The Breakfast Club

An Affiliate of the Arizona Pilots Assn

The Knife & Fork



Breakfast Club Visits Kingman, Wickers Cafe



By Warren McIlvoy
16 Nov 02

The November Breakfast Club event saw us traveling to Arizona's version of a red neck enclave. More commonly known as Kingman, the city known for its tolerance of that part of society that lives and moves in the "gray" areas. It is also the home of Wicker's Café located in the terminal building of the Kingman Airport. The weather was exceptional today as opposed to the cloudy, rainy conditions that prevailed for the scheduled day of this event.

Departing Scottsdale to the northwest, I stayed just below 6000' to remain clear of the overlying Class B airspace. Once we got away from the Class B, I continued to climb to our cruise altitude of 8500' as we neared the north end of Lake Pleasant. It was at about the time that I neared the south end of the Bradshaw Mountains, that I could hear some of the Breakfast Club gang, reporting in on our air-to-air frequency. Continuing on to the northwest, we passed over the small communities of Yarnell, Peeples Valley, and Hillside. At this time of the day and, for that matter, time of the year, the sun was still relatively low in the southeast sky. These small mountain hamlets were bathed in muted shadows from the surrounding ridges of the Weaver Mountains, producing a surreal, pastoral scene.

Bagdad, another destination of a prior Breakfast Club event, soon passed under our left wing. There is not much evidence of any civilization until we reach the Aquarius Mountains that form the eastern side of a valley that borders US 93 as it wends its way northward until it joins I-40 just east of Kingman. We approached the Kingman Airport from the east as we pass-over I-40 and enter right down-wind for runway 3. We soon joined the other Breakfast Club folks who have gathered on the ramp to await the arrival of the rest of our group.

The Wickers Café is an unassuming place occupying the north end of the terminal building. I venture to guess that the seating capacity is less than fifty people so our group of 22 took-up at least half of the available seating space. Though I gave the Wickers folks a heads-up a week earlier, I only noticed one waitress to handle our entire group. I would guess that we had to wait a bit longer than normal but she got everyone fed in a reasonable amount of time. The food was tasty and certainly in ample supply.

The Kingman Airport would appear to be overwhelmingly large for and area that is so sparsely populated. But there is a multitude of history here that is not apparent to the naked eye. Following WWII, Kingman became the largest surplus aircraft storage area in the world. I have read stories written by folks that either lived or worked there during this era. They said that aircraft covered the ground for as far as the eye could see in all directions. The scrapping process reduced literally 100's of thousands of aircraft, some shipped there directly from the assemble lines of the manufacturers, to scarp aluminum. Precious few were spared and sold to individuals for pennies on the dollar. Many of those that were spared are now featured in air shows or are on display in museums. The "Aluminum Overcast", a B-17 owned by the EAA and based in Osh Gosh Wisconsin, is one such example that was sold for a mere $750.00. If it were only possible for the folks of that era to foresee 40 years into the future to witness the huge price tags that are placed of some of the surviving aircraft of that time. A million dollars for a P-51 Mustang is not unusual. Today, much of the real-estate is dedicated to "mothballing" a wide variety of airliners ranging from small, commuter propjets, to full fledged wide-bodies from some of the major airlines.

After breakfast, most of us sauntered out to the ramp so that Al Feldner would have some photo ops that are included in this newsletter. All too soon, it was time to "mount-up" and head for home. One of the more unusual things today was that the trip back to the valley, was every bit as smooth as the early morning leg.

The Kingman Group

  • Warren & Jeri-Ann McIlvoy in 4544X, BC-1
  • Joe & Diane Stockwell in 843CD
  • Roger & Joanna Pries in 13806
  • Al & Adele Feldner in 6127Q, BC-33
  • Cliff & Jayne Hudson in 9490U, BC-77
  • Bob Jackson & Bob Jr. in 66CW
  • Asa & Cheryl Dean in 48803, BC-52
  • Richard Spiegel in 901KA, BC-3
  • Ed Cianciosi, Thomas Goetz, and Lyubomie Cekov in 600BR
  • Glen Yoder and Allan Wallace in 9002V, BC-007 & 39
  • Don Graminske in 9064V, BC-16
  • Harold DarcAngel in 320HD, BC-32


What's Next?

For our December event, the Breakfast Club will be traveling to the Old Pueblo and the Clarion Hotel for breakfast. I believe that our January 03 event will see us making an encore visit to Blythe and the Union 76 Truck Stop. That's all for now but remember, fly safe.

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