The Breakfast Club

An Affiliate of the Arizona Pilots Assn


The Knife & Fork



Breakfast Club Visits Prescott/Skyway Restaurant



14 Aug 04
by Warren McIlvoy

Prescott, as the Encyclopedia Britannica says, is:

"Seat of Yavapai county, west-central Arizona, U.S. It is situated in a mile-high basin among pine-dotted mountains, in an area that is rich in minerals. Gold mining brought the first settlers to the site (1863); farmers and cattlemen followed. Fort Whipple was built and the town was founded in 1864 and named for William H. Prescott, the historian. The town was the capital of Arizona Territory until 1889 (except for the years 1867-77), when the capital was moved to Tucson. A basic cattle-farming and mining economy prevails, and small industries are increasing. Prescott is headquarters of the Prescott National Forest and has resort facilities. Prescott College was founded in 1966 and Yavapai College in 1966. Inc. 1881. Pop. (1990) 26,455."

But it wasn't the lure of gold or other minerals that brought the
Breakfast Club to this mile high city. Rather it was the allure of a cooler climate and a neat airport restaurant.

This particular Saturday morning dawned with a high overcast sky that held the likelihood that the days flying would be blessed with smooth conditions. The weather forecast indicated ceilings at about 12,000' with widely scatter rain showers. Under ordinary conditions where our destination was more than 200 miles away, we would seriously consider going to our alternate destination but since Prescott was only 72 nautical miles distant, the primary destination was certainly doable.

Departing Scottsdale to the northwest and climbing to our desired cruise altitude of 6500', I could discern some very small rain shafts near the far western horizon but none of those conditions were evident along our heading to Prescott. Once outside of the outer rings of the Class B airspace, I dialed-in our air-to-air frequency to check-in and to see if there were any other
Breakfast Club aircraft on their way to Prescott. There were some folks well ahead of me and all reported excellent flying conditions with good visibility. Along about Black Canyon City I ran into some light rain but the air was rock smooth my airplane did need some washing anyway. The rain only lasted for about 10 miles and the ride and visibility was just what I had expected.

The Prescott Airport is almost always a beehive of activity especially with the traffic generated by the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Throw-in the traffic created by the "$100-dollar hamburger" crowd and you have the makings of an exceptionally busy traffic pattern. To the air traffic controllers that work the Prescott Tower, this is nothing new to them and they usually do an excellent job of keep aircraft from swapping paint as they funnel their way to the active runways.

After landing on runway 21-left, I taxied to the transient parking area that is to the southwest of the terminal. After shutting-down and securing my aircraft, my wife and I began mingling with some of the other
Breakfast Club folks who had arrived before us. There were just a couple of other aircraft yet to arrive but they were in the pattern and would soon join us in Suzzie's Skyway Café inside the terminal building.

Suzzie's Skyway Café is probably the quintessential airport restaurant. The place is decked-out with an aviation motif with model airplanes dangling from every square foot of ceiling space. The walls have aviation pictures and the decor is right out of the 50's. As a matte of fact, the entire terminal building is a living, breathing example of that mid 20th century decade. The restaurant is not overly large but there is counter style seating where you enter the restaurant from the lobby of the terminal building. That seating area is separated from the table area by a wall that is covered with pictures of, what else, airplanes. The food is good enough and the prices are just right for the hungry aviator that is looking for a quick bite and some "rocket fuel" to get him on his way. Our group took-up two long tables in the center of the room and several smaller tables along the inner and outer walls. The north wall is a continuous window that affords a great view of the adjacent ramp area but is a little disconcerting as it is right in line with aircraft departing runway 21-right. Aircraft that are slow on the climb-out are coming right at you and most people who are watching the action, seldom take their eyes off of them until they pass overhead.

After a leisurely breakfast meal and good old fashioned "hangar flying", it was time to head back out to the ramp and the ride home. The weather was still quite overcast but the temperature was very appealing so as to delay our quick departure. I got a few pictures out on the ramp and then prepared for the next leg of the day's flying assignment. You see, our next leg was to take us to Show Low rather than back to the valley. Our assigned task was to fly to Show Low and spend the night in Pinetop in order to bring our 10-year old Granddaughter Nicole Dreos home as she had to start school that Monday. She and her 6-year old cousin Carley Paul had spent the week up there with their other Grandparents. We know that it would be a "tough" job but, you know, some one had to do it.

The flight along the Mogollon Rim was very pleasant as the overcast skies prevented the normal afternoon bumps and jostling that would be the norm for that time of the day. We never spotted and rain shafts while enroute and light winds at Show Low favored runway 21. The Saturday night plans was to have dinner out on the deck facing the ninth fairway on the Pinetop Lakes Country Club but the rains that started at about 1530, wash-out that idea. Not that it was raining on the covered deck but temperatures had dropped into the low 50's and that did not appeal to me one bit.

Sunday morning dawned with sunny skies, cool temperatures, and no winds, all the right ingredients for a great flight home. I had gotten an extra headset for 6-year old Carley and I had enough headsets for the rest of the "flight crew". My wife sat in the back to tend to Carley and Nicole sat in front with me as it was her "turn to fly". Nicole has flown with us on several occasions in the past so this was no big deal. At our cruise altitude of 8500', we were about 500' below the widely scattered cumulus clouds that dotted the sky along our path and as expected, the air was rock smooth. The trip was just under an hour back to Scottsdale and the kids truly enjoyed the flight but isn't that what Grandparents are for anyway?

The Prescott Gang

  • Warren & Jeri-Ann McIlvoy in 4544X, BC-1
  • Mike & Terry Fadely in 7612G
  • Roger Whittier in 706CD, BC-122
  • Glen and Tim Yoder, and Dave Klingensmith in 31TC, BC-007
  • Bert & Dee Davis in 44806
  • Alan Wallace and Jim Nelson in 33RX, BC-39 & 310
  • Brad & Britni Shea in 7612G
  • Marilyn Butler Suback in 4240T

What's Next?

The September event for the
Breakfast Club will see us traveling north to the Valle Airport and the Grand Canyon Inn with a visit to the Planes of Fame Museum. October will see traveling still further north to Page and the Wahweep Marina. These hold promise to be some particularly interesting trips. That's all for now but remember, fly safe.


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