The Breakfast Club

An Affiliate of the Arizona Pilots Assn


The Knife & Fork


Breakfast Club Visits Jean, NV, Goldstrike Casino


10 Apr 2004
by Warren McIlvoy

The Breakfast Club finally made it to Jean, Nevada. Jean was on our schedule last year but foul weather persisted most of the week of the event and did not clear until late the Friday night prior to our event. Since Thursday evening was the deadline for making a go/no go decision, I canceled the event in favor of Sedona. As it turned-out, the weather cleared-up by Saturday morning but by then it was to late. However, two aircraft did head up that way and later gave me a report on their trip. This time, the only weather related issue was some enthusiastic winds out of the northwest that promised to make the trip a bit longer on the outbound leg.

We had some high, broken clouds at about 12,000' or so but they cleared out somewhere between Bagdad and Kingman. At 8500', even with a 15-20 knot headwind, the ride was relatively smooth. The broken clouds gave a somewhat mottled appearance to the countless ridges and valleys along our course. Just prior to reaching Bagdad, I heard BC-2 on the line stating that they had just departed Deer Valley and heading our way. We crossed the Hualapai Mountains and the Wabayuma Peak Wilderness Area a bit south of Kingman and a tad east of the Sacramento Valley. On the west side of the valley, lies the Black Mountains that form the eastern backdrop for the Bullhead City/Laughlin area.

After crossing
Lake Mohave about 10 miles north of Laughlin, it seemed that our headwind had increased by about another 10 knots or so. The picture that did not seem to fit was that, at full throttle, I was only developing about 2450 rpm. We weren't climbing nor descending, just not going forward very fast. I checked the mixture again to make sure that it was set properly but that had no effect on the power loss. Just for the heck-of-it, I applied carb heat to see if that would make any difference and all I got was a rough running engine. Thinking that maybe I had over-leaned the mixture, I quickly undid the carb heat application.

The casino town of Searchlight passed below our left wing as we continued on to Jean. The GPS was pointing to a small mountain ridge but I could not detect the presents of any form of an airport that had two runways. I stopped our descent since the airport could be on the west side of the ridge. I reported on the CTAF that we were 5 miles southeast for a mid field crossover for runway 2. We crossed the ridge 3 miles east of the airport and the energetic winds provided and exciting ride as we crossed the ridge. Another aircraft reported 5 miles north to follow us in the pattern. The 15 knot winds shortened-up the approach and landing roll allowing for a quick exit off the runway. Two hours and twenty minutes for the 216 miles trip to Jean, I need a faster aircraft (or less wind). The two other aircraft in our group had already landed and tied-down. A few pictures of the group on the ramp and we were ready to take the short hike to the
Goldstrike Casino. The sidewalk makes a beeline to the casino and is lighted just in case you have an after dark urge to part with some of your hard earned cash.

The buffet style café is to your right as you enter the casino and there is nothing different about the
Goldstrike Casino as it appears to just like every other "cookie cutter" style casino. The cost of admittance to the buffet is $7.50 a head which is a tad bit more than most other casino buffets. The breakfast entrees were the usual buffet items but the selection was, in my opinion, a bit lacking. There was no evidence of any fresh fruit and there were some hot items not generally associated with breakfast like ribs and chicken. There was a dessert bar with a large variety of selections but they seemed to be lacking in flavor. As my sense of taste is limited, that opinion was common around the table. All-in-all, we could only give the Goldstrike buffet, a "fair" grade. We have had better for slightly less expense. But it is the adventure, not the destination.........right!

The gaming area adjacent to the buffet was beckoning but they did not make much from us. My wife donated about $5.00 and Richard's wife Marcia, donated $1.50. I did not hear from any of the others in our group but since we were not there very long, I doubt that the damage was to monumental. After making the mandatory "pit stops", we exited the
Goldstrike for the hike back to the airport. Since it had taken more than two hours for the first leg, I decided to use the self service fuel island where fuel was $2.62 or about .13 more than at Scottsdale. Take-off on runway 2 into the brisk wind had us off the pavement without using much of it. The flight guide says to avoid over-flying the prison that is on the slope of the mountain about 2.5 miles east of the airport. Since the earlier approach over the ridge line on our arrival was "interesting", I did not care to repeat the experience again so I elected to go around the north side of the ridge. That route would place you under the outer ring of the Las Vegas Class B airspace but our altitude was well under the "floor" of that sector.

The route back home was a reverse course of the morning's leg with one notable exception, the enthusiastic head wind, was now on our tail and pushing ground speeds into the high 130's to the low 140's. I climbed to 9500' to take advantage of the generous tail winds but, as we passed Kingman, I noticed the same odd power loss that I noted on the first leg. There was no visible moisture in this area as the high clouds were closer to the Phoenix area. The high tail winds mitigated this anomaly so it was less of a concern. Upon reflecting on the odd power loss, I can only come to the conclusion that I had my first experience with carburetor icing with no visible moisture. By the way, the trip back only took 1:40 minutes or 40 minutes less than the leg to Jean. All-in-all, an interesting day and a new entry in my logbook but with all of the expectations of this location, I believe that we were all a bit disappointed. I presume that the event committee will not be scheduling an encore visit here anytime in the near future.

The Jean Gang

  • Warren & Jeri-Ann McIlvoy in 4544X, BC-1
  • Richard Spiegel and Nancy Shore with Richard & Marcia Azimov in 6864Q, BC-2 & 3
  • Larry and Brad Jensen in 14LJ


What's Next?

In May, the Breakfast Club will be making an encore visit to Seligman, Arizona and Lilo's West Side Café. Seligman is becoming a favorite of the $100 ham & eggs gang and Lilo's is the place to go. Later in the month the 22nd & 23rd, will see the Breakfast Club do an overnight trip to Winslow and the La Posada Hotel. Thought there is not much to do in Winslow, the La Posada is worthy of an over night stay for those enamored with historic places. In June, the Breakfast Club will be making its first scheduled trip to Payson. We have been there many times in the past but on several occasions, Payson has served as an alternate. That's all for now but remember, fly safe.

Click on the Jean, NV link to view photos of this fly-in event.