# Getting a rather expensive rocket out of a 3 story tree...

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#### rocketsonly

Hey. So the other day my partner and I were launching rockets on a windless day (or atleast on ground level). All of this for a science fair project. So we launched a couple of rockets using a C engine and we recovered them back succesfully. Then we launch a fifth time, and what do you know, the rocket does not come down and keeps sailing and sailing, until it hits a tree. The tree being about 3 stories high. And guess what... The rocket was carrying a $70 altimeter, an altimeter that we had to wash 30+ cars for! Any suggestions on how to get it out? Anyone would care to donate anything that would help? Please help! -Matthew #### sandman ##### Well-Known Member If it's just the altimeter you want... Get a fishing pole (the sectional ones and a good casting reel with some fairly heavy line and a few heavy sinkers. Keep casting until you snag the rocket and yank her down! You will probably destroy the rocket in the process. Good luck, sandman #### BlueNinja ##### Well-Known Member Maybe you could rent a cherry picker. There are places that will rent them for some fee. You may need some permits for it to be legal with the city. #### shrox ##### Well-Known Member Well, how about a cheap saw? shrox #### rocketsonly ##### Well-Known Member Yea, a cheap saw was what we were thinking, because the tree does have many branches... we would climb up as high as we could, then saw that rocket off! But it still is pretty high... -Matthew #### Missileman ##### Well-Known Member Chase a cat up the tree and when the local fire department comes to recue it have them grab it while they are up there Or like Sandman said use a fishing pole. #### sandman ##### Well-Known Member Our local fire department is all volunteers. They charge your insurance company$1,000 for a fire run (what a rip off!)

They DO NOT and WILL NOT get cats out of trees!

Their reason...Have you ever seen a dead cat in a tree?

sandman

#### KermieD

##### Well-Known Member
Paintball gun (marker for you sticklers).

#### Stones

##### Well-Known Member
Originally posted by KermieD
Paintball gun (marker for you sticklers).
Should I expect to see said "marker" at our local launches Kerm?

#### solrules

##### Well-Known Member
launch another rocket and try to hit it out of the tree

#### brianc

##### Well-Known Member
Originally posted by rocketsonly

the rocket does not come down and keeps sailing and sailing, until it hits a tree. The tree being about 3 stories high.
...
Any suggestions on how to get it out?
Sandman has suggested the fishing pole trick, but that could get dangerous.
(Ever been hit in the head by a casting weight??)

I've had success with lawn sprinkler PVC pipe. 3/4" Schedule 40 (not the thin
walled 1120). I use several 10' sections to reach the rocket, then I have an
old paint roller handle taped to the top as a hook. Overlap the handle with the
PVC all the way to the roller and use LOTS of duct tape to secure it.

Provided the rocket isn't burried too far in the branches, you should be able to
snag it without much difficulty.

Needless to say, even though the PVC isn't conductive, DO NOT ATTEMPT
THIS IF THERE ARE POWER LINES NEARBY!

Good Luck!

#### rocketsonly

##### Well-Known Member
Wow guys! Thanks for all the input! I'll try the PVC trick as brianc said. I guess I could launch some more rockets into the tree to get the other one out as an excuse just to launch rockets! Haha, I like the cat idea! Forgot who said that one though.
-Matthew

#### wwattles

##### Well-Known Member
Another alternative would be to use one of those telescoping pool-cleaning poles, if you know anyone who has a pool...

WW

#### Hospital_Rocket

##### Well-Known Member
or a long handled pruning saw...

#### Micromeister

##### Micro Craftman/ClusterNut
TRF Supporter
by 3 stories are you saying under 35feet? if so a 24foot paint roller 3 section extension handel with a 3 or 4 foot /3/16" launch rod attached with a 6 foot person with reach should be able to pull your model out.
Highter then 35 feet I'm with sandman. but I attach a 12inch small bungie cord to "Fishout" the model
Heres what the telescoping recovery pole looks like. PS some folks use 20 to 24 foot carppie jigg'in fishing poles for Mod-Roc tree recovery.

#### solrules

seriously, though, my mom is an architect and has to do measurements about the elevation of the ground with respect to the house and stuff like that. She has a telescoping fiberglass rod that is 25-35', IIRC. Attach yourself a bent clothes hanger on the end, and bam, you have one really expensive stick. Of couse, the problem would be getting the fiberglass rod, which is not cheap ($200-300 IIRC). Also, as brianc said, do not do anything with power lines around, or you would have to worry about much more than just your altimeter/rocket. Like what if you hit the power line and caused a power outage to the city? Or if you tripped and fell with it in your hands. Or you missed and hit a cat in a tree. Oh, wait, scratch previous few...you'd be dead..... #### Micromeister ##### Micro Craftman/ClusterNut TRF Lifetime Supporter TRF Supporter Of couse, the problem would be getting the fiberglass rod, which is not cheap ($200-300 IIRC).

Guys:
The 8' to 24' telescoping Fibreglass covered aluminim paint roller extension handle I photoed above is available from McMaster-Carr #7743T66 for 52.59 plus about 6 bucks shipping. or maybe a few dollars more at a local paint supply dealer. With the addition of an old launch rod (a coat hanger isn't stiff enough) plus your height and reach you CAN retrieve models from 30 to 35 feet up with NO problem.

#### rocketsonly

##### Well-Known Member
Good news! My science teacher and I created a PVC pole long enough to reach the rocket! We are going to attach a hook to the end as someone previously mentioned. I'm also trying to design a claw capable of retracting, as well as having sharp teeth to hook on to the body tube (damage is fine, as long as we get the altimeter back!). I'll post pictures of the device soon!
-Matthew

#### Mike

##### Well-Known Member
Matthew,
You could make your PVC pipe into a grappler quite easily. Get a very long piece of string and attach one end right at the end of the PVC pipe. Then feed the string all the way down the pipe so it pokes out the other end. Leave about a foot diameter loop at the end where it is attached.

Put the pipe up to the tree and move it so the loop goes over the end of the rocket, preferably over the fins. Then pull the string down your end and the loop will tighten round the tube. You now have a grip on the rocket and can pull it clear of the tree.

Hope that was clear, let me know and i'll draw a diagram if you wish.

Good luck!

#### rocketsonly

##### Well-Known Member
Guess what guys! We got the rocket out yesterday!!! What a relief! The maintaince guys at my school finally got the man lift working, as well as finding a 20 foot aluminum pole used for changing light bulbs! Combined, it resulted in 60 feet worth of height! Well, my partner and I did some testing today for the science fair project, and found very interesting results! I'll post them up when I have time! Thanks for all the help you all!
-Matthew

#### DynaSoar

##### Well-Known Member
Originally posted by rocketsonly
Hey. So the other day my partner and I were launching rockets on a windless day (or atleast on ground level). All of this for a science fair project. So we launched a couple of rockets using a C engine and we recovered them back succesfully. Then we launch a fifth time, and what do you know, the rocket does not come down and keeps sailing and sailing, until it hits a tree. The tree being about 3 stories high. And guess what... The rocket was carrying a \$70 altimeter, an altimeter that we had to wash 30+ cars for! Any suggestions on how to get it out? Anyone would care to donate anything that would help? Please help!
-Matthew
Take three wall mount coat hanging hooks and superglue them together into a grappling hook without sharp points. Tie thin rope to it. Throw it by swining it in a circle and letting go on the upswing. Add some weight if necessary; stand on a ladder (with someone holding it!) to get higher off the ground and therefore more radius in your swing. Throw it to snag the shrouds or shock cord.

Or, a bow and fishing arrow. These have snap-action barbs and have a line attached for pulling them back. Don't set the barbs, just shoot it near the rocket and try to pull it back past the lines so you can snag them. Don't use a sharp point, or you could get that embedded into the tree.

Somewhere between the two designs, and probably the cheap and dirty method, a casting rod with heavy line and leader, a treble hook and a lead sinker attached directly to the hook.

#### rocketsonly

##### Well-Known Member
Thanks. But I already got it out. Read the post before yours.
-Matthew