7 Lessons learned From A $100 Hamburger Flight


A few phone calls and date picked was all I needed to start planning my flight for my first $100 Hamburger. This 100 Dollar Hamburger actually turned out to be a little more pricey, since I was renting, and not a hamburger at all. It was a $100+ french toast since we were making a breakfast flight.

1. Plan Your Flight and Watch the Weather

I reserved the plane at the place I normally rent from and watched the weather as the days grew nearer. Keeping up with the changing weather predictions saved me from a potential no-go. The FBO called and asked if I wanted to switch my reservations to the day after I originally planned on going. I knew the forecast for my planned date was a beautiful prediction however, the day after was projecting thunderstorms. So I gracefully declined the date change and continued to keep track of the forecast.

All was shaping up for a great flight! Tailwinds to get there and a few clouds on the return.

My passengers converged on my house early in the morning, about 6:30 AM and we headed to the airport. Neither of them had flown with me before but they had both been in a small plane though it may have been a while.

2. Check the Checklist If You Do Your Stuff From Memory

After checkout and the pre-check walk around we got in the plane and headed for run up. I am very meticulous when it comes to the checklist. It’s there for my safety. So when I blew past the seat belt check during initial start up I was lucky to catch that I didn’t have my shoulder belt on during run-up. A small oversight, but should something have happened it could be the difference between walking away and not.



Our flight was from Albuquerque, KABQ, to Farmington, KFMN. This took us over some really pretty New Mexico Countryside.

3. Enjoy The View

Seeing the land at 2000 feet in the air has a certain beauty about it. The clouds are closer and you can see farther.  The views were breath taking.

We passed messas



And old volcanoes



And solidified lava fields



4. Capture the Fun

I have only one requirement of all my passengers, and that’s a selfie while in the plane. They were happy to oblige.

100 hamburger


5. Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself

About an hour and a half later we reached our destination of Farmington. My landing was a little harder than I’d have liked, but it was main gear first and I didn’t bounce.  A win in my book.

6. Ask the Locals Where to Eat

We tied down and talked with the nice people at the counter of Atlantic Aviation. They suggested the Blue Moon Diner about 7 minutes from the airport. We were given the keys to their courtesy van and headed out.

The Blue Moon Diner was a wonderful little joint.  And the french toast…. AMAZING! My passengers were raving over the coffee. I don’t drink coffee so I’ll take their word for it.

After an awesome breakfast we headed back to the plane, paid for the fuel top off, and started our trip back home. We switched up who sat where.  The flight must have been exhausting.  🙂



Making the flight in reverse we didn’t see anything new but we did hit some thermals on the way home.  Trying to get the 172 to climb to 9,500 feet was a little rough. With the help of some of the thermals we made it just fine.

7. Trust In Your Skills

Finishing up our flight I had one of the best and smoothest landings to date. It was a thing of beauty for me. Thankfully my passengers got a nice video of it.

If you are ever in the area you should checkout Farmington, NM (KFMN) and the Blue Moon Diner.

To think, that with all the time I have in my logbook I was still hesitant in the beginning to make this flight. An inner voice doubted what I was capable of doing. I’m glad I went. It was liberating and freeing to use a plane for more than practicing maneuvers!

Thanks for flying with me on this flight. Tell me about a $100 Hamburger flight you took. Leave me a comment.