Third Age - February 22, 1999
Blasting Red Baron for Real

Have a hankering to be a combat pilot -- if only for a day -- but in a real airplane? Click to Grown Up Camps ( and browse through the aviation page.

Although they provide skydiving and hang-gliding programs, the site is strong on the dog fight camps that train you for a few hours and send you up with an experienced pilot to do battle, using laser beams, with your counterpart in another real, live aerobatic airplane.

The site makes it very easy by starting with a map of the United States. You pick what part of the country you want to fly upside down over, and it gives you the names of the schools in that area. All have 800 numbers.

In most schools you get a video of your battle shot from the nose of your airplane, just as in Desert Storm. if your video shows nothing but empty sky (remember, blue is up, green is down)then you probably lost the dog fight. The other guy or gal probably has a better video to take home--shots of you getting hit from behind.