My good friend and occasional partner in crime Mike Harding called me and said “Hey bring your student (Sonia) with you, and we will go visit the Landing Strip Cafe in Okechobee for your $300 burger column.” I’ve been meaning to check the place out as I had heard good things.
Well I thought, this sounds like fun! Sure I rode in the back for most of the flight but hey – free lunch! Sonia and I met Mike at his hangar and boarded his really slick BE-24 Beech Sierra, N6698F.
Mike had a great plan. He decided to go to KOBE via KTTS – yes the NASA Landing Strip. We got approval to do a low pass at 500 ft AGL and got some great pictures.
After that we headed down towards KOBE at 2500 ft, limited by some scattered clouds. A little bumpy but Sonia is a trooper and enjoyed it. She was learning about the new avionics, reviewed her “six pack” and Mike let her do some course following.
The Landing Strip Cafe
The cost ended up being nothing for me!
- Aircraft Rental: None! Helps to have friends with planes
- Fuel in KOBE = $75 (thank you Sonia!)
- Fuel in KORL = None!
- Restaurant bill: Lunch was on Sonia!
- Total: $0 (!)
- Total flight time 2.7
As we sat and watched planes taking off and landing, including a Black Hawk helicopter (very cool), Sonia remarked, “So I see the attraction now. I wouldn’t fly this far for what is good food but nothing exceptional. It’s the view that brings you here!” Yes Sonia, the $300 burger is all about the trip and the view.
Unusual for me to sit and not pay for anything, but I struggled through. I was there more as an observer and check pilot really. Mike and Sonia did all the flying, navigating and communications. My primary duty was pointing out traffic I saw on my iPad.
It was still a great time though and I would recommend KOBE for several reasons:
- First, the food isn’t bad and very affordable
- The fuel is much cheaper than about anywhere. Avgas was around $5/gal
- They have JET-A!
- It’s an uncontrolled airport. Yes I like that
- Yes I really like uncontrolled fields!
- It’s only about 40 minutes from KORL
The clouds had risen so we were able to get up to 3000′, which cooled off the cabin much more, and smoother air to boot. Sonia did a great job flying us to the Stanton power plant, entering left down wind for runway 7, and Mike mad another exceptional landing.
Back to $300 Burgers