The Search for the ideal $300 burger took a major step forward today, at Elevation 89, a shiny new restaurant right inside the shiny new SheltAir FBO at Ocala, FL. (KOCF)

Convenient to KORL

Since I am based in KORL I am always looking for a great restaurant less than 1 hour away by Skyhawk. KOCF is exactly 60 miles, so easily under an hour, and at a bearing of 315 degrees it’s fairly easy to slip in and out under the KMCO class Bravo airspace.

Today was a beautiful, cool day, so it was a perfect day to bring along a beautiful, cool passenger. Angelique Renae is a friend of our family and had never been up in a Cessna before. Even though it got bumpy towards the end she enjoyed every minute of it.

Angelique poses in front of my current favorite Skyhawk, N65624, on the SheltAir ramp in Ocaka

There is ramp repaving going on in KORL so there was some minor drama getting the plane parked out in front of Atlantic Aviation, but they are a nice bunch of people and found me a spot, saving a golf cart ride to points far away on another ramp.

There was quite a line of small aircraft waiting to depart at runway 7, but we managed to get out within 15 minutes. One guy cracked me up as he pushed his way in front of me, just to go out and do pattern work. Some CFIs just don’t get it!

Smooth Flight to KOCF

We were blessed with smooth air on the way up, and a slight tailwind, so we landed and taxied in to the FBO exactly at 10:30, when Dennis Cooley (the SR22 owner) had asked us to meet him.

The new FBO is spectacular. Obviously very recent construction and very well built. Everything was brightly colored and smelled “new”. The restaurant is no exception. Conveniently located in the center of the FBO, I predict this place will get a lot of traffic. It’s got a great view of the runway and is tastefully decorated with aviation paraphernalia including actual used taxi light housings on each table.

PIREP

Actual cost around $250.

  • Aircraft Rental: 1.5 tach * $89 = $133.50
  • Fuel at Ocala: $38.24
  • Fuel at Atlantic Aviation: $47.58
  • Restaurant bill: $32 (including tip)
  • ——-
  • Total: $251.32
  • ——-
  • Total flight time 2.1

The service was very professional. Jessica, our server, was extremely nice and pleasant. The kitchen staff brought the food out to us directly. Not bad either. Large portions and very reasonably priced. Brunch for both Angelique and myself was right about $25.

The SheltAir staff were nice. No masks or any nonsense like that. They joked around with us, made sure we were treated with respect and were very friendly. I’ll be going back here for sure.

Angelique enjoyed the “Equestrian” theme of the FBO. Ocala is definitely horse country.

Flight Back to KORL

The wind was gusting as we taxied out to 36, trying to push me sideways off the taxiway. It was a direct crosswind takeoff, with gusts to 17kts which made it exciting. The climb out was quite bumpy. I elected to take us up to 5500′, which got us over a scattered layer around 4000′. I think Angelique enjoyed the clouds from above. She took many pictures which I hope she sends to me soon!

As we got under the layer to stay clear of the class Bravo it got pretty bumpy. She didn’t mind at all! Angelique makes a great passenger. By the way, she asked me if I knew any single plane owners. Wish I had a dollar for every time I hear that …

And finally, both my landings were good today!

Summary

I highly recommend this restaurant and flight. It’s a classy place but not overly so, if you get me. It’s nice but comfortable. It reminds me a lot of the 4th Fighter Group which used to be on KORL property. Cool place

5500′, over the top, on the way home