What better way to spend a Sunday (late morning) than to go flying! An even better way to spend this kind of day…you guessed it, flying for a bite to eat! I can say that I have been to a lot of airport restaurants in the immediate New England area, but Fitchburg, MA is one that I had not visited before this trip. A quick trip is an understatement to a great restaurant on the field! From Mansfield, it is a very easy 25 minute flight on a clear and calm day. It can be a very scenic flight during the fall months, as you pass over the very beautiful towns of Foxboro, Holliston, Framingham, and many more. You also are navigating between Boston and Worcester, which adds to the scenery with great views of the cities. I chose not to contact Boston Approach, and scoot around the airspace with plenty of room at 4500 feet. I was one of MANY aircraft in the air, between jet traffic into Boston & Worcester, as well as traffic from Marlboro, Minute Man, and Sterling. Like I said in the last post, I really enjoy knowing that I am not the only one enjoying a nice Sunday flight for the enjoyment of flying that all of us pilots have. I wish I could share this experience with others to expand this aviation community once again!
Descending into the Fitchburg area, I began to scan the area and somewhat familiarize myself with the new surroundings and the airport ahead. I overflew the airport and entered a crosswind to downwind for RWY 32 which is a 4500 foot strip that is in very good condition. The landing was uneventful, with no wind to battle, and I made it off at the first taxiway, slowing down well before the runway intersections. The airport was fairly busy, with two aircraft landing before me and one right after me, all of which were going to Gene Collette’s Airport Restaurant. I followed suit, and walked with one of the gentlemen who flew in with his very nice Piper Archer. The walk from the aircraft to the restaurant is very easy from the main parking. There are spots that seem to be available closer to the restaurant, but those were occupied already. Gene’s is a very old fashion, somewhat out of date restaurant, but it is very clean! The staff greeted me before I shut the door behind me, and I sat at the counter. I was offered a drink and a menu right away, and I am always quick to order, pancakes with a side of eggs and homefries. They even had real maple syrup! It was delicious and I love when restaurants up in New England offer this. The food came out very quickly, and it was delicious. I know I said that Sanford had the best pancakes around, but Fitchburg is tied with that. I guess I need to reevaluate this pancake situation. The cost was very cheap, but the real syrup does cost more, so don’t be surprised.
From the time I landed, to the time I finished my breakfast and was walking back to the plane, it was roughly 40 minutes (and I took my time to enjoy my meal). I departed RWY 32 and headed back to Mansfield. I took the scenic route and enjoyed the foliage before entering the pattern back at 1B9. Gene Collette’s Airport Restaurant will continue to be on my radar as one of the best around, and one of the easiest places to fly to for a quality breakfast if you are short on time. It is open everyday from 7:00am – 2:00pm. You will not regret the flight or the meal, and I know that the staff will be happy to see you. I am very fortunate for being a licensed pilot; enjoying everything that I have thus far! On to planning my next flight….I am thinking a dinner flight! Stay Tuned!
-Fly Safe, MRoberts1B9
Editor’s Note: I apologize for posting this a couple of days late, performing the Associate Chief Judge duties at the NIFA flight competition as well as keeping the live blog of the event, has distracted me a little bit…