The $100 Burger is a romantic notion, a phrase coined by some anxient aviator from ages past, from a time long ago when a hundred dollars seemed like a lot of money. LOL
The joke was that flying for an hour or two, to land at a nearby airport just to buy a hamburger, paying a hundred dollars for the plane, the gas, and the burger when you could buy one at your neighborhood McDonald’s for 25 cents, somehow made sense. Well, it does to an aviator. I paid WAY more for my burger, and it was worth every penny!
For me, this flight had two goals: to land and park at an airport other than my home airport, and to do something fun at that location. The traditional $100 Hamburger flight fit the bill perfectly for this mission.
It took about an hour to fly from KINT (Smith Reynolds in Winston Salem) to KJNX (Johnston Regional in Smithfield, NC.) It was a pleasant IFR flight against a small headwind in slightly hazy skies. On arrival, when I spotted the small airstrip from the air, I was immediately impressed. KJNX is a small, non-towered airport with a single runway that is narrower than what I’m used to, but it appeared perfectly maintained, with distinctly painted lines and a manicured look to the entire field. It was fun to land there, and I craned my neck in all directions, delighting in my new environment, as I taxied to the FBO (fixed base operator) where I parked the plane.
From the tarmac, I saw the Blue Line Aviation flight school in the next building over, and I spied my ultimate destination–the Low and Slow Smokehouse up above it on the third floor.
The pilot’s lounge at the FBO was another nice surprise. It was luxurious! Plenty of amenities for transient visitors like me. Every single person I encountered was happy and helpful. There was no landing fee, even without buying avgas. They directed me to the entrance to the restaurant.
The Low and Slow Smokehouse is a fabulous restaurant, surpassing all my expecations. The food was fantastic, and I especially liked the outside seating, with a spectacular, unobstructed view of the runway and all the airport action.
And here’s the whole point of the story, “the $100 burger!” Actually, it was a BBQ pulled pork sandwich and nachos. Delicious! I enjoyed them at one of the outside tables, surrounded by the airport’s sights and sounds. Heaven!
I departed a happy man. Happy, satisfied, and grateful!
The best part of this next video is the takeoff and departure from the airport environment in the first minute. The rest of it is just part of the climb and turn to course for the trip home. But if you find the same joy in it that I do, the video is about 7 minutes long.
Thank you for reading and sharing in this joyful experience!
Next mission: Color Flight #1