Breakfast Club

An Affiliate of the Arizona Pilots Assn



The Knife & Fork




Breakfast Club Dives Into Eloy, Dines at The Bent Prop Café




11 Aug 2012

by Warren McIlvoy



The last time that the Breakfast Club visited Eloy and the Bent Prop Café, and I am guessing that it was somewhere around 10-15 years ago, the dinning facility at that time was little more than a trailer that offered breakfast burritos that were served through a walk-up window with maybe 4 or 5 round tables.  Well, all of that has changed.  I have been there a couple of times during the absence of a formal visit by the Breakfast Club with another person.  Because of these changes, Eloy warranted another visit by our group.


From Deer Valley, unless you want to take a very indirect route, you need to transit the Phoenix Class B airspace via the corridors around Sky Harbor Airport.  That is not at all difficult and only requires a call on 120.7 for your clearance.  Since Eloy is a pretty short flight, I had requested 5,500 but was assigned 5,000 via the west transition.  There did not seem to be much traffic today as the south controller sent me on my merry way before reaching South Mountain.  From there I climbed to my cruise altitude of 5500 and put in a call to the rest of our group on our “group flight following” frequency.  From South Mountain, the direct course is pretty much right down I-17 until reaching Casa Grande where the highway veers slightly to the west.  Since the flight is only about 35 minutes or so, we did not get much chatter time before it was time to dial-up Eloy Unicom to get a mind picture of what was going on. 


For those not familiar with this little burg, Eloy is the sky-diving capital of the World and that is in the literal sense.  World records have been set here by groups from all over the World.  There is almost a cult following here as evidenced by the many mobile homes that dot the property.  The twin Otters that serve as launch platforms never shutdown their engines as they take on another group of avid sky divers.  They do observe a modicum of decorum when it comes time for itinerant aircraft to use the runway but we observed that they took-off on 02 and landed on 02.  When flying in the area, it is wise to give this airport a wide berth to avoid any unpleasant meet-ups with errant sky divers.


This sky diving community has many of the amenities of a small town.  They have their own bar, convenience store, picnic area, swimming pool, and what could best be described and a “ceremonial” field, and of course, the Bent Prop Cafe.  There is also a sky diving simulator just a bit south of the landing area for the sky divers.  From a short distance away, it appears like two huge chimneys.  I have seen this facility in action on the television with people doing acrobatic moves while being suspended by the column of air that is being generated by what are likely very large fans.  This facility allow the divers to practice their moves without the cost of being towed aloft by aircraft.


Today, what little wind that there was, favored runway 20 and after making the mid-field turnoff, I taxied directly to the fuel pump to top-off with some of the “cheapest” av-gas in the area.  After fueling-up, I taxied down the ramp to park where the rest of the Breakfast Club gang was parking.  After everyone had arrived, we started the hike to the Bent Prop and early on in our hike; we got to observe first hand how the machine-like precision of the boarding process of the Otters was carried-out.  The hike to the Bent Prop was maybe a little more than a quarter mile hike.  The structure is divided into two parts, the nightclub/bar occupied one half of the building and the Bent Prop used the other half.  The main part of the floor was inhabited by a good number of wooden, picnic style tables with a few booths along the outer wall.  There was also a counter with stools for those who preferred solo seating.  There isn’t much in the way of aviation décor around the place as I guess that they are more interested in appealing to those crazy folks who would rather jump out of a perfectly good airplane than to fly it.


The breakfast menu is not overly large but adequate but it is a bit ironic that we ended-up ordering the breakfast burrito as it was highly endorsed by a number of people and, indeed, it was quite tasty. 


After breakfast, the group walked-over to the sky diving shack and the landing field that consisted of a large grassy field (maybe and acre) to observe the sky divers as they glided down to very smooth landings.  There were a few tandem teams of what was most likely their first sky diving experience.  There were a few groups where all of sky divers were wearing the same color uniforms, an obvious sign that they were all from the same sky diving club. 


After watching all those folks who harbor a death wish, it was time to get back to some semblance of sanity and get back into our own aircraft that we have no wish to depart from while it is still above the ground.  Our return trip was much the same as the inbound leg with the exception that we had to use the east corridor to get back on the north side of the Phoenix Airport.


The Eloy Gang


  • Warren & Jeri-Ann McIlvoy in 93MB, BC-1 & 1.5
  • Glen Yoder in 31TC, BC-007
  • Jim Carter in 9586R
  • Rich Kupiec and Austin Erwin in 6693M, BC-47 & BC-86
  • Greg Coomans, Doug Doehrman, and Libby Vance in 2493Q, BC-48 & BC-69
  • Adam Rosenberg in 8377W, BC-72
  • Mark and Bill Hess in 428DW
  • James Palmer in 9313H


What’s Next?


Our September Breakfast Club event will be our 2nd planned over-night fly-in to Cortez, CO and a tour of Mesa Verde National Park.  This is a new destination with Austin Erwin

doing the leg work on this one.  Our October event will see a repeat of a very popular fly-in to Lake Havasu, Arizona with breakfast at the Maki Café at the foot of the London Bridge.  That’s all for now but remember, fly safe.    


To view photos of this Eloy fly-in, just click on the link below.

Eloy Photos