If you are in a state where the social is hosted, or in a state that doesn't have a social, We would love to have you host a social! By starting a social in a State not presently hosting socials, we will add it to this website. Help spread the word by Contact your other local airports to start hosting socials as well! The social is only successful if you have other pilots at other airports participating either by flying in or by hosting.

We are looking for airports to host a social. We would like this to become a Nation Wide Event. If you have an airport and a group of people that would be willing to help you arrange and put on an event, we would be happy to have you aboard. The Midwest season is always from the beginning of June until the end of August. However depending on where you are located, there may be better times of the year to host your social when people are looking for an excuse to go flying.

“Does your airport have a Wisconsin Flying Hamburger Social scheduled this summer? If not, message us and we will tell you how you can organize one and give you some pointers. We will help you promote it. When your airport has fun, your surrounding airports have fun too. These aren't supposed to be work for anybody. If it is, you're doing it wrong. These aren't supposed to cost your airport any money. If it does, your doing it wrong. The event lasts about two hours from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. Pilots like to fly in the evening. Everyone wants to eat supper (or dinner). Put the two together and this is what you get. Get in on the fun!” - John Chmiel

Here are some helpful SUGGESTIONS for the Social.

You have to have an airport. I know this sounds silly, but we want the airport involved with this.

Bathroom Facilities. We have between 40 and 120 plus people coming to this event. You need to have some place for them to go.

Hangar or Tent, If the weather is good and you want to have it outdoors, by all means go ahead. Having it in the hangar is also helpful especially if the weather turns bad.

Some socials have about 40 people show up. Some have over 100 people show up. I recommend for a first time, plan for 40. There have been a few events were there have been an overwhelming amount of people that have shown up. Do the best you can with the resources you have. Yes it would be nice if everyone could get fed, but there is no way to fully prepare for an overwhelming amount of people. If you have someone that is available to run for additional food, you can certainly do that. If activities are winding down say it is 6:30 you can make the decision to say it is time to shut off the grill and stop serving food. If you run out of food. I would say you have had a successful social.

Example #1 One social had planed 130 burgers and 70 brats along with other food. By 6:30 pm over 200 people had arrived and all the food was eaten. They decided to shut off their grill and call it a night. Yes it is okay. Typically by 6:30 most people will have arrived. In this case they decided to let the social run it’s course and come to a end for the evening. People still stayed around 7:45 PM. The last plane left around that time.

Example #2 One social had planned for 80 people and by 5:30 had already run out of hamburgers and brats. They made another run to the grocery store for additional meat supplies. They continued serving food until well past 7 pm. The last plane had arrived just around 6:30 pm. but people still stayed around the airport until 8:00 PM.

Both examples are okay. We want everyone to have a fun time at the social. While the food is a huge draw, it isn’t the main reason we have the social. The main reason is to promote aviation in the State of Wisconsin. Do the best within your means. If you want to call it a night with your social, then call it a night If you want to keep your social going on to the early hours of the morning, please do so. Your social is what you make of it. No one will fault you how you do it.

Access to Tables, Chairs and Grills. So far 8 to 15 tables and enough chairs for those tables seems to work. Don't forget you need probably an additional 2 to 4 tables for food. One to Two Grills seems to work best.

Tables - Generally 8 to 15 work
Chairs - Typically Eight per table
Plates - Enough for 40 to 150 People
Spoons Knives and Forks - It always seems like there is never enough of these to go around. Make sure you have enough for 40 - 150 people. Plan about 200 for the forks. I don’t know why but forks always seem to go quickly.
Napkins - Enough for 40 - 150 people
Tables for food - at least two
Soda / water - Enough for 40 - 150 people
Garbage - 3 to 5 with liners is always helpful

Hamburgers are the main staple, however this is entirely up to you how you want to have your own social. If you want to have different food available, you certainly can.

An example of a simple easy social is: hamburgers, buns, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, perhaps a salad, chips and something to drink.

You can make your social your social to be what ever you want. If you want extra food like deserts, pasta salads, cookies, pork, pizza or whatever comes to your imagination. Just keep in mind how much costs you have involved and the more extravagant you make it the less likely you will be able to recoup your costs.

The costs for this are FREE, but donation containers are expected to be out on the food tables and in most cases the airports or groups putting on the social are recovering their complete costs if they have kept their social simple. If you make it more extravagant, you may not recoup your complete costs.

We have found if you can keep it around the $200 mark for expenses, typically you can recover your costs. Again if you want to have a more extravagant set-up, it is entirely up to you. Just keep in mind that you may not be able to recover your complete costs if you do.

Don’t be afraid to ask your local pilots for help setting up and or bringing a dish to pass.

Finally, have someone take PICTURES! It doesn’t have to be a fancy camera, phone pictures work also. Send those pictures to Jeff at his email below and he will post them on the Facebook page or join the Friends who like the Flying Hamburger Social Facebook Group and post them yourself. so everyone can see what a fun time you had.

The reason for the branches is that we want each area to have a designated day that pilots in that area can expect somewhere to go for a meal. The sizes of the branches vary, but they are generally kept at a size where smaller planes can reach the destination within their ability at a reasonable time.

We need your help to spread the news about this great event. The marketing is all done by volunteers. This website, the poster designs, emails are all donated. The time put into this website, poster designs email are all done by volunteers who take their extra time and contribute it to this great cause.

1. We will send out notices to pilots through our email list. There is a weekly email that will be generated to all the pilots on the list, telling where the socials and fly-ins are for the week.

2. We will post the Social events on this website and our corresponding Facebook Page We hope you have signed up on Facebook and help us spread the word by sharing our posts on your page.

3. If you have any posters of upcoming events at your airport, send them to Jeff's email and we will post them on the Facebook page and corresponding state page.

4. And this is the most important. It is imperative that you contact your local pilots at your airport when you are going to host a social so that they know what you are doing. This provides them the opportunity to come out and participate either as an someone who eats the food, someone who provides the food, someone with an interest in aviation. In order for the socials to work, you need to contact your local pilots.

We appreciate any help you can provide letting other pilots know about the Flying Hamburger Social.

You can help us immensely by sharing your photos on the Friends of the Flying Hamburger social Facebook Group. This is a separate group from our Facebook Page.

The socials are not for profit events. Donation containers are acceptable at the event. DO NOT CHARGE, THIS IS A DONATION ONLY EVENT. This is a pilot appreciation party. It would be no different if a pilot decided to grill out some food out of their hangar and invite a few other pilot friends over.

Any additional questions, please feel free to contact us.

Contact Jeff Gaier at Duffy's Aircraft - jeff@flyinghamburgersocial.com or 715-613-6019

Contact John Chmiel at Wausau Flying Service - taildraggerflyer@yahoo.com or 715-848-6000

I would like to stress that this is very much a weather dependent event. If the weather is IFR or extreme heat, we have noticed a decline in participation. At the very least, hype it up with your local airport patrons so at least they turn out for the event!

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