East Texan Flies, Not Drives - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/2/07-Longview

East Texan Flies, Not Drives

While car after car waits in line for lunch outside Chick-Fil-A in Longview, one East Texan has a different approach--he simply "drops" in.   Joe Wise works in Kilgore, but likes to fly his helicopter to Longview for lunch. 

"It's just good therapy. I work a lot of hours and that makes it worthwhile when you can hop in it, take a little break," Joe said.

He said that by flying, he avoids traffic and saves time.  Kilgore to Longview only takes him five minutes.  And he'll take his chopper anywhere, even just down the street

"Yeah, I'll fly it just to like go to Chili's and eat," he said. "Everywhere I go, people just smile and appreciate it."

"We were just sitting here eating lunch and then all of a sudden we looked out and there it was you know and we were a little surprised," said onlooker Jeannie Barber.

And of course, people can't stop talking about it either.

"Something you don't see everyday," says Dale Wood.

"I've never seen a helicopter like that before," says four-year-old Gavin Wells.

"He probably has a lot more money than I do to be able to fly around like that to eat," says onlooker Carol Parrymore.

Joe says he does spend a lot of money, but not on fuel, on maintenance mainly.

"It's not cost effective, it's the biggest waste of money I've ever done, but it's the most fun thing I've ever done," Joe explains.

Certainly more fun than a car and yes, he does own one.  

'That's for the bad weather days," Joe laughs.

The reason Joe can fly his helicopter so freely is because every where he flies is uncontrolled airspace and he can park the helicopter pretty much any place you can park a car.

Tracy Watler/Reporting: tracy@kltv.com

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