The hungry pilot: flying with Subway

Why was I happy to see a report that the longtime Wichita, Kansas, FBO, Yingling, would soon have a Subway at its facility?

Subway restaurant
Coming soon to an FBO near you.

I used to go to Wichita several times a month. I didn’t starve on the trip out because my wife, Ann, always sent me off with a good lunch. I also had an airplane larder stocked with dry roasted peanuts, raisins, granola bars and cheese crackers. I used to leave this in the airplane until I realized that the guys in the shop were hungry when my airplane was in for maintenance. I switched it to a larder bag that I would take home after each flight. My costs went down.

The trip from Wichita back to New Jersey or Maryland could be flown non-stop in my P210 after I installed an aux tank in the baggage area. It would lake from 4.5 to 5.5 hours, depending on the wind. I usually left Wichita in the morning so would be flying at lunchtime.

To have something to eat other than the stuff in my larder, I tried takeout. Yingling would arrange it or I would get it from the airport hotel.  Believe me, it was more like throwout than takeout. Many times I opened the Styrofoam carton, took one look, and decided there was no way I wanted to be in an airplane for two or three more hours with a person who just ate that. So I gave up and stuck with my junk food. I always flew with plenty of bottled water.

A Subway would have been an ideal solution. It is not gourmet food but if you choose carefully, it is digestible and not too messy to devour. If you have ever consumed Subway fare in your car, you know that it does leave an odor but then you tell them what to put on your sandwich and can always leave off the onions. (You might, I wouldn’t.)

Were I still going to Wichita I’d use the Yingling  FBO purely because of the Subway, even if fuel was cheaper elsewhere. And I must admit, the vision of Subway catering a Gulfstream G-650 with a big box of Subway clubs on 6-inch Italian bread for a Wichita-Hong Kong non-stop makes me smile. The sandwiches could be heated in the in-flight oven to melt the cheese.

2 Comments

  • Great story, and +1 on Yingling in Wichita. Always good service no matter what one arrives in.

    One of my favorite recollections of airport food stops was Dyersburg, TN. Many years ago, I had a run several times a year from Patrick Henry Field in Newport News, VA to Albuquerque where one of my projects was located. Typically, leaving PHF around 7:00 am would put me in Dyersburg about 3:45 later and ready for lunch. There was a fine little airport cafe run by a very nice lady with whom I became acquainted. On my first visit, I ordered a hamburger, cup of coffee and a piece of homemade cherry pie. As it turned out, her son was in the Air Force stationed at Langley Field in Hampton, VA and we always had a nice chat about Virginia and how she missed her son.

    On the second and all other stops in Dyersburg, after fueling the Bonanza and walking over to the cafe, there would always be a steaming hot cup of coffee and the awesome cherry pie waiting at the counter with the burger just coming off the grill along with a smile and warm greeting. She said she always recognized my plane arriving and knew exactly what to prepare.

    It’s always nice to walk into a place of business and be greeted by staff who are glad to see you and, of course, receive superb service in the process. Of the many airports and FBOs that I visited during that time, none was better than Dyersburg, TN and the little airport cafe with the gracious host. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

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