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Home✈️Aircraft🚁HelicopterHelicopter Main Discussion › Heli pilot Harvesting Christmas Trees - could this be real?
12-10-2013 09:00 PM  5 years ago
Retired2011

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Lee's Summit, MO

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Impressive, I wonder whats in that cooler to his left?
His lunch...he needs something to do with his left hand.
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12-10-2013 11:46 PM  5 years ago
Jeff polisena

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westpalmbeachflorida usa

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The way he flys makes if cost effective . To truck trees out would require roads and terrain good for traveling . Also with amount of land that would be waisted on roads which would yield less trees plus maitaining themI stole it ,flew it and gave it back ;)
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12-11-2013 12:11 AM  5 years ago
ticedoff8

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Morgan Hill, CA. USA

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But..
They can crash a lot of trucks for the cost of 1 Bell 204 JetRanger.

http://www.globalplanesearch.com/usa/helicopters/bell/
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12-11-2013 02:32 AM  5 years ago
burl

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Port Angeles WA

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could this be real? Yep.

Watch at YouTube

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12-11-2013 03:38 AM  5 years ago
bustedmp

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Shamokin, PA

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I worked on a Christmas tree farm years ago, and loading via manual labor is sloooowwwwww. Still can't do much better with the bailing process though. We used to pull the cut trees to the roads unless they cut an entire section, then it was much easier. But still not that fast.The world is yours!
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12-11-2013 10:03 AM  5 years ago
dialarotor

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Traverse City, Michigan

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💎Sustaining Member
very cool and you don't have to carve up the acreage to get to trees
$50-$100 a tree in the big city can make that very cost effective.
RapRexSynLogo Pilot
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12-11-2013 10:23 AM  5 years ago
wrongler

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Brewerton, New York

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Who can make a grab and release hook for an RC heli?Bill Whittaker
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12-11-2013 10:44 AM  5 years ago
Heli_Splatter

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USA

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I have been working on hook releases... You can see the guys on the tree farm are hooking the tree bundles, so it is really just a release mechanism.

You could do an electro-magnet hook and release.

I wonder if an RC heli could do this tree farm job at much less cost? It can't be cheap to rent the heli and pilot.

That pilot is really good on the line. It is amazing to see how well he can spot the load and drop. They do the same thing in logging. What a way to make a living.
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12-11-2013 10:53 AM  5 years ago
Retired2011

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Lee's Summit, MO

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Who can make a grab and release hook for an RC heli?
I want a little treble hook to pick up walnuts from my back yard.
Good way to practice hovering skills.

Where can I get one of those grab claws from the toy machines?
Might be able to adapt that pretty easily.
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12-11-2013 11:18 AM  5 years ago
wrongler

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Brewerton, New York

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I like the electro magnetic idea.Bill Whittaker
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12-11-2013 11:24 AM  5 years ago
Retired2011

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Lee's Summit, MO

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I like the electro magnetic idea.
Except you'd have to carry another batt to power it...or loose flight time if you use your regular flight pack.
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12-11-2013 03:14 PM  5 years ago
McKrackin

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Lucasville,Ohio

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I wonder if an RC heli could do this tree farm job at much less cost? It can't be cheap to rent the heli and pilot.
Most of these outfit OWN the helicopter and the pilot gets paid from sales.
Even still,if they hired a helicopter for a day and pay as much as $50,000 for 8 hours of operation,that's only going to require 500 trees to pay for the operation and everything else is profit.
This guy is obviously not a daily rental though as shown by his skill...He obviously does this all the time...Probably logging the other 10 months a year.
And operating the helicopter is obviously not going to cost $50,000 a day...That is what it costs for a sky crane that has to travel across the country for the job.

Also,many of these Christmas tree harvesters are multi multi million dollar logging companies.
I literally never use the word literally right.
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12-11-2013 04:32 PM  5 years ago
Mike Fortin

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USA

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Awesome for reelz!Have Rotors, Will Fly!
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12-11-2013 04:45 PM  5 years ago
kingmeow

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The Garden State, US

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Except you'd have to carry another batt to power it...or loose flight time if you use your regular flight pack.
I'm not sure it will use that much. It's only on if you are holding on to something. If flying "empty" it should not be energized. But you are right, power is a concern.
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12-11-2013 08:15 PM  5 years ago
cdrking

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Seattle

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Here's a picture of me the year I slung Christmas trees.

To hover is divine, the alternative is rather PLANE.
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12-11-2013 08:46 PM  5 years ago
cdrking

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Seattle

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I slung trees for just one season and that was enough for me. It's very hard on the equipment and it's not very forgiving if something goes wrong.

Years ago the way they did it was the workers first went out into the trees and started cutting. They basically used a weed-eater with a saw blade on it to cut the trees. Then they went out and used nylon rope, usually two pieces, and bundled the trees into about 800lbs loads. The number of trees depended on the type of tree. They also tried to lie to you about the load size, they would always try to squeeze more into a bundle.

There were a couple of methods of doing it, one was like the one in the first video where the pilot would drop the loads into a truck. I never did that type of tree moving. I dropped the trees into a pile and the workers would start wrapping them right there in the field and put them into trucks by hand. Either way, the trees were eventually wrapped, either in the field or back at the farm.

After the bundles were made, the "hooker" would stand/run around the field and hook the bundles. The nylon ropes had loops in both ends so as the hook was swinging toward the "hooker" he had to snap the ropes into the hook. I had one guy that was excellent, he could smoke a cigarette and "hook" at the same time. Most of the time they didn't even grab the hook, they just snapped the ropes in.

The "hookers" had to deal with the weather on the ground and downwash along with the static electricity built up on the cable and hook as it was flying through the air. You could get zapped and knocked on your ass if you touched to the remote hook with a lot of built up static.

The goal as a pilot is to go as fast as possible, the crazier you are the better. But if anything fails you may be going into the dirt hard. I had never done it before so I was a bit slower the first two days, but once you've done it a few hundred times you get faster.

Most all of the farmers I worked with were small family owned businesses, there were no large logging companies. Also these guys don't own their own helicopters, because it's not worth it to own them for only one month's work. There is too much liability to slinging trees, so why not contract it out.

I know of a few companies that stopped slinging trees because of the danger and the abuse the equipment takes.

It was a fun experience for sure.

I will try to find some video my buddy took when I was moving trees.

Jeff
To hover is divine, the alternative is rather PLANE.
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12-11-2013 08:49 PM  5 years ago
cdrking

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Seattle

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Here's a picture of the hook that's used on the type of helicopter flown in the first video.

To hover is divine, the alternative is rather PLANE.
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12-11-2013 09:04 PM  5 years ago
McKrackin

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Lucasville,Ohio

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Also these guys don't own their own helicopters, because it's not worth it to own them for only one month's work.
I didn't realize Christmas tree harvesting was the only thing a helicopter could be used for and that no other types of trees are ever cut in the other 11 months.lol...

What I meant was that a lot of those tree slinger helicopters are owned by wealthy logging contractors and a lot of wealthy loggers also farm Christmas trees...Not only Christmas trees but for replanting clear cuts.
I literally never use the word literally right.
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12-11-2013 09:51 PM  5 years ago
cdrking

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Seattle

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You would need more than a Jetranger to lift the "other types of trees". They do use them to lift the chokers though.To hover is divine, the alternative is rather PLANE.
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12-11-2013 10:01 PM  5 years ago
McKrackin

rrProfessor

Lucasville,Ohio

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....I literally never use the word literally right.
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