The Breakfast Club
Affilate of the Arizona Pilot's Assn.


The Knife & Fork

Breakfast Club Visits Prescott, Arizona

9 June 2007
by Warren McIlvoy

In keeping with the Breakfast Club tradition of scheduling shorter flying times in consideration of summer time flying conditions, the Breakfast Club Event Committee chose Prescott, Arizona for our June fly-in destination. Prescott is a mere 60-70 miles flight, depending on where you live in the Phoenix area, and promises a shorter duration for the bumpy flight home.

The Prescott airport is one of the old favorites amongst the pilot community as it is known for its quintessential airport café. Susie's Skyway Café is located in the terminal building located at the north end of the transient parking ramp. After entering the café from the small lobby of the terminal building, you immediately recognize that you are now in "aviation land". The dinning area is divided into two seating areas. There are a few booths opposite the business counter and then after making a right turn, you enter a larger seating area with three rows of free-standing tables, one along the outer wall, one along the room divider, and the center row that is more accommodating to larger groups. The ceiling is dotted by countless airplane models suspended by fine strings and the walls have an ample supply of aviation photos.

The café is sort of an anomaly in the restaurant industry by being a "cash only" operation, no credit cards or checks. I can't say that I have come across another restaurant that operates in this manor. The only down side to the Prescott scene as I see it, is that the terminal building is old and cramped. The building appears to be of 1950's vintage and was probably adequate for a number of years. But today's volume of traffic has swamped the facility. The airport is a training hub of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University as well as a stop for the commuter airline business. The restaurant could surely use more space as well as the commuter airline and security facilities. The TSA office and the City fueling offices are located in adjoining modular units attached at the south end of the building. It would appear that the City of Prescott needs to step-up and replace these antiquated facilities.

Even with all its "warts and rough spots", Prescott still attracts pilots from all over who are searching for the ever popular "$100 hamburger". In this instance, the
Breakfast Club is no different. About 25 of our  folks squeezed into the larger dinning area to share tall tales and lies with other hungry aviators. The Breakfast Club was joined by several folks from the Phoenix Pilot Group
( The Phoenix Pilot Group is one of several "meet-up" groups organized by Julia Ryan. Julia lives full-time in Connecticut but commutes regularly to Phoenix as she has family in Phoenix and Scottsdale area. On this fly-in, Julia rode along with Ken Calman (BC-6) to partake in the festivities.

I will insert a few lines regarding Prescott's rich history for those who are familiar with this area:

Prescott, pronounced locally as "press-kit" instead of "press-caught," is a city in Yavapai County, Arizona, USA. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 40,360. The city is the county seat of Yavapai County, and in 1863 this then remote and lightly populated town was designated as the original capital of the Arizona Territory in order to keep the seat of government far from Confederate sympathizers prevalent in the southern part of the state. The Territorial Capital was moved to Tucson in 1867. Prescott again became the Territorial Capital in 1877, until the capital was changed to Phoenix in 1889.

The towns of Prescott Valley (7 miles east) and Chino Valley (16 miles north), and Prescott, together make up the area known locally as the "Tri-City". The Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe reservation is located next to, and partially within, the borders of Prescott. These four government entities sometimes work together on projects of mutual interest; At other times, however, they come into conflict. An example is the ongoing fight over Prescott buying the water rights of Chino Valley's rich Verde River watershed. The area is growing rapidly, and lately (2005) one begins to hear the term "Quad-City" for the area. The villages of Dewey and Humboldt voted to incorporate as a town, known as Dewey-Humboldt. This area is getting a lot of moderate and upper-level housing developments, because it is close to Prescott and has land area. The weather conditions are favorable owing to the altitude of 5354 ft, being significantly cooler than the lower southern areas of the state and yet without the harsh winters found at higher altitudes.

Prescott began as a mining town with the discovery of gold on nearby Lynx Creek in 1863. During the nineteenth century, Prescott experienced far fewer anti-Mexican and anti-Chinese sentiments than other communities. In fact, when the mining district enacted its laws in 1863, the officers specifically mentioned that "Senorians" and "Asiatics" meaning Mexicans and Chinese, were free to mine and work in the region. In 1863 Arizona became a territory and Prescott was the Territorial Capital between then and 1867, and again from 1877 until 1889. The Sharlot Hall Museum houses much of Prescott's territorial history, and the Smoki and Phippen museums also maintain local collections. Whiskey Row in Downtown boasts many historic buildings, including the Palace, Arizona's oldest restaurant and bar (establishment) bar, and many other buildings that have been converted to boutiques, art galleries, bookstores, and restaurants. The City is named after author William H. Prescott, whose writings were popular during the Civil War.

After major fires in the early part of the century, downtown Prescott was rebuilt with brick. The central courthouse plaza, a lawn under huge old elm trees, is a good gathering and meeting place. Cultural events and performances take place on many nights in the summer on the plaza. Prescott features the famous old Western Whiskey Row and many Victorian homes. It has been remarked to be the most Midwestern-appearing city in the Southwest, and it has 525 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.

After breakfast, it was back out to the ramp for the bumpy ride home but that is summer-time flying in Arizona. The best thing about it is that it was only a short ride back to the heat of the Valley.

The Prescott Gang

  • Warren & Jeri-Ann McIlvoy in 93MB, BC-1 & 1.5
  • Jerry & Diane Kapp in 5658K
  • Rob Mooers and John Hall in 428DW, BC-27
  • Al & Adele Feldner and Karl Kauv in 33RX
  • Paul Fortune in 31870, BC-201
  • Walter & Kathy Schultz in 9305W
  • Trent Heidtke, Tim & Ramona Yoder in 703CD, BC-112
  • Glen & Judy Yoder in 31TC, BC-7
  • Larry Jensen in 14LJ, BC-65
  • Dave & Donna Khingensmith in 2236E
  • Chuck Garvey in 5354K
  • Lance Thomas in 3180R, BC-80
  • Ken Calman and Julia Ryan in 686US, BC-6
  • Tony Decastro and Barry ?, in 9276T


What's Next?

The July Breakfast Club event will be to an old favorite haunt of Sedona, Arizona. It has been more than a year since our last visit and we are looking forward to this event. In August, we will be going to another old favorite of Payson, Arizona. I hope to see you all at the next two fly-ins to these very attractive locations. That's all for now, but remember, fly safe.

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