An alternative to the multiple tow hitch system is a boom pickup system. A typical installation consists of a rigid boom pivoted aft of the landing gear, approximately the length of the aft fuselage. The boom is equipped with a hook that can be used to snag the towline and pickup the banner. A retract cable is employed to stow the boom under the fuselage during takeoff and landing.

The boom system eliminates the multiple grapple line of the multiple hitch system as well as the problems previously discussed concerning grapple line snarling and grapple bounce. On the negative side, due to the relatively short length of the boom, the airplane must be flown more carefully during the banner pickup and high enough to avoid snagging the towline with the landing gear yet low enough to engage the bridle with the hook. Turbulence can cause the hook to bounce while in the normal trail position and it may swing from side to side in a crosswind.

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