The Breakfast Club
An Affiliate of the Arizona Pilot's Assn


The Knife & Fork


Breakfast Club Visits Window Rock, Navajo Nation Capitol 

10 Mar 07
by Warren McIlvoy

The Breakfast Club finally made it to Window Rock. Why has it been so long since we flew into this remote part of the state? We did have Window Rock on our September 2001 schedule but everyone knows what happened to general aviation at that time. As best I can reckon, it has been more than six years since our last visit. Light aircraft have been back in the air for a while and the weather outlook is good so it was full steam ahead toWindow Rock for some fun and festivities.

Departing from Deer Valley to the northeast we are soon over Payson and, in short order, we cross over the Mogollon Rim and the forested high country of central Arizona. It does not take long for the dense forests to pass and the geography turns to high plateaus that average well over 5,200' in elevation. The terrain is dominated with countless washes and small ridges and the cross-country power lines that stretch further than the eye can see even from our lofty vantage point.

Our ride is smooth and the radio chatter is active with reports from other
Breakfast Club folks. We pass over Holbrook and its power station and then the plateaus begin to rise to over 6,000' with the accompanying flora becoming a tad more dense. At about half way between Holbrook and Window Rock, there appears to be a layer of verga at about 10,500' but none of it finds my airplane. As we get closer to Window Rock, a couple of us decide to fly the GPS approach to runway 02. The approach altitudes keep us a bit high as there is a 1000' ridge line that is only 10-miles southwest of the airport that is actually in somewhat of a valley.

There is no taxiway at RQE and the runway is over 7000' long so you don't really want to touch down on the numbers and spend a good portion of the morning working your way to the ramp. A good practice would be to touch-down about half way down the upsloping runway and just allow the aircraft to slow-down on its own and only use your brakes as needed to make the turn-off to the ramp at the end.

By now, more than half of the
Breakfast Club group has arrived and since this airport is over 6700 in elevation, the cool air beckons the use of the jacket that we so thoughtfully elected to bring with us. Some of the Breakfast Club folks formed the first wave to take the short hike to the motel before all had arrived. I opted to wait till the stragglers landed and the final group started the procession to the motel. Just before we departed the ramp, I received a call on my cell phone from the first wave. It seems that they were not sure which way to turn upon reaching the highway. The last time that we were here, the motel was called the Navajo Nation Inn but that has since changed to the Quality Inn that is at your 2:00 position upon reaching the highway. I later learned that the first wave was partially motivated by the fact that the airport office was not open on weekends and some bladders were now exceeding their limits thus activating their personal "high water pressure warning lights".

The dinning room is typical of most motels and our group was seated at several long tables and several booths. Some of the folks ordered from the menu but I along with several others opted for the buffet. I surveyed the buffet as I walked-in and it appeared to be better than most. In the end, I was not disappointed as the biscuits and gravy were especially good.

After breakfast, some of our folks elected to visit the Navajo Nation Museum and the small adjoining zoo that are nearby. Still others choose to visit the Indian jewelry shop that is across the street from the motel. I felt that it was safer (read cheaper) to go directly back to the airport. About eight aircraft elected to travel about 38-miles to the south and stop in at St. Johns for some of the cheapest fuel in the State of Arizona. From St. Johns, it is about a 1:15 flight back to the valley.

The Window Rock Tribe

  • Warren & Jeri-Ann McIlvoy in 93MB, BC-1
  • Don Graminske and Garrett Dauphers in 9064V, BC-16
  • Lance Thomas in 3180R, BC-80
  • Harold DarcAngelo in 320HD, BC-32
  • Jerry Kapp, Ruth Wallace, and Roy Coulliette in 5658K
  • Tom & Kathy Northrop in 4089D
  • Glen and Tim Yoder in 31TC, BC-007
  • Austin Goodwin in 4351X, BC-317
  • Richard Azimov and Paul Fortune in 6864Q, BC-2 and BC-201
  • Rob Mooers and Austin Erwin in 2493Q, BC-27 and BC-86
  • Roger Whittier and Curt & Cindy Browning in 706CD, BC-122
  • Larry & Debi Berger in 7077V, BC-66
  • Joe Stockwell and Ed McMahan in 2433B, BC-22 and BC-33
  • Asa & Cheryl Dean in 141CW, BC-52


What's Next?

On the 14th of April, the Breakfast Club will be making our inaugural visit to Wilcox (P33), Arizona. We will be dining at a local eatery and then making a visit to Stout's Cider Mill to bring home some of their "Mile High" apple pies. In May, we will also be make a first time visit to Calexico, CA and then on the Catalina Island for 3-days and two nights. These will be really great fly-in events. That's all for now but remember, fly safe.

Click on the Window Rock link to view photos of this fly-in event.