Hello again from the Coffee Shoppe!  I wanted some of the R/C folks to verify a story for me.  Monday morning, I had to run into town for supplies and saw an old friend and when I asked him “what’s new” a big grin come on his.  I was about to turn around but he stopped me in my tracks and started talking about flying R/C planes inside a building at Ft. Lee!  Well, I told him I had to go, but asked if he would drop by the Coffee Shoppe next week and tell me more.  Man, he didn’t usually get so wound up so about things and I decided to get him out to my place and see what all the excitement was about. 


My flying buddy came in for coffee last week after late Breakfast Bunch had left and the Early Birds weren’t due for another hour.  We went back to booth #3, next to the little Avocado tree that those little stink bugs like to nest in.  We chatted a bit on the weather and then he started telling me about that “Indoor Flying” happening a few weeks ago.  He took almost an hour talking about all the action at the Ft. Lee gym.  He said that a club member, Robert Lee (hey, wonder if his middle initial is “E.”?) had managed to get into the older gym so they could FLY INDOORS!  Now don’t beat all you ever heard of, flying those planes around inside a building that’s no bigger than the dance floor over at Jamie’s Bar & Grill.  Well, he went to telling me what they did on that Sunday afternoon when most of us were watching NASCAR or NFL football! 


They flew a bunch of those little planes, that are no bigger than Grandma’s little flowered hat and powered with batteries he called Lite-Po or Li-Pole batteries!  He showed me pictures of a “Vapor” and an “Ember”.   He said they flew around that gym as slow as a butterfly looking for a sweet flower to land on.  He went on with his story, telling me about a “hot little plane called a Micro T-6” and it was fast!  He said it was all over that gym after take-off going towards the South wall then went into a quick turn towards the floor and then back towards the North wall and finally around and around, this way and that untill he landed!  After a few questions, he admitted a couple of other “pilots” were running into bleachers and walls until they got used to the small area.  But that didn’t stop the fun, no sir, they had four or five of them up at one time and if they “whacked” the walls, they grabbed the glue and spare parts and started fixing them.  But, sometimes they had to go to “the box” and pull out another plane and go back to flying.  They would see who could go highest towards the air ducts and lowest to the floor, without breaking anything or having something fall off 


There were two types of planes that everyone seemed to be really enjoying flying.  One was a Piper Cub and the Aronaca Champ which are “high wingers”.  Those bright Yellow Cubs and Champs were high and low, left and right, towards the walls and the floors but not one of them ever got caught in the ceiling!  They had a “pit area” (whatever that is) and were taxing out, bringing “the tails up’ and flying away just pretty as you please!  He said Patrick and Debbie Mullins were there along with Raymond Freeman who came just to see what was happening.  Most of the time, pilots were just flying around in a counter-clock-wards pattern. But some were doing loops, tail slides, inverted flying and a bunch of “touch and goes”. But, sometimes they touched, then didn’t go!  They even had some “sport racing ” with the Cubs and Champs, flying the planes just a few feet off the floor as the circled the gym… WOW!….! 


What it was, was the first, Mid-Virginia R/C club, Indoor flying and everyone said it was like nothing you ever seen before and fun was had by all.  Also, the way I hear, there’s a possibility that Flying Indoors will be done again this fall or winter.  So, get a “Micro Electric” and be ready and you too can say, “….neither wind nor rain nor snow, will keep me from flying inside where the weather is always good and people can have fun even ----------without the sun!


George McAllister Jr.