The Breakfast Club
An Affiliate of the Arizona Pilots Assn.


The Knife & Fork


Breakfast Club Visits Benson, The Apple Farm

9 Feb 08
by Warren McIlvoy

As one famous philosopher once said, "the best laid plans of mice (in this case, the BC Event Committee) and men, some times go awry". We switched the January and February events due to the restaurant at the Grand Canyon Inn in Valle, being closed for the season but it was scheduled to reopen in the first week of February. Well, guess what; It still wasn't open by the time that we were scheduled for our February event. We tried twice to go to Valle but for the 2nd time we were forced to scramble to determine an alternate. Benson came to mind since we had such a great time there when we last visited in November of 06. On that fly-in, we visited Kartchner Caverns but this event was to be much less lavish. It would be a simple fly-in to a local eatery that was not too far from the airport.

The accommodating people at Southwestern Aviation suggested that we go to a place called "The Apple Farm". The folks at the FBO said that it was not over 5-6 miles away and they would be happy to supply the "airport limos" that would provide the transportation.

Our route to Benson would be the same as the prior visit. A straight line course from Deer Valley to Saguaro Lake and then in a southeasterly direction that I like to call the "
Copper Trail" I call it this because the route takes you either over or abeam a constant "string" of old copper mining towns that mark your route of flight. Historic copper mining towns like Superior, Sonora, Kelvin, Kearny, Hayden, and Winkelman. Some of these places are little more than wide spots in the road with their populations ebbing and flowing with the vagary of the copper mining industry. Others like Superior and San Manuel, although still active copper mining areas, they also benefit from becoming retirement centers. The slower pace of life and the small town atmosphere have attracted many folks that want to "escape" the hassle of big city life.

From the air-to-air chatter, I had determined that runway 28 at Benson was in use. The winds were calm and after following other traffic in the left-hand pattern for runway 28, we soon had our aircraft secured and placed our fuel order with the line person. We only had three vehicles but we had 38-people in attendance so that necessitated making about three trips each in order to get everyone to the restaurant.
The Apple Farm is located on the east side of the north/south road and as you pass under I-10, it is the 2nd building on the left. Not hard to find even for me. The Apple Farm appears to be a favorite watering hole for the locals as the north half of the dinning area was nearly full when we arrived. The
Breakfast Club group filled the south half save for a few small tables. After enjoying a leisurely breakfast meal, I visited with many of the Breakfast Club members and took some photos of some of the folks.

When everyone was ready for the return trip to the airport, we loaded-up the vehicles and made several trips each to make sure that everybody was accounted for. Our return route was slightly different in that when we reached the north side of the Santa Catalina Mountains, I turned to the northwest and headed directly towards Casa Grande to load-up on some of their less costly fuel. From there, I chose to traverse the Phoenix Class B airspace via the west transition.

The Benson Gang

  • Warren & JeriAnn McIlvoy in 93MB, BC-1 & 1.5
  • Harry & Bonnie Austor in 859C
  • Allan & Patricia Wallace in 1628W, BC-39
  • Richard Azimov and Paul Fortune in 6864Q, BC-2 & BC-201
  • Richard Spiegel and Nancy Shore in 901KA, BC-3
  • Tim Yoder and Trent Heidtke in 52TY, BC-52
  • Glen & Judy Yoder in 31TC, BC-007
  • Lance Thomas in 3180R, BC-80
  • Al & Adele Feldner in 33RX
  • Lenny Mikus, and Paul Yonker in 7677V
  • Austin Goodwin in 4351X, BC-317
  • Jerry & Diane Kapp and Ruth Wallace and Roy Coullette in 5658K
  • Joe & Diane Stockwell in 587SR
  • Rober Whittier in 706CD, BC-122
  • Rick Birch in 127CD
  • Jon Melby in 3485M
  • Rich Bugher and David Bamford in 616UA
  • Harold & Phyllis Thomas
  • Ben Thompson and Dick Vaughn in 80CLPeter Lenton,  John Dorsey, and Paul Martinez in 1111M


I wish to extend a big welcome and a salute of the Knife & Fork to the folks from the Phoenix Pilot Group and the folks from the Sun Lakes Aero Club.

What's Next?

The March
Breakfast Club event will take us to a new destination of Gallup, New Mexico. The restaurant (name escapes me) is supposed to be right outside the airport gate. The April event will take us to an old favorite of Bisbee, Arizona and a restaurant called...................The Breakfast Club (not kidding). Our last attempt to fly to Bisbee was scrubbed due to foul weather. That's all for now but remember, fly safe.

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