Breakfast Club
An Affiliate of the Arizona Pilots Assn

                             The Knife & Fork

Breakfast Club Visits Old Favorite, Sedona, Arizona

08 Aug 2009
by Warren McIlvoy

Our August Breakfast Club event saw us flying to one of the most favorite fly-in locations in all of Arizona, Sedona. Sedona has all of the requisite priorities such as: a relatively short distance for any airplane, some decent scenery along the route, it is nestled amongst one of the most photographed locations in the state, it has a great restaurant, and lastly, good food. Now is that a great fly-in destination or what?

Since the event committee decided to try to keep the mid-summer fly-ins to locations where we could fly there and return home without getting beat-up but the bumpy air that is synonymous with summertime flying in Arizona, we decided to move the arrival time to 0800 instead of our traditional 0900 arrival time. Since Sedona is only 70-80 miles from the Phoenix area airports, the earlier arrival time did not require getting up at O-dark-thirty. Even on the hottest days, the early morning hours still affords some pretty comfortable flying conditions.

After getting a safe distance from the majority of the valley traffic, I dialed-up our "group flight following" frequency and, in short order, determined that there was a good number of Breakfast Club members heading to Sedona. As I cleared the rim of the mountains that mark the southern extremities of the Verde Valley, I tuned-in the Sedona CTAF to get a handle on the amount of traffic that lay ahead. As you most likely guessed, a beautiful Saturday morning in Arizona will guarantee a beehive of airplanes working the pattern above the Sedona Airport.

A good practice when arriving from the south, is to report crossing over Bell Rock at 6500'. Bell Rock is about 4.5 miles south of the airport and is a very familiar landmark. If traffic allows, you can make a mid field crossing into left downwind for runway 3 but if there is traffic already on the downwind leg, you can continue the crossing and then make a descending right turn into the 45-degree entry to downwind safely behind the traffic in front of you. My traffic was an RV-6 that I could not spot in the pattern so I stayed at 6500' for the mid field crossing until I spotted him just short of the base leg turn.

After securing my airplane, I wandered the ramp a bit to get some photos or arriving aircraft and to greet the early Breakfast Club arrivals. Once all of our group and arrived, we marched over to the Sedona Airport Restaurant. As luck would have it, there was ample space on the patio for our gathering. If it is not too windy or chilly, this is one of the best seating locations of any airport restaurant. There are shade trees over-hanging the patio that sill affords a great view of the runway action and you can enjoy the great weather to boot. The breakfast entrees are, for the most part, traditional but with a southwest flare. This is just an awesome venue for sharing some hangar flying with friends and enjoying a fine meal.

After getting more photos of the Breakfast Club folks, we hiked back to the ramp and made a mandatory pit stop at the terminal building. Due to the earlier arrival time, the flight back was still fairly smooth with only few slight bumps. I would guess that I have flown to Sedona AirportSedona about fifty time in my 28-years of flying and I still enjoy this location just as much as the first time. Sedona is traditionally the first location that a newly minted pilot goes to when the ink is dry on his license. One trip there and you would soon understand why.

The Sedona Assembly

What's Next?

The September edition of the Breakfast Club will see us traveling to Navajo Land and a tour of Monument Valley and we will be staying the night at the Gouldings Lodge. In October, we will be returning to Kingman and breakfast at the airport restaurant. We will also be hosted by John Pool of the EAA Chapter 765 for some tours of the airport facilities. That's all for now but remember, fly safe.

Click on the Sedona link for to view photos of this event.