By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more

Model Retrieval (or not)?

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Roger Dyke11/10/2019 21:22:57
311 forum posts
14 photos

Hi All,

Thursday morning I had the unfortunate experience of an unscheduled arrival in the top of a big oak tree. I found the engine on it's mount underneath the tree but it took me about a further 20 minutes to locate the remains of the plane itself. It is embedded within the small branches right at the top of the tree to the one side. I estimate that it is about 40 - 50 feet from the ground and at 74 years old I am a bit old to climb it. The club retrieval pole we have is 7 metres long which of course is way too short.

Is it destined to stay there forever or is there some clever way that it may be retrievable?

Your positive suggestions would be very much appreciated.


Capt Kremen11/10/2019 21:29:35
406 forum posts
164 photos

Depending on the model (airframe) value to you, you could get a local tree surgeon to retrieve it for a suitable fee. One of our club members did this and the tree man scaled the 'unclimbable', (to us old crusties), tree and had the model reunited with its owner in barely 5 minutes. All without breaking, damaging or cutting any branches!

Roger Dyke11/10/2019 21:41:30
311 forum posts
14 photos

I had thought of that one, only I figured that the cost of the guys time there and back to the field and his time there would not be cost affective. I built the plane from a plan and accept it may be totalled. I am more interested in retrieving the battery, servos and radio equipment as they are only a few months old (probably about £80 - £100 worth). I have also offered a £20 reward to anyone else who fancies having a go at retrieving it.

Colin Carpenter11/10/2019 21:50:24
656 forum posts
36 photos

My club usually pays tree surgeon £20 for shinning up a tree 🌲! Very helpful chaps. Buys em lunch 🥗😂😂

Roger Dyke11/10/2019 21:53:16
311 forum posts
14 photos

Really, I'm heartened by that. Thanks.

kc11/10/2019 22:00:48
6768 forum posts
174 photos

Hope that the wind is strong enough to bring it lower down - check frequently to see. Be better when the leaves have fallen off too.

Joe Beavis11/10/2019 22:11:16
101 forum posts

Apart from the pangs of loss, a marooned model is a worry because it is litter. If you can't get a spritely soul to climb the tree to pole-poking height, then all I can suggest is that you return frequently to the scene to see what has blown down, especially the battery. I expect there will be some wild weather coming soon - you may be lucky. I have had a model regurgitated by a tree after several weeks.

PS KC types faster than I do!

Edited By Joe Beavis on 11/10/2019 22:12:53

Roger Dyke11/10/2019 22:12:57
311 forum posts
14 photos

I am hoping that the wind will cause it to fall down further, but the way it is positioned it looks unlikely.

PatMc11/10/2019 22:22:50
4485 forum posts
548 photos

How about using an axe ? devil

Extract from AM Annual 1949 :


Stuphedd11/10/2019 22:25:10
729 forum posts
376 photos

In the past when we flew next to a wood , we used a bow and arrow , with fishing line on a pop bottle so the line released itself off the end of the bottle tied to the arrow .

Fire it as close to the plane as poss and use the line , to pull the plane out off the tree,

Use a long line so both ends can be handled with a chap at each end ,If you are good enough the put the arrow through a wing , tie a stick to one end of the line and just pull .

The bow and arrow (S) can be very rudimentary !!


Former Member11/10/2019 22:58:17
3573 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

john stones 111/10/2019 23:05:46
11760 forum posts
1521 photos
Posted by Tom Sharp 2 on 11/10/2019 22:58:17:
Posted by Colin Carpenter on 11/10/2019 21:50:24:

My club usually pays tree surgeon £20 for shinning up a tree 🌲! Very helpful chaps. Buys em lunch 🥗😂😂

A tree surgeon who will come out for £20 must have a private income.


I'm assuming that's a gag, gone over my head though.

Robin Colbourne11/10/2019 23:17:44
723 forum posts
18 photos

To paraphrase Roy Scheider in 'Jaws', 'You're gonna need a big pole.'

Having retreived a Precedent HiBoy from a similar height, the weapon of choice was a 'stick' made up of two tapered fibreglass windsurfer masts, one on top of the other, sleeved together with cardboard filling the gap between the two, with a 25 foot carbon fishing pole on top of that.

A cork on the tip of the pole prevented holes being punched in the model and some dayglo orange tape around the last foot or so allowed the tip of the pole to be seen and directed. Try to use forks in branches lower down like snooker rests, as the whole assembly is a bit wobbly.

You will probably need assistance to get the pole upright.

Former Member11/10/2019 23:20:34
3573 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

john stones 111/10/2019 23:33:42
11760 forum posts
1521 photos

Novelty value and doing someone a good turn, folk can be generous you know, lifes not always about money.

Roger Dyke12/10/2019 06:44:52
311 forum posts
14 photos

PatMc, Stuphedd, Tom, John, and Robin,

Thank you all so much for your valued replies. I like the story about the 'axe'. The bow and arrow sounds feasible although it's been about 60 years since I made one of those, out of poplar tree branches as I remember. It's worth a thought though. I live in a very suburban area and have no contacts at all with a 'friendly' tree surgeon. My son had one about two years ago and cost him hundreds of pounds for quite a short time. Their time travelling to and from the site also adds to the costs of course. Then there is quite a walk (there and back) to the location with whatever equipment they want to take. All the ones that I find usually have elaborate web sites. I somehow can't see £20 cutting it.

Peter Miller12/10/2019 08:52:13
11584 forum posts
1384 photos
10 articles

Back in 1954 I was in the Regents Park MFC and we flew on Hampstead Heath. One winter afternoon a member got his Mercury Mentor rubber powered model right at the top of a tree.

All of us were standing round gazing up and wondering how we were going to get it down as the tree was not one of the easily climbed ones.

As we stood there and Indian gentleman in a suit came along, looked up to see what we were staring at. Then he took his shoes off, climbed straight up the tree, retrieved the model, climbed back down, handed the undamaged model to its owner put his shoes on and departed to a chorus of grateful "Thanks You" from the club.

A memory that sticks in the mind very clearly to this day

Edited By Peter Miller on 12/10/2019 08:55:45

Roger Dyke12/10/2019 09:20:42
311 forum posts
14 photos

I love that story. I can just imaging all the perplexed faces. You wouldn't have this Indian gentleman's address would you...…. teeth 2 teeth 2 teeth 2

SIMON CRAGG12/10/2019 11:01:33
620 forum posts
5 photos

We have got a decent long ladder and extending aluminium poking stick with a loop on the end. So far it has worked a treat even on trees such as you describe. Good bonding experience for club members!

Roger Dyke12/10/2019 12:10:50
311 forum posts
14 photos

A long ladder would certainly help. We don't have such a thing and I don't even have a roof-rack on my car. Our field is quite remote.

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Support Our Partners
electricwingman 2017
Subscribe now
Sussex Model Centre
Advertise With Us
Latest "For Sale" Ads
NEW POLL - has the pandemic altered your event safety perceptions?
Q: Has the covid pandemic deterred you from attending shows and events in 2021?

 No, I'll be attending just as many as I usually do
 No, but I'll choose my event with greater care
 Yes, I'll attend fewer events going forward
 Yes, I wont attend any where previously I have

Latest Reviews
Digital Back Issues

RCM&E Digital Back Issues

Contact us

Contact us

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of RCM&E? Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist!

Find RCM&E!