The Flying Hamburger Social Bringing Aviators Together

Banner of the Flying Hamburger Social
Stacks Image 5451
05/06/2020

Like many Wisconsin residents, I’m irritated, pissed and generally not my happy go lucky self. Part of the reason is how this great state is being held hostage by a disease. Never in a million years would I have imagined that I would have my nephew at home being home schooled by my wife, businesses considered non-essential and shut down while others remain open, shortages of toilet paper, not being able to get my hair cut, meat shortages, killer hornets, etc. What’s next? Sharknado?. When did we all get sucked into the game Jumanji?

Where am I going with all of this? John, Rob and I have been talking a lot about the future of the Flying Hamburger Social season for 2020. As aviators, we want to fly and go somewhere. However we agree that it would be in the best interest to cancel the 2020 Flying Hamburger Social season. With AirVenture canceling for 2020 that was pretty much was the final nail in the coffin.

1. The state is limiting gatherings, That means that legally anyone that hosts a social or attending a social could be risking having their local law enforcement show up and issue citations. All it takes in one person on a power trip to ruin the social. I don’t want to put anyone in that situation.

2. There is also the potential negative impact from the general public seeing those rich aviators flaunting their airplanes again. Airports are struggling right now, we don’t need to add to their negative publicity that the general public has of them.

3. The meat shortage hasn’t help matters any. My local grocery store has limited the amount of meat you can buy. I’m sure this will eventually return to no limits. This will certainly be a problem not just for myself but others as they go to get food for their socials.

4. To many of you who I consider friends in aviation are in the high risk category. I really don’t want it on my shoulders that you got sick at a social.

If the State Opens up to allow more than 50 people to gather we will reconsider. In the meantime Everyone Stay Safe! Stay Healthy! KEEP FLYING!

Jeff Gaier



  • Stacks Image 5429
  • Stacks Image 5431
  • Stacks Image 5433
  • Stacks Image 5435
  • Stacks Image 5437

Welcome to Flying Hamburger Social. It was originally founded as the Wisconsin Flying Hamburger Social. The Flying Hamburger Social is a moving social that travels all throughout each participating state each week between the months of June to August to a different location. We are always happy to have new airports and States join us.

Are you a pilot looking for something to do? Fly on out and join us at a social. Come share your love of flying with other like minded people.

Join us for Fun, Food, Friend and of Course FLYING!

Originally founded as the Putt Putt Patrol in Wausau, WI. Each week the group would fly to a different airport and have a meal. Trips started getting farther and farther away and soon only a few pilots and planes were doing it.

The Putt Putt Patrol was then soon developed into a hamburger night at the Wausau Downtown Airport. Rick Coe and Merrill McMahan hosted the event. Every Wednesday evening in the summer time, hamburgers were cooked on a grill for any pilots who came into the airport. This idea was well loved by local and nearby pilots. Eventually though, the cooks got tired.

In 2012 Bob Mohr and John Chmiel spoke with other airports in the immediate area to Wausau to see if they would be interested in hosting “Hamburger Night” at their airports. Jeff Gaier at Marshfield was one of the first people John spoke with and Jeff was enthusiastic to help participate. The Central Branch of the Wisconsin Flying Hamburger Social was created with Wausau, Marshfield, Wisconsin Rapids, Stevens Point, Medford, Merrill and Antigo. The Wisconsin Flying Hamburger Social was born.

Jeff created a website that still serves the social today as the primary information source for where the social is hosted. In addition, a Facebook Page and Group was created to help market the social.

To this day John and Jeff donate their time and resources to market, manage and maintain the social.

Please help us by letting other pilots know about the Flying Hamburger Social. If you don't have one at your airport, Ask us how you can get a social or Branch going in your location or State.


2020 marks the eighth year of the Wisconsin Flying Hamburger Social and the fifth year it has gone multi-state. We hope that you can come to one of the socials and join us. If you would like to host a social, we would love to have you on board as well!

Stacks Image 5446
Pictured Left to Right: Jeff Gaier of Marshfield, WI (KMFI) and John Chmiel of Wausau, WI (KAUW)
Stacks Image 5422
Stacks Image 5418

This website works best with Firefox, Chrome and Safari and should be viewable on iOS devices. It has been reported that some pages may not work correctly with Internet Explorer