The Breakfast Club

An Affiliate of the Arizona Pilots Assn



The Knife & Fork



Breakfast Club Visits Prescott/Susie’s Skyway Café





21 July 2012

by Warren McIlvoy



In keeping with a relatively late Breakfast Club tradition of trying to keep the mid summer destinations to places that are one hour or less in flying time, the Breakfast Club dropped-in on cooler Prescott, Arizona.  For most of us, this is only about a 35-minute flight in the cooler morning air and the return flight, though maybe a little bumpy, it is a short enough flight to keep from getting beat to death by the turbulent late morning thermals. 


From Deer Valley Airport, I can more or less follow I-17 northward at about 6500’ to a point just to the north of Cordes Junction before turning towards Prescott.  The only downside is that you can not receive the ATIS information due to the high terrain of the Bradshaw Mountains but you can hear some of the transmissions from other aircraft in the area that are already talking to Prescott Tower.   This little snippet of information will offer some idea of what is going on regarding the runway in use. 


At about 12-miles out or somewhere between Humbolt and Prescott Valley, I called the tower to get arrival instructions.  As is usually the case when arriving from the southeast, the tower will give you a transponder code in order to positively identify you and to fit you into the pattern with other arriving traffic.  As is usually the case, they were using runway 21L.  As I neared the airport, the tower inquired as to where I was parking and I responded that I was going to the restaurant.  To my surprise, the tower switched me to runway 21R.  In the thirty years that I have been flying into the airport, I have never landed on 21R so today would be a first for me.  After landing on the narrower and shorter runway, I was not exactly sure if I should turn left or right to access one of the taxiways but just before arriving at the first runway exit at Alpha 2, the tower instructed me to turn right on A2 and contact Ground. 


Ground instructed me to turn left on Alpha taxiway and to continue to B3.  For some reason the ground controller must have known that I was not familiar with this route to the terminal so as I arrived at the first intersection, they said to continue straight ahead on B3 to Charlie Taxiway.   Charlie taxiway is the taxiway that is on the right side of runway 21L and by now I was in more familiar location.  Ground instructed me to turn right and cleared to cross runway 12/30.  As I began to cross 12/30, I noticed that Charlie Taxiway was blocked-off just past the terminal and blocked to way to the transient parking where we would normally park.  I asked Ground where transients were parking today and they responded by instructing me to turn right on Echo and to park on the ramp that is just to the west of the terminal.


As I was parking the airplane, I could hear a few other Breakfast Club aircraft talking to Ground and heading my way.  I noticed that there were a few familiar Breakfast Club aircraft already tied-down so I waited for the rest of the gang to arrive.  After everyone had arrived, we exited the ramp gate and headed to the restaurant.


Susie’s Skyway Care has always been one of those quintessential airport restaurants that, even if you went in blindfolded, and then suddenly your blindfold was removed, you would know that you were in the midst of something aviation.  The walls are lined with photos of airplanes or aviators and the ceiling is populated with countless plastic models of just about every kind of airplane.  The food is good enough for the starving aviator in search of the “$300 ham and eggs” but the fare for the meal is a considerably more reasonable. 


The seating there has always been a bit cramped so the Breakfast Club gang was scattered about at various tables but generally in the same area.  The view out the windows affords a portion of the ramp where the commuter airlines park and also some of the runway activity.  Anyone departing 21R will fly directly over the terminal building so at times; it may be a bit disconcerting when you see an airplane coming right at you.


If there is one thing that, I believe, needs addressing is, the rather dated and well worn condition of the terminal building.  I don’t know for sure but I believe that it was constructed some in the 1950’s and it shows it.  The restaurant is in dire need of replacement as it is too small for the amount of people that visit the place on a regular basis.  I have been coming to Prescott for almost 30-years and the parking lot is usually full of vehicles so it is apparent that the locals visit the place regularly along with the pilot populating.  I am fully aware that it cost plenty of bucks to replace some of the infrastructure at an airport but with such high visibility that this place has, I believe that it would be a good investment. 


If landing on 21R was not enough of a new experience, then our departure was just the frosting on the cake.  The wind has shifted around to the southeast thus making runway 12 the runway of choice.  From the restaurant parking, taxiway Echo was right in front of us with the arrival end just a short taxi to our left.  In all those years that I have been coming here, this is the 3rd time that I have used runway 12.


The Prescott Gang


  • Warren McIlvoy in 93MB, BC-1
  • Ron Smith in 566U
  • Ed & Paula Burcheual in 56EP
  • Tim Yoder and Trent Heidtke in 52TY, BC-52 & BC-112
  • Larry Jensen in 14LJ, BC-65
  • Glen Yoder and Tim Roche in 31TC, BC-007 & BC-31
  • Adam Rosenberg in 8377W, BC-72
  • Richard Spiegel, Sam Foote, and Kim Boardman in 901KA, BC-3 & BC-55


What’s Next?


For our August Breakfast Club event, we will be taking a short flight to Eloy, Arizona and the Bent Prop Café.  It has been quite a while since we were here last so it is sort of a “home coming” to the “sky diving capital of the World”.  In September, we will be doing our second overnight event to Cortez, Colorado along with a tour of Mesa Verde National Park.  Cortez is a new destination so this should be fun.  That’s all for now but remember, fly safe.


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


Prescott Event