The Breakfast Club
An Affiliate of the Arizona Pilot's Assn.


The Knife & Fork

Breakfast Club Visits Laughlin, Ramada Express Hotel

10 Feb 2007
by Warren McIlvoy

Since the weather gods threw us a double whammy by thwarting the January Breakfast Club event to Marana, it appeared that our February event may incorporate a bit of a rerun. The weather at midweek did not bode well for our Saturday event to Bullhead City/Laughlin but by late Friday and into Saturday, conditions improved dramatically so off we went. Our trip to Marana was to be the inaugural event of the Breakfast Club's 14th year of monthly fly-ins.

Marana Northwest Regional (then called Avra Valley) is where it all began in January of 1994 and it would have been apropos that we would begin a new year of fly-ins to visit the origin of the
Breakfast Club. But today, Laughlin was our intended destination and after a slightly late start from Deer Valley, we were headed northwest in smooth air to join with the rest of the Breakfast Club gaggle.

After crossing the northeast portion of Lake Pleasant, I dialed-in our air-to-air frequency to report in. Although far from being the leader of the pack, we were also not the "
tailend turtle" either. Upon passing to the northeast of Wickenburg, the geography was dominated by countless, nondescript mountain ridges and valleys. This event was also enhanced with the addition of a solo flight by Julie Katzin (aka BC 3.5). Julie, in her early days, was always a passenger, navigator, and co-pilot as she accompanied Richard Spiegal (aka BC 3). Julie (at 8-years old) was featured in a photograph, along with John & Shirley Roberts (the eldest BC members), that was taken by Arizona Republic writer and photographer, Linda Helser. On Monday, the 13th of January 1997, the photo was part of a story written by Linda and was the lead story on the front page of the paper. The Breakfast Club has been blessed and proud to have been a part of Julie's participation in aviation and her growth to this 18-year-old person who is a couple of weeks away from her private pilot check-ride.

As I neared Bullhead City Airport, I passed through Sitgraves Pass that is about 10-miles southeast of the airport. The tower controller said that the winds were calm and to cross over mid field for right down-wind runway 16. I though to myself, "the winds are never calm at IFP, I must be at the wrong airport". After taxing to the ramp at Sun Western Flyers, I found the ramp to quite crowed and parking was getting scarce. I later learned that another group representing an aircraft type club was also in town. Following a photo session on the ramp, our group proceeded to the trailer that serves as the office of Sun Western Flyers. The folks manning the operations called the Ramada Express Hotel to let them know that we were ready for our ride to the hotel.

We entered the Resort/Casino through the north entry and, what a surprise, the Roundhouse Buffet is at the south end of the main floor. This trek to the Roundhouse allows one to contemplate the vast array of opportunities to separate one from their hard earned money. The buffet costs $6.95 or $5.95 if you have your "slot club card" (at home in my dresser drawer). The buffet line offers a vast assortment of fruits and pastries, cereals (both hot and cold), various egg entrees, breakfast meats, and last but not least, an assortment of deserts. I seriously doubt that the most voracious of appetites could sample everything so it is strictly a case of choosing what you like the most. We were seated at three tables that were close together thus conserving a modicum of "togetherness"that allowed us to share in some aviation comradery.

Following the morning's repast, some of the
Breakfast Club members felt obligated to make a contribution to the local economy via the slot machines or other gaming opportunities. My wife was no exception as she eagerly acquiesced to her "civic duty". She did her part in donating about $40.00 although she did get a tote bag with the Ramada's emblem embossed on the side. In theory, this "gift" is supposed to be worth the $20.00 that you invested in the "Lucky 20"(?) slots.

After extracting my wife from the clutches of the gaming devises and mitigating any further damage to our financial well being, we exited the casino and boarded the bus for the ride back to the airport. The winds were still very light out of the south so runway 16 was still in use. We stayed long enough to observe Jule's departure for her return trip back to Williams Gateway Airport in Chandler where the Arizona State University's aviation program is based. Our departure from 16 included a left turn to retrace our path though the mountain pass and on to Buckeye to top-off with some less expensive fuel. A great day for flying, enjoying some quality time with fellow aviators, and just enjoying the scenery; What more could one ask for?

The Laughlin Gang

  • Warren & Jeri-Ann McIlvoy in 93MB, BC-1
  • Don Graminski in 9064V, BC-16
  • Richard Azimov and Jordan Ross in 6864Q, BC-2 & BC-11
  • Pat & Lisa Nolan
  • George Wilen in 5734B, BC-34
  • Julie Katzin, BC-75
  • Richard Spiegal in 901K, BC-3
  • Robert Moores and Austin Erwin, BC-27 & BC-86
  • Austin Goodwin in 4351X, BC-317
  • Tom Northrop in 4089D
  • Jerry & Diane Kapp in 5658K
  • Lance Thomas in 3180R, BC-80


What's Next?

The Breakfast Club will be traveling northeast to Window Rock (RQE) in March, and in April, we will be making our first visit to Wilcox (P33) and Stout's Cider Mill to sample their mile high apple pies. Click on the link below to view some photos of the Laughlin fly-in. That's all for now but remember, fly safe.


Click on the Bullhead City/Laughlin link to view photos of this fly-in event.