Monday, May 21, 2018
News Roundup

Miniature planes, helicopters take flight in Pasco gymnasium

HUDSON — With the click of a button, the propeller starts and Jim Gorby's helicopter sails toward the roof of a gymnasium, the mini-aircraft weighing slightly more than the air it cuts through.

Gorby, 60, has been flying remote control helicopters since 1970. In the last six years as an employee of Pasco Parks and Recreation, he has created an outlet for indoor fliers in the Pasco area, a hotbed of hobbyist fliers. Gorby created "free fly nights" in Holiday at the J. Ben Harrill Recreation Complex a few years back. Now he has organized "free fly" events at Veterans Memorial Park (the "free" part means pilots can maneuver as they wish; there is a $1 fee).

"I started in Holiday but when I transferred to working (in Hudson) I decided to have a night for this here too," said Gorby, a New Port Richey native. "I get all levels of experience coming in here to fly. Some of them know what they're doing, others need a little guidance. The big thing is the camaraderie, it's good to be around other people who fly and who share a common interest."

Gorby makes some of his own aircraft out of recycled materials such as pizza boxes, but also pilots some planes made from carbon fiber and plastic that weigh as little as half an ounce. With the latest technology available from local hobby shops and websites, there is a competitive market for electronic RC planes and helicopters.

The free fly sessions average about 20 people with helicopters or RC planes in the gym, but according to Gorby, the numbers will continue to grow because of the cost efficiency of the hobby.

"When I started flying it was a lot more expensive and it was all outside flying," Gorby said. "With everything being digital now, a beginner can get into it with a basic plane for around $60. It's a popular hobby around this area. I think the free fly sessions will continue to do well."

Dave Webb, owner of B&B Hobbies, attends the free fly nights to promote his business as well as talk planes and do a little flying of his own. He loves the free fly because of the opportunity it presents hobbyists and what it does for his business.

"Up north they have to fly indoors all the time. But just because the temperature is nicer here doesn't make it much easier to fly these lightweight planes or helicopters, because it gets so windy being this close to the water," Webb said. "It's hard to fly this stuff in the wind and people need a place to fly other than their living room, so this night is great."

Richie Leischner has only been flying his remote control helicopters for a little over six months, but he has fallen in love with it after selling his Warrior single engine airplane in 2002. Leischner, a former pilot, may be grounded these days, but with his RC helicopter he can zip through the sky through the remote control in his hand.

"I sold my airplane just after Sept. 11 because of the restrictions that came along with owning one," Leischner said. "I've always been interested in helicopters and when it came to these (RC helicopters), it's tougher to learn and keep up with than the RC planes and I like the challenge. The best part of this free fly is the environment because you can come fly with your friends and you don't have to worry about the wind or weather conditions."

   
Comments
Florida has a gem of an idea to move traffic on and off I-75. It's called diverging diamonds

Florida has a gem of an idea to move traffic on and off I-75. It's called diverging diamonds

TAMPA — Driving on the wrong side of the road isn’t just for the British any more under an innovative plan for moving traffic through three local Interstate 75 interchanges. Construction will soon begin on a $37 million, three-year proje...
Updated: 2 minutes ago
PolitiFact Florida: Did Gwen Graham vote against President Obama 52 percent of the time?

PolitiFact Florida: Did Gwen Graham vote against President Obama 52 percent of the time?

A progressive super PAC slammed the congressional record of Democrat Gwen Graham as too conservative for Florida’s next governor.The Collective super PAC paid for the 30-second spot. The group supports black, progressive candidates and is backing Tal...
Updated: 8 hours ago

The Daystarter: Lightning back in DC for Game 6; crisscross interchange comes to I-75 near Wesley Chapel; Scott omits mentions of Trump in speeches; Kendrick Lamar here Tuesday

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• The week ahead sees rain and storm chances every day with highs in the lower to middle 80s, according to the National Weather Service. • As you head out for your morning commute, chec...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Hooper: Vote against the politics of division

My friend says instead of boycotting Publix, people upset about the company’s support of gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam should back voter registration drives and get more people to the polls.And when they register those voters, ask if they suppo...
Published: 05/21/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Angels game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Angels game

* It's always interesting to think of how many amazing plays you see made in a game, then often a simple one — such as the fourth-inning comebacker to Rays RHP Matt Andriese — gets messed up and costs teams heavily, as that led to two run...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rays journal: Pitching plan works, until Sergio Romo leaves in second inning

Rays journal: Pitching plan works, until Sergio Romo leaves in second inning

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Doubling down on their innovativeness and starting veteran reliever Sergio Romo for a second straight day worked out fine Sunday for the Rays.It was the less-effective pitchers who followed, plus the ineffectiveness of their h...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Expansion Vegas advances to Stanley Cup final

Expansion Vegas advances to Stanley Cup final

WINNIPEG — The Vegas Golden Knights are going to the Stanley Cup final — with a chip on their shoulder."Everybody on this team has something to prove," forward Ryan Reaves said. "We call ourselves 'The Golden Misfits' for a reason. We're ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
What a long, strange and winning road trip it was for Rays

What a long, strange and winning road trip it was for Rays

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The nearly Yanny-vs.-Laurel level national debate over their latest pitching strategy innovation of starting relievers isn't quite as entertaining today. The In-N-Out burgers in the clubhouse after the game weren't as tasty. T...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Chief US hurricane forecaster: Education key to storm prep

Chief US hurricane forecaster: Education key to storm prep

WEST PALM BEACH — The new U.S. National Hurricane Center director says learning about specific storm hazards is key to preparing for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season. Ken Graham leads the U.S. government’s hurricane forecasting hub in Miami. At...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Unveiling for

Unveiling for "Fortune Taylor Bridge" marker rained out, but celebration continues indoors

TAMPA — There’s a saying that everyone dies twice, Tampa City Council member Guido Maniscalco said Sunday: Once when they take their last breath. And again the last time someone mentions their name.So in this case, he said, the name "Fortune Taylor" ...
Updated: 9 hours ago