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8797Re: [GPSL] Trees

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  • BASE
    Nov 1, 2010

      The distance between the balloon and parachute is generally twenty feet.  Typically, the distance between the parachute an the first payload box is about eight feet, with subsequent payloads separated by similar distances.   However on descent, the balloon fragment usually hangs below and to the rear of the flight train making the overall length of the system shorter.

      Of our 53 flights, 15 have ended with tree landings.  Two were in a fence row, but the rest were either into multiple trees or in the middle of an extended set of trees.  It is my opinion that a long flight string, from the parachute to the lowest payload makes it more problematic when the system lands in a tree top.   I have had two tree landings where the lowest payload pod or pods are dangling free.  It is more common for the lowest pod to encounter the trees first and the rest of the flight string to land according to the prevailing wind.  Here is a link to a photo from the landing of BASE 34.

      If I can keep the total payload under six pounds, I will put all of my packages (assuming no radio interference problems) in a single bundle below the parachute.  This reduces the height of the descending system and slightly reduces the cross section for encounters with the trees.

      Howard, KC9QBN

      --- On Mon, 11/1/10, Tim <sarbresam@...> wrote:

      From: Tim <sarbresam@...>
      Subject: Re: [GPSL] Trees
      To: GPSL@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Monday, November 1, 2010, 4:03 PM


      I have a question for the list...

      How long is the distance from your balloon to your payload?  I know everyone will have a different answer but in my mind longer is better.  If your parachute gets caught in a 50' tree and the distance is between the chute and payload is 50' then at worst you loose the chute?  I also think that the payload is more stable the farther away it is from the balloon, on the ascent that is.  I do not have any facts to back this up so I could be way off base but it seems to be true in the scaled down tests that Brenden and I have done.

      Thanks for your input,

      From: BASE <basedepauw@...>
      To: GPSL@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Mon, November 1, 2010 7:35:13 AM
      Subject: Re: [GPSL] Trees



      Here's what goes with me on every tracking and recovery:

      1. A 40 foot extended Wonder Pole (http://www.wonderpole.com/wp640_630.html) with two special ends.  One is a hook made from 3/8 inch threaded rod.  The second is an old pruning saw blade.

      2. The EZHang system (http://ezhang.com/index.php?_a=viewCat&catId=1) (a Hyperdog Sling Shot, Zebco 33 reel, one ounce lead shots, and tennis balls, 250 feet of 300 pound test line).

      3. A rope saw (mine is a Sears model that is no longer available, but here is a similar product http://www.treehelp.com/itemdesc.asp?ic=GM-CS-48)

      4. Corona Clipper Razor Tooth Pruning Saw

      5. An assortment of extra ropes (approximately 200 feet) for extending the rope saw and/or pulling on limbs/payload strings with a stronger rope.

      I do have a chain saw and axe that I have brought to recovery sites on the return trip, if chain saw is a viable option.  On a couple of occasions, I have hired a tree climber to recover the flight system.
      In my experience, three hours to get out of a significant tree is not too bad.  My son and I spent seven hours on Saturday (after three hours on the flight day) working on retrieving the remaining radio and parachute from BASE 53.  Still need to make one last return trip (ran out of daylight) to finish the retrieval.

      Howard, KC9QBN

      --- On Sun, 10/31/10, L. Paul Verhage <nearsys@...> wrote:

      From: L. Paul Verhage <nearsys@...>
      Subject: [GPSL] Trees
      To: gpsl@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Sunday, October 31, 2010, 8:52 PM


      My latest flight took three hours to remove from trees.  What is everyone carrying for tree removal? 

      Onwards and Upwards,

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