Breakfast Club

An Affiliate of the Arizona Pilots Assn




The Knife & Fork




Breakfast Club Visits Safford, Manor Hours Restaurant




11 May 2013

by Warren McIlvoy




The month of May is typically one of our two months where the Breakfast Club schedules and overnight fly-in somewhere.  We had scheduled an overnight to San Diego but when only 3 or 4 folks expressed any interest in this event, it became evident that a “quick change” was in order.  I took the initiative and selected Safford, Arizona as it is an easy flight and a place where there are many good restaurants in town to choose from.  The only downside to Safford is that any restaurant choice requires transportation to and from the airport.  This is where my connection to the former Mayor Ron Green helped to save this event.  Although I had a rather short fuse regarding the planning for this event, the best that I could hope for was just to get the transportation issue squared away.  I took some doing but I eventually got in touch with Ron and he made breakfast reservations at the Manor House Restaurant & Rock’n Horse Saloon.


From the north Phoenix airports, one of the best and more scenic routs to Safford is to fly eastward towards GRINE intersection that is just north of Saguaro Lake and then turn southeast towards San Carlos Apache Airport (P13).  From there you would head almost directly to Safford with a slight bend in your route to avoid an 8300’ mountain that, at least on the chart, does not have a name (hard to believe isn’t it?).  You can just follow the Gila River bed for the most part and pass abeam small communities such as Bylas, Geronimo, Fort Thomas, Ashurst, Eden, and finally, Pima.  


The Safford Airport (SAD) has two good runways 12/30 & 8/26 but since there was little to no wind today, I chose a left base entry to runway 8.  As we taxied into the ramp, the folks from Ponderosa Aviation were there to meet us and to take fuel orders.  After securing my aircraft, we hoped on their cart for a ride to their new hangar and office building. 

Somewhere along the line, our transportation plans got lost and Ponderosa only had one car but that would not accommodate our entire group.  The Ponderosa folks were able to get a hold of Ron who appeared about 15-minutes later.  Between the two vehicles, we were able load everyone aboard with Ron taking the lead as he knew where the restaurant was. 


As you enter the Manor House, you walk through the Rock’n Horse Saloon to a separate dinning area.  Hanging from the ceiling of the saloon is a wagon which made me wonder if you were sitting at the bar, did you happen to “fall of the wagon”?  The dinning area was elevated by one or two steps and there was a large table set-up for our group.  We all had a good breakfast and the prices weren’t bad either.  In talking to Ron, he said that if he had more time, he could have set-up a side event for our group.  I said that I understood and that next time we would have ample planning time where could happen.  After some photos and a lot of airplane talk, it was time to head back to the airport for our trip back to the valley. 


We stopped in at Ponderosa Aviation for our mandatory “pit stop” and to pay our fuel tabs.  With all that done, they gave us a lift out to the flight line where we loaded-up our flying machines. 


I want to thank Ron Green and Ponderosa Aviation for all their wonderful hospitality with-out which this event could not have happened. 


The Safford Group


·         Warren & Jeri-Ann McIlvoy with Imran Jamali in 93MB, BC-1 & 1.5

·         Ron Green (local)

·         Richard Azimov in 6864Q, BC-2

·         Adam Rosenberg with Mike, Andy, and Julie Brenner in 8377W, BC-72


What’s Next?


Our June Breakfast Club event will see us flying to an old favorite with that being Payson, Arizona and the Crosswind Café.  As this is a short flight, we will be arriving be 0800.  Our scheduled July event to Taylor was changed to Benson as transportation will be an issue at Taylor.  Benson has an event on the 3rd Saturday of the month that they affectionately call “can’t pass gas Saturday”.  This is a pancake breakfast and has become a very popular event.  That is all for now but remember, fly safe.


To view photos of the Safford event, just click on Safford Photos .