this...



Crazy flyer/crasher :D
Get some reaaally long sticks and tape them together with duck tape and zipties. It is obvious that you can´t hold it easily and it will always try to bend but as soon as you try to balance the long stick (with at least 3 people to lift it) try and lean on the try and make your way up along the tree.

May sound unbelievable but I did it :D