Breakfast Club
An Affiliate of the Arizona Pilots' Assn


The Knife & Fork



Breakfast Club Visits Tucson, Ryan, Todd's Cafe

9 Aug 2008
by Warren McIlvoy

In case you have not figured it out by now, the July Breakfast Club event to Globe, got weathered-out. We were able to get about half way there but a wall of clouds prevented us from actually getting to Globe so we turned around and went back to Deer Valley Airport and enjoyed breakfast there. The weather in the valley was good as it was in Globe but not seeing the ground or the mountains would have been more of a gamble than actually gambling at the casino.

With that said, the weather for our August event to Tucson, Ryan was much more to my liking although the possibility of afternoon storms was on the horizon. The issue of afternoon weather was not much of a factor as we would be on our way home before this got dicey.

The Phoenix Approach controllers were very accommodating this morning as they allowed us to climb to 5000' in the "west transition" which was only 500' below our requested cruise altitude. After clearing Phoenix, I tuned-in to our air-to-air to see where we were in the pack. It was apparent that we were not in the lead by any means but we were also not the "tail end turtle".

I maintained a course that kept us away from the sky diving activities of Eloy and at Pinal Air Park. About 20 miles to the north of Ryan, I dialed-in the AWOS as the ATIS was out of service and then flipped-over to the tower frequency. The controller was busier than a one-armed paperhanger. After your initial call-up he had you tune to another frequency who was acting as a local controller. Some poor soul was being chastised for making his initial call-up at only 3.5 miles to the northwest. To paraphrase the controller's response, he informed this poor guy that he was well inside the airport traffic area and that he should do an immediate 180 and call him back in a week. It was then that I was finally able to report-in at about 8-miles to the north. The controller instructed me to "remain outside the Class Delta airspace". So here I was doing "wifferdills" with Lance Thomas at 4-5 miles behind me. I then heard Lance call the tower and he was informed to report a 2-mile 45 for left downwind to 6 left. I immediately informed the controller that I was doing 360's in front of another aircraft that could not see me. The controller advised that I could enter and report a 2-mile 45 for left downwind.

At this point, one would think that this was the end of the story but, as Paul Harvey would say, "now, for the rest of the story". As I turned downwind, I noted another aircraft about 2-300 yards at my 11-o'clock and promptly informed the controller of the situation. He said that this aircraft was "no factor" and that I was cleared to land on 6-left. As I neared the point to turn on left base, so did the other aircraft. I asked the controller about the intentions of the other aircraft and his response was, "you are now #2 behind that aircraft to land". So much for being a "no factor". I immediately broke-off my base turn and turned sharply to the right to gain spacing and to extend my downwind. Off all the airports and controllers that we have been to and dealt with, Ryan has to rank at or near the top in bad controllers.

After taxing-in and parking right in front of the restaurant, we joined with other
Breakfast Club folks on the ramp to greet other arrivals and to get some "airplane photos". Our seating at Todd's was a little scattered due to the normal Saturday airport crowd but the north wall is made-up of large windows that affords a great panoramic view of the ramp and the distant runway. The food has always been pretty good here and the menu has enough of a selection to satisfy most everyone. Before getting my meal, I visited with some of the other tables to get some photos of our members and to chat a bit.

By the time we were ready to depart, the weather was starting to move in from the east but did not pose an immediate threat to our departure plans. Departure on 6-right was a lot less exciting than our arrival was earlier and after crossing the canal, we turned to the north and home. I leveled-off at 6500' and if we were 20-miles further to the east, that would have put us at or in the ominous dark clouds. As we progressed further to the northwest, the clouds had disappeared entirely.

We were honored to have a couple of special guests with us on this event. Iryna Matveeva and Julia Ryan. Iryna had accompanied Adam Rosenberg and she was visiting us from Ukraine. Julia lives back east but is the organizer of the Phoenix Meet-up & Pilots Group. Welcome, and a tip of the
Royal Knife & Fork to both of you.

The Ryan Gang

  • Warren & Jeri-Ann McIlvoy in 93MB, BC-1 & 1.5
  • Lance Thomas in 3180R, BC-80
  • Tom & Jeanne Hall, local residents
  • Adam Rosenberg and Iryna Matveeva in 4372J
  • Ken Calman and Julia Ryan in 605US
  • Allan Wallace in 1628W
  • Roger & Honey Whittier with Rick Birch in 127CD, BC-122
  • Glen Jackson in 676Q
  • Dave Biddle in 5658K
  • Jerry & Diane Kapp and Roy & Ruth Coulliette in 5658K
  • Steve Bass in 65248, BC-51
  • Dave & Jeanne Steiner in 349JL


What's Next?

In September, the Breakfast Club will be making one of its weekend trips to Chinle with a tour of Canyon de Chelly. We did this once in the mid 90's and was very popular. Our October event will see us going to Page, Arizona with a tour of Antelope Canyon. This will be just a one day event. That's all for now but remember, fly safe.


To view the photos of the Ryan fly-in, just click on the link.