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Promoting head binds

Having the falcon bind to the head, rather than the tail, is much preferable. It’s more suitable if she’s to be used for real falconry, it’s more exciting and dramatic, it’s safer as she can control her descent easier, and she’s less likely to cause damage to the aircraft.

Young falcons often start out as “tail tappers”. They catch up to the Roprey and lunge out a foot to hit the tail, either holding on or tapping it so that the aircraft falls to the ground. This is not a detrimental thing for the young falcon to learn, and it aids her confidence, but there is a point at which you may wish to avoid this behaviour.

At low altitudes, approximately tree height, it can be difficult or impossible to recover the aircraft if the falcon hits the tail and points the model towards the ground. However, when you are taking the falcon higher, once she has tail tapped the Roprey you can recover control of the aircraft and pull up before crashing. The model can then be flown underneath her giving the falcon a good view of the head with meat attached.

Another useful technique is to lift the head of the Roprey slightly when the falcon is coming in level behind the aircraft. By reducing the power and pulling back on the stick the Roprey can be put into a stall, where for a second or two, the model is almost stationary with the head higher than the tail. A skilled pilot can time this to perfection and the falcon, with a great view of the head, flies over the body to bind flawlessly.