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Pizza Hut, Parker, Arizona

An Indian Hills Airpark Hundred-Dollar Pizza

By Ron Kilber

Thursday, November 16, 2000

What do you do when you have a craving for Pizza Hut pizza and the nearest restaurant is 60 miles away from home?

Not a problem! At least not here at Indian Hills Airpark. You just make sure there's gas in your airplane, round up some pizza-hungry folks and fly off to Pizza Hut.

At 10:30 a.m., Den and Teddi "Aeronca" Peck launch from Runway 11. Ernie "Luscombe" Wright follows. I'm next, followed by Neal "C-150" Fivecoat. It's a beautiful, clear VFR day. The wind is only slight.

As we climb to clear the Harcuvar Mountains, it's fun to be flying en échelon with each other. There's something more magical about flying when another airplane is in the air close by. Perhaps it results from visual feedback not gained otherwise. A nearby plane, for example, provides ready reference to see the results of the slightest touch on the stick. The ground alone usually is too far away to produce this visually stunning sensation.

After 20 minutes of flight, I'm downwind for Runway 19 at Parker. Red "C-150" Selover is already in the pattern on final. I wonder where did he sneak in from? I didn't see him around at departure time.

Within minutes, everyone is safely on the ground. Selover tells me he departed early, throttled back to 2200 RPMs and then just circled the airpark until everyone was ready.

Here, ground transportation is never a problem, at least when the FBO is open. The Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) is always willing to deliver wayward (or hungry) pilots to their place of choosing. The most popular destination is their own Blue Water Resort & Casino, which is where a bunch of us from the airpark showed up for breakfast back in September.

By 11:30, CRIT has all six of us seated inside beautiful downtown Parker's Pizza Hut.

Of all Pizza Hut restaurants that I've been to, they make the best food here. Nothing is worse than wet-noodle pizza, which these fine purveyors will never give you. Their crust is always firm and crunchy, making it possible to eat a slice by hand with one hand. The ingredients are top-shelf, and not even the sausage or pepperoni makes a greasy pizza. Their thin-crust is -- bar none -- the best pizza in the whole world, in my opinion. And the buffet table at lunch time always includes a nice variety of salad items. Did I say the price is right ($4.95), too?

What's nice about flying to a restaurant in Parker is that you can shop and do other things, as well. After calling the CRIT driver, we decide to have him drop us off at Safeway, where we can walk the short distance back to the airport. Inside, we bump into John and Suzanne "Glasair" Hong. They arrived late because some people dropped in needing access to their neighbor's hangar. Luckily, there's a food deli inside Safeway, albeit a poor substitute for Pizza Hut pizza. Let's hope those people realize that the Hong's sacrificed pizza to accommodate access to that hangar.

Always the straggler, I'm last back at the airfield. The Peck's are already airborne, but the rest of the gang is standing by waiting for me to show up. Like me, they want to fly formation home, too, and the more the merrier.

Over Bouse, Ariz., we're hooked up, though lazily, when the Hongs make a couple of high-speed fly-bys. They had mulled around the airport before departing last, however, they'll be first back to the airpark. Boy, that Glasair flies.

Everyone returns safely to the airfield.


Copyright (C) 2000 Ron Kilber Non-commercial reproduction permitted in its entirety with this copyright notice intact.

8:24AM 11/20/00

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