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Dec 04, 2012, 01:09 AM
Chasin' that Neon Rainbow
Grantham Kid's Avatar
Had an eagle bump my tail once and send the glider spiralling but generally they like to thermal alongside. I have had aggressive birds but a quick loop seems to confuse them.
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Dec 04, 2012, 01:32 AM
Life is short just do IT!
Louisweb's Avatar
Originally Posted by btown2
Your friend obviously needs to give the eggs back. You saw what they did to the pigs.
Ya man! I told him the other day enough is enough, better return the eggs at once. No jokes, or else it will surely dive hard to attack him in person the next time............ good luck.lol
Dec 04, 2012, 03:49 AM
payne9999's Avatar
Originally Posted by Grantham Kid
Had an eagle bump my tail once and send the glider spiralling but generally they like to thermal alongside. I have had aggressive birds but a quick loop seems to confuse them.
I agree. I have had many birds of prey attack or at least come very close in a mock attack. A couple of times I have had damage like talon holes in a wing. Birds don't seem to understand loops. If I do a quick loop while being pursued the hawk immediately breaks off the attack and flees. I think it may surprise them. Maybe other quick or less natural bird moves may also work but I have my go-to maneuver and that is a quick, tight loop. The other thing is now you are behind them and they don't like that.

Dec 04, 2012, 10:52 AM
Registered User
Ranandar's Avatar
We have a lot of turkey buzzards here. They are not aggressive, but sometimes quite curious. They tend to avoid my larger planes, 50 inch or more, but sometimes they get close to the small ones. Thing is, my little planes are all a LOT faster than any bird so it all works out.
Dec 04, 2012, 12:39 PM
Registered User
xrx1113's Avatar
I have seen it a few times with gliders by hawks, i had one go after my new glider ; i dove and flew away from him before he could grab it. when i got it on the ground there was bird crap on it !!
Dec 04, 2012, 01:35 PM
cmdl's Avatar
cut across the flight path of a bird once (wasn't sure what species) in my t28. i had slowed down enough to let them pass (there were 2). 1st one passed but i was not slow enough for the 2nd one though and it went around my plane without a fuss. i'm sure it felt i was being an air hog (pardon the pun)
Dec 04, 2012, 01:44 PM
Registered User
Cphipps0826's Avatar
I'd say the first thing is if you have the speed and ability try not to dive but loop. In the wild all birds dive away from threats so if you dive and a bird of prey is chasing you and any other bird being aggressive for that matter. You will initiate the chase sequence that usually ends bad for our planes. Its like running from a dog just don't do it if you can help it. A loop, a climb those will usually achieve the goal of having it leave you alone because then it realizes that you aren't afraid of it and once you're above it they become vulnerable to your attack. Unless they are really pissed at you they will usually leave you be once you get above them and behind them.

We have a lot of birds of prey here so I asked the local rehab center and the above was their advice on how to handle this.
Dec 04, 2012, 04:39 PM
25+ years of RC flying
BigIron357's Avatar
Back in 1983 I was teaching a student to fly with an Ace High glider. The Baby Bee .049 was singing along as he was climbing and when the plane was about 150 up and maybe 200 feet out from us, a wedge tailed eagle dove in and attacked the plane, hitting the wing and knocking it in a circle.

Unfortunately for the bird, when it hit the plane the .049 swung around and bit the bird right in the butt! There were feathers flying everywhere but the bird seemed uninjured and flew off in a chagrined fashion.
Dec 04, 2012, 05:36 PM
Registered User
Aviefly's Avatar
There are some very good story's in here and some good suggestions on avoidance tactics but I haven't seen the most important one. This doesn't apply to gliders for obvious reasons but I would say that if your avoidance tactics don't pay off and it looks like the bird is going to make contact you should shut power off immediately even if it means forfeiting your plane. Those props can do the bird some serious damage and even though it isn't likely to kill the bird outright an injury that leaves it unable to hunt is even worse. It is their sky and we should respect that.

We have many birds of prey in our area they have sometimes shown an interest and shared the same airspace, sometimes for quite lengthy periods, but have never seen one turn aggressive. We would never chase one of them or try and do anything that they could interpret as an attack either, both for the birds sake and for ours. Along with the birds come bird spotters, all it would take is one of them reporting models being used to chase or harm these birds and we'd be shut down before you know it.
Dec 04, 2012, 05:46 PM
25+ years of RC flying
BigIron357's Avatar
I forgot to mention in my post above that my student successfully recovered the plane from the eagle attack and safely landed on the runway. Once on the ground, we could see deep talon marks in the starboard side foam wing! Pretty cool stuff.
Dec 04, 2012, 06:28 PM
Registered User
Something to remember is that most birds of prey and vultures are protected critters. You might win a dogfight with one, but if you're observed by a birder, etc., you could wind up losing your flying site.

We had a guy in our club who thought it was fun to chase vultures with his glow plane. Fortunately, the cop who spotted it gave us another chance.

That flier no longer flies with our club.

Dec 04, 2012, 06:34 PM
Foam flogger
Buzzards tend not to bother my planes. They think my glider is one of them and happily share the skies. I've had red-tails go after my planes on more than one occasion. Even my gliders. Looping always throws them off. Had one nearly take out my micro p-51 on it's maiden. Quick loop and he backed off.
Dec 05, 2012, 10:24 AM
Registered User
Originally Posted by Fravits
No question here. It is their sky and we are the interlopers. Give the masters their due and retreat. I certainly would not want to risk tangling with a bird and causing him injury or death when I can leave him in peace. There are any number of reasons why a bird might get aggressive. Best course of action is to leave them be.

All my experiences with birds have been pretty good. Most don't seem to mind my sailplane joining in, circling in a thermal. One rule of thumb is to turn in the same direction. I have had a couple of Turkey Buzzards and a few Redtails fly in very close formation, obviously curious, but have never have seen any aggression.

I have been chased by Redtails on the slope a few times, probably during the nesting season. A dive and quick change of direction has always worked and they have never pressed home the attack. Talons will usually do a number on Monokote and balsa!
It is a balance-of-nature form of territorial conflict resolution. When I lived on a Seattle hill next to a treed area with a large group of crow-like blackbirds, a bald eagle pair would slope soar by every day and the smaller birds would harass the raptors, chasing them. The eagles don't like to waste energy and easily dodged and out-maneuvered the little would.be "fighters" and went on their calm way. One day I heard an especially loud racket, and saw that the blackbirds were excitedly harassing the eagles, but keeping a much farther distance than usual. I got on my "good" glasses and could see that the female [40% larger and more aggressive] eagle had something comparatively tiny and black vertically suspended below her at the end of her outstretched leg: it was an unlucky blackbird that had gotten too close or serious and was being displayed in an obvious "see what happens if you push me too much" message.

When i was living in TN, some smaller blackbirds in northern Alabama, I found out at R/C sailplane contests, had developed the cute and endearing habit of hopping on and riding like surfers on the Monocoated horizontal stabilizers of floater sailplanes and busily pecking large holes in the covering, as their added tail weight was "de-thermalizing" the plane and bringing it slowly down.

Our feathered friends.

But I know one who is an R/C affectionado [he's done even better with it several times in a large gym and in a small nearby park]....


Kiki Flying with R/C Avitron in Mall (0 min 12 sec)

Kiki + Kiki [bird watching] (0 min 26 sec)
Dec 05, 2012, 10:46 AM
If it spins, wear it.
whirlcap's Avatar
I've had a hawk check out my Mini Popwing at the park but not get very close, just seemed to be checking it out. At the same park, my HZ Champ almost got caught by maybe the same hawk. I was up about 75 feet and he came in from behind. I waited until he started to flare and dove straight down. It worked. The Champ has no power (not mine anyway) to do a loop from straight and level flight so that evasion seemed unavailable. . I am concerned about harming an attacking bird and agree that throttle "off" is a great reaction if evasion isn't working and your going to get hit. I wasn't too worried with the Champ's prop, not much potential for harm. Being a micro and not being as careful I have accidentally stuck my fingers in the running prop, does nothing really, stops the prop. Always more careful with my other planes and realize it wouldn't do a bird or my fingers any good to get them in the prop.

I did also one day have a swarm of small black birds fill the sky right after launching my Popwing, I cut the throttle back to near idle and they had no trouble avoiding my now slow flying wing. At high speed, it could very well have been a problem. They passed quickly as I went the other way from them.
Dec 05, 2012, 11:13 AM
Registered User
mhills51's Avatar
Don't have much of a issue with the helicopters. They have circled, I think they realize when this bird stops in the air turns on a dime and starts coming to them they quickly do the same.
Now, before you all say, "don't fly after the birds" It's not done to hurt the birds, but to save it and my helicopter. Last thing I need is puree of bird and a crashed heli.

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