Tyler physician Dr. David Hector devoted his life to healing, but his hobby is devoted to hovering.
“It takes lots of practice,” he said as the craft hummed overhead. “We have a saying, ‘If you don’t want to crash, don’t fly.’ There are eight orientations … lots of moving parts. It’s what my wife calls ‘high maintenance.’”
Just don’t call them toys, airplane enthusiast John Alder, of Edom, warned.
“A lot of people take offense to calling these toys,” he said. “It’s not playing, we come to fly.”
The fliers and their favorite hangout are the latest subjects to be highlighted in a special video created by the city of Tyler, available soon via QR codes posted at the park.
The codes are to be featured on park signage, allowing anyone with a smartphone to learn more about the facility and its amenities.
“There are features of our parks that many residents are not aware of,” Parks Director Stephanie Rollings said. “These tours are one way that you can learn more about all of the amazing recreational opportunities that are available in Tyler.”
Video tours highlight little known facts about each park and the bounty of fun things they have to offer, such as fishing ponds, walking trails, disc golf courses and spraygrounds.
All videos will be available for viewing on the city’s website, www.cityoftyler.org, as well as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
Bergfeld, Noble E. Young and Faulkner parks are the first to receive the signage, but eventually all 26 parks will be included in the project.
“Anything we can do to get people here, we’re all over it,” Mark Humphries, Fun Flyers treasurer, said. “We’re out here a couple of times a week, depending on the weather. … We’re kind of a fair-weather group.”
Chuck Davis, of Holly Lake Ranch, had three planes on the field this week, including a spiffy red plane named “Slick.”
He was joined by flying regulars Bit McCray, also of Holly Lake Ranch, and Jim Day, of Whitehouse.
“They are all modeled after full-scale airplanes,” Davis said. “They are all aerobatic planes. I like the people and the challenge of learning. This is a hobby or sport that, like golf, you never complete. The more people we can get in this, the better.”
Video production requires limited equipment, natural lighting and a working knowledge about the various park amenities.
Videographer Stephen Self is the guy behind the camera.
“They (video camera) have about a three-minute set-up,” Self said. “They don’t take long at all.”
“At each park, there is a little bit of history or a feature that people are just not familiar with,” she said, highlighting little-known facts such as an Eagle Scout’s efforts to create a new disc golf course at Noble E. Young Park.
Fliers at Northside Park said they are pleased with the facility and the potential of attracting new interest in the hobby.
Don Edmonds, a five-year flier, claims he’s still a rookie.
“I try not to get too close to them,” he said when asked if his aircraft has a nickname. “Mine don’t seem to stay around long enough to get a name.”