January 11, 2012
By Alton K. Marsh
Readers have responded to the January article in AOPA Pilot with a list of airports in 20 states and the Virgin Islands that give away neat things. You’ve heard of the $100 hamburger, now meet the $100 free lunch. You still have to fly to Lebanon, Mo., or Pecos, Texas, but once there, lunch is free.
Here’s the list. We’ll update it as needed.
Gulf Shores, KJKA Gulf Air Center, Jack Edwards Airport, free T-shirts, hats, glass mug, or cooler with 100 gallon purchase. Water bottles, plastic glasses, key chains, playing cards, and bottle openers with 50 gallons.
Lake Havasu City, KHII Desert Skies Executive Air, Lake Havasu City Airport, free slush drinks in two flavors (machine is broken at the moment), coffee, bottled water. Waldo’s Barbeque next door gives restaurant discounts to pilots.
Yuma, KNYL Million Air Yuma, Yuma MCAS/Yuma International, free soda, bottled water, coffee, tea, and a $1 meal at the in-house Jet-a-way Café restaurant. The “Million Air Buck” is given to crew only, but a Cessna 172 owner can claim anyone sitting up front as the co-pilot. Those in the back must pay. (The crew car is a BMW.)
Boonville, D83 T-shirt for sale from Boonville resident Kirk Wilder that reads, “The place to go; Boonville Airport,” and a picture of the airport outhouse. It was due for renovation at last report. E-mail Wilder at kewcbw@gmail to order and for pricing information.
South Lake Tahoe, KTVL Mountain West Aviation, Lake Tahoe Airport, free tea, coffee, pretzels, soda, squares of chocolate with caramel inside, bottled water. With a 500-gallon purchase of jet fuel, you get $50 in cash, or with 1,000 gallons, you get $100.
Grand Junction, KGJT West Star Aviation, Walker Field Airport, one-half-pound of Enstrom’s Almond Toffee.
Pueblo, KPUB Flower Aviation, Pueblo Memorial Airport, one steak per 100 gallons, wine or beer when making a unicom call asking for a “quick spin” or “quick turnaround,” homemade cookies.
Telluride, KTEX Telluride Regional Airport sells high-quality T-shirts that read, “Some Fly at 9,070 feet. We Land.” There is also a poster, “The Best Pilots Land in Telluride.” In addition, there are free cookies, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.
Boca Raton, KBCT Signature Flight Support, Boca Raton Airport, warm muffins every morning, coffee and warm cookies. (This used to be Avitat. Same friendly people, same free stuff.)
Fort Lauderdale, KFLL Jetscape Services, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International, free slush drinks, coffee, and cookies.
Fort Myers, KFMY Base Ops, Page Field, customer appreciation day every Friday with free hotdogs, soda, chips, and cookies.
West Palm Beach, KPBI Jet Aviation Palm Beach, Palm Beach International, free ice cream including cones, sandwiches, and strawberry-shortcake ice cream on a stick.
Moultrie, KMGR Eagles of America, Moultrie Municipal Airport, free chocolate cookies every day, hotdogs on Saturday.
Waycross, KAYS Waycross-Ware County Airport (also the name of the FBO). If you come during Sun `n Fun, you will get free barbecue, chips, and sweet tea. If you come on any Saturday or Sunday when local pilots meet, you will get free cake and ice cream, and during winter, free hot chocolate. See the antique Coke machine (but sodas are not free).
Goodland, KGLD Butterfly Aviation, Goodland Municipal Airport, bag with several pieces of candy.
Salina, KSLN Flower Aviation, Salina Municipal, one steak per 100 gallons, wine or beer with unicom call for “spin” or “quick turnaround,” and homemade cookies. (America Jet, another Salina FBO, has bacon-wrapped steak fillets that are flash frozen at the local meat market—they can be exchanged for wine or T-shirts. The company also has iced tea, lemonade, coffee, candy, and fresh-baked cookies.)
Clare, 48D City of Clare, Clare Municipal. Dick Acker has winter freebies and summer freebies. In summer, you’ll find free ice cream sundaes, chocolate malts, and ice-cream cones. In winter, you call on unicom and tell him how many “souls” are on board, and he heats up chocolate chip cookies in the oven, and then puts a little ice cream on them. Either season, you have access to windscreen cleaner, coffee, and a tool kit for emergency repairs. Acker and his wife fly around the country in their Cessna 120, getting ideas for FBO service.
Meridian, KMEI Meridian Aviation, Kay Field, free hotdogs, waffles (that’s a first for this list), Starbuck’s coffee machine, and soft-serve ice cream. The ice cream machine is changed out three times a week, so the flavor varies depending on the day you are there.
Lebanon, KLBO Lebanon Aviation Service, Floyd W. Jones Lebanon Airport, free home-cooked meal every single day. They used to have cold cuts for sandwiches, and thought, why not just cook a meal? The new terminal has a kitchen, and they have a woman making fresh pie. On the day this was written it was ham-and-beans day, and Fridays are fried-chicken day. They hope you’ll buy fuel. (Hint: Buy some fuel. This is a deal!)
Roswell, KROW Roswell International Air Center, Greater Southwest Aviation, sells a T-shirt that says, “I Beat the Widow Maker.” Refers to a very difficult instrument approach.
Santa Fe, KSAF Santa Fe Air Center, Santa Fe Municipal, coffee machine that makes free cappuccino in three flavors—hazelnut, vanilla, and Irish cream—plus cocoa.
White Plains, KHPN Panorama Flight Service, Westchester County Airport, Cheesecake Aly cheesecake in second floor refrigerator. Cookies early in the week. Made by FBO manager’s wife.
Columbus, KCMH Land Aviation, Port Columbus International, free and warm Otis Spunkmeyer cookies, coffee, iced tea, and bottled water. The crew car is a 2011 Chrysler 300. (Used to be a Jag.)
Harrisburg, KCXY CXY Aviation, Capitol City Airport, Hershey bars.
Beaufort, KARW Beaufort County Airport sells a T-shirt that says, “Frogmore Intra-national Airport; Just a Hop, Skip, and Jump From Anywhere.” Cool picture of a frog on a biplane.
Columbia, KCAE Eagle Aviation, Columbia Metropolitan Airport, jams and jellies, salad dressing, or hot sauce with $50 purchase. Rule loosely enforced.
Hilton Head, KHXD Signature Flight Support, Hilton Head Airport, free Starbucks coffee, free Otis Spunkmeyer muffins in the morning, and warm cookies throughout the day.
Walterboro, KRBW Lowcountry Regional Airport, free hot dogs, chili, chips, and drinks in the days before, during, and after Sun ‘n Fun. Free bottled water year-round.
Mountain City, 6A4 Doe Mountain Aviation, Johnson County Airport, one-half-pound bag of gourmet roasted coffee with fuel purchase. It is named Doe Mountain Morning in honor of the FBO. If you don’t buy fuel, a half-pound bag is $6.50. It is also served free by the cup, but donations are accepted. (Most people grab the coffee and run. Don’t be like most people.) The coffee is reported to be “a notch above Starbucks.” (Cookies, too.) Bob and Cindy Johnson are both pilots and run the airport and FBO.
Denton, KDTO U.S. Aviation, Denton Municipal, free snack bar with sodas, coffee, cookies, and hot chocolate. Fancy pilot shop sells apparel featuring U.S. Aviation logo, handmade jewelry by a local artist, and Serengeti sunglasses.
Houston, KDWH Gill Aviation, David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport, with a 200-gallon purchase get $1 T-shirts and a free meal. Deals for military pilots, too.
Pecos, KPEQ Pecos Air Center, Pecos Airport, homemade burritos from a nice cook down the road. Three enthusiastic sources indicate they are “awesome.”
Burlington, KBTV Heritage Aviation, Burlington International, free maple syrup and brownies. They hand them out with fuel purchases, and sometimes they just hand them out. But a fuel purchase would be nice.
Christiansted, TISX Bohlke International Airways, Henry E. Rohlsen Airport, a kit containing a flask of Cruzan Rum, a tourist guide, notepad, highlighter, and a comb!
Gordonsville, KGVE Gordonsville Municipal, free food most weekends, especially if the volunteer cook happens to be home. Or Skip, the flight instructor, might cook something. There has been barbecue in the past, pasta, pretty much anything.
Charleston, KCRW Executive Air Terminal, Yeager Airport, get a steak with a 200 gallon purchase or one bottle of wine; $50 gift certificate at Walmart, Target, or Lowe’s with 500 gallons. Fuel purchases can be totaled over time to win awards. Save the receipts! Get them initialed!
Aircraft Power and Fuel,
History abounds at San Marcos, Texas, where the Commemorative Air Force has a hangar full of warbirds and a museum with Doolittle Raider artifacts.
Alaska seaplane pilots will gather at Lake Hood April 26 for a day of free seminars, briefings, and conversation to kick off the season.
Smith Field in Fort Wayne, Ind., has withstood three separate attacks—in the 1970s, 1990s, and 2002—to close it and redevelop the land. Now, it's thriving.
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