Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hometown Sports

Remote control flying club operates lightweight aircraft indoors


Whirlybirds and pizza boxes.

That's what one will find at the Safety Harbor Indoor Radio Control Flyers, a group that meets weekly at Safety Harbor Community Center to fly lightweight remote control helicopters and planes.

"These little planes and helicopters don't fly outside well at all," group organizer Vic Tyber said. "Outdoors, they get lost so easy. That doesn't happen indoors."

Tyber, who is a pilot, said the group started flying inside due poor outdoor conditions during the winter. Flying indoors avoids the elements such as high winds, or for that matter, thunderstorms that roll in quickly. Plus, many members say they don't mind having the cool AC during the summer.

The group has 45 names that have shown up. It is open to fliers of all ages and has experienced modelers who offer free help setting up new aircraft and can trim models so beginners have a safe and stable model to learn on.

"The person who tries it out and stays with it and takes the hobby seriously is the person who comes back," Tyber, 59, said. "They're usually the people who want to get better."

Many fliers have a square foam, self-made plane they jokingly call a pizza box. They can download instructions, cut and build it quickly and then paint it anyway they want. Others have lightweight planes and others have RC helicopters that have amazing height and flying ability. Sean Sullivan, for example, can fly his copters — he has five off them, including a T-Rex 700 Nitro that's about 6 feet in length and can go about a mile in the air — easily through the gym's rafters.

Tyber, on the other hand, has five planes he has been flying ever since he first soloed on a regular plane on his 21st birthday. Tyber says "it's harder to fly a remote controlled plane than it is a real plane," because "you're on the ground, not in the cockpit."

Though most aren't pilots. They just want to play with a remote control.

"It's hard to let people know that there is even indoor flying," Tyber said. "Most want to go outside, especially ones that have just retired. They want to be outside in Florida and then they want to fly a bigger plane in an approved club that's in the middle of nowhere.

"That's not this. These guys have bigger planes, but they don't fly them here. We have easy, light weight, hassle-free flyers. All indoors."

What's going on in your neighborhood?

Let us know and we may come document it. Tell us about an event, a game, a practice, an outing, a tournament — just about anything! There's a lot going on in the community and we want to know about it. Contact community sports editor Mike Camunas and tell him what's happening. Call (352) 544-1771 or e-mail him at We live in this community, so let's talk to each other.

Safety Harbor Indoor Radio
Control Flyers

Where: Safety Harbor Community Center, 650 Ninth St. S, Safety Harbor

When: Fridays, 6-8 p.m.

Cost: $1 flying fee. All ages are welcome.

For more information: Call Vic Tyber at (727) 452-3823 or recreation facility manager Kelliann Gerlach at (727) 724-1530.

Remote control flying club operates lightweight aircraft indoors 05/13/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 13, 2009 10:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Major-league bullpens get stretched as starters take a seat

    The Heater

    Mike Marshall led the majors in appearances in 1973, with 92 for the Montreal Expos. The next spring, having joined the Los Angeles Dodgers, Marshall met his new manager, Walter Alston.

  2. Bucs get first new video director in 29 years


    When the Bucs took to the practice field this week to start OTA practices, they did so with a new video director for the first time in 29 years.

    Bucs video director Dave Levy, shown during the 2003 season, worked under nine different head coaches in 29 seasons working for Tampa Bay.
  3. Rays set to activate Tommy Hunter from DL


    The Rays plan to activate RHP Tommy Hunter from the DL for Thursday's series finale against the Angels.

  4. Steven Souza Jr. snaps out of slump as Rays defeat Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — After Tuesday's shutout loss to the Angels, Steven Souza Jr. stood in front of his locker and talked about his need to contribute to the offense.

    Tampa Bay Rays catcher Jesus Sucre (45) hugs right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (20) in the dugout after his two run home run in the second inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, May 24, 2017.