Got an electic plane stuck in a tree.
April 24, 2007 12:59 AM   Subscribe

My friend has an electric plane stuck in a tree. Help him get it down!!!!

Here's his email. Anyone have any ideas?

I went flying on the weekend with my new electric plane, it was so much fun, did all the tricks and sins and stuff. Everything was going great until a gust of wind took it into the highest tree imaginable, where I think it still is. It was just impossible to get out no matter how many stones I threw at it – mental! I’m sure it’s still there as its pretty out of sight, so my idea is to swing by Stu’s, pick up his 5 metre sea-fishing rod, head out to Leroy Merlin, buy myself a roll of bamboo rods, some gaffer tape (the grey stuff), and try and fashion a hybrid fishing rod with bamboo at least 15 metres long. I know it sounds crazy, but the idea of leaving behind 350 euros in a tree is enough to make one stay awake at night. I gotta give it 1 more shot!!

If you have any other ideas about how I can get it out of the tree, ignoring the one’s I’ve already heard (1.shoot it with a gun, 2. Chop the tree down, 3. Climb the tree, 4. Call the fire brigade, 5. Set fire to the tree, 6. Hire a chainsaw and cut through the branches, and 7. High pressure hose-pipe). So far I’ll stick with my idea I think, but if you have any others, please let me know.

P.S. The tree is at least 15m high!!
posted by BigBrownBear to Grab Bag (17 answers total)
Can't the fire brigade help him? I'm not saying he should call 911/999/000 -- all I'm saying is it might be worth his while to call them up and ask nicely.

If they can do it for kitties I can't see why they can't do it for aeroplanes.
posted by gadha at 1:07 AM on April 24, 2007

Lead weight on the end of a fishing line. Slingshot. Shoot fishing line at branches. Shake branches.

Or get a professional tree climber in. Or hire a cherry picker. Or fly another plane at the first one.
posted by chrismear at 1:19 AM on April 24, 2007

Hit it with a hose, assuming that wont ruin the plane.
posted by kaydo at 1:46 AM on April 24, 2007

get your cat to retrieve it
posted by randomstriker at 1:47 AM on April 24, 2007

8. Everybody jump on three. One, two, THREE!
posted by gregoryc at 3:54 AM on April 24, 2007

His idea is akin to how we get expensive kites out of trees. A length of poles taped together with some sort of device on the end to snag the kite's bridal. Now since you don't have any lines to snag I think you should fashion some kind of simple noose to slip over a wing or nose. Patience is a virtue.
posted by Gungho at 4:04 AM on April 24, 2007

A 15m bamboo pole is going to be pretty unweildy, maybe having two poles connected at the end (like an inverted V) with two people holding it would be easier to control?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:43 AM on April 24, 2007

Bow and arrow, fire the arrow over the plane, with a string attached. One person grabs each end of the string, use it to knock/bump/bounce the plane out of the tree. (Note that this may not actually be a good idea.)

Better idea: Don't climb the tree to the top, but climb up two or three meters until you can sit on a sturdy branch, this'll get most of the leaves out of the way (if there are any) and make your pole that much shorter.
posted by anaelith at 5:41 AM on April 24, 2007

We've gotten lots of stuff out of trees with my son's air rifle. It's like a mini hurricane.
posted by iconomy at 6:51 AM on April 24, 2007

If there's room to maneuver (not too many branches in the way) and it's not too windy, try a helium balloon, sticky tape, and a long string. Put a piece of the tape sticky side out on a helium balloon (or a stack of them) and try to get the balloon to rise up under the plane. If you can get the tape to stick to the plane, you may then be able to pull or shake it loose by pulling on the string.

Or if tape isn't right for this case, try making a lightweight hook out of a paper clip, then tape the hook to the top of the balloon and try to snag the plane.

(By the way, kids, this is how you can rescue escaped balloons inside high-ceiling places such as shopping malls. One balloon + tape pulls down another and eventually turns into many balloons.)
posted by pracowity at 7:24 AM on April 24, 2007

Weighing in with the psychotic ideas:

A magnet attached to some fishing line?

Call a local Hot-Air Balloon company and see if they have a bored employee who will fly over and drop something down and get it?

posted by cashman at 8:24 AM on April 24, 2007

I use a heavy Frisbee (the kind used for disc golf) when I get my little cheapo electric plane stuck in trees. Haven't managed to damage the thing yet.
posted by indyz at 8:53 AM on April 24, 2007

ball of duct tape on the end of his pole contraption might help secure the plane, would hate to knock it out of the tree throwing things only to damage it in the fall
posted by clanger at 8:57 AM on April 24, 2007

Wow - the lengths men will go to to get a fishing-related purchase past their wives.
posted by ikkyu2 at 9:16 AM on April 24, 2007

you could rig a loop a string or rope with a slip not at the end of your bamboo to try to grab it once it is up there

i like the cherry picker idea, can't be all THAT expensive....
posted by Salvatorparadise at 9:18 AM on April 24, 2007

If your friend's plane were in a tree in NYC, I'll be these guys could help. Maybe there's a local chapter?
posted by marylynn at 2:03 PM on April 24, 2007

I have no idea why that link didn't work. BagSnaggers of NYC:
posted by marylynn at 2:03 PM on April 24, 2007

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