I can't remember if it was one or both of those which were used to help get a glider of mine down recently. Especially useful as it was starting to get dark. Thanks Ed!
When I was younger I once retrieved a glider for someone by nailing alternating blocks as steps on either side of a tree which had no branches until 20 or 30 feet. I recently watched a teenager retrieve a hexacopter by climbing vines for 20 or 30 feet and then branches. His mother went 20 feet up on the same vines to hand him my roof rake poles.
I sometimes use a compound bow for lofting arrows to get a string over the aircraft. Works pretty well, but it's a bit on the heavy draw side, so if I make more than 10 shots I'm going to be sore.
This summer I was watching kids fly rockets in a big event at our field. One kid had put a tube on the hose of a fire extinguisher full of compressed air and could loft a grappling hook with it. The grappling hook was a bad idea, but a weight of some sort would not be. Probably a good idea to repaint the fire extinguisher. A fun feature is that you could look at the gauge while you were pumping it up and therefore control the height of the shot. Maybe I should make one of these. Nice and compact compared to a compound bow. Or one could make a calibrated, low power potato gun!
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