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Come for the sizzle

Stay for the coffee, the friends, and the flying

If Robert Duvall’s character in Apocalypse Now loved the smell of napalm in the morning, there’s no better smell to a pilot than pancakes sizzling on a skillet and sausage and bacon snapping on the griddle.
Photography by Mike Fizer.
The AOPA pancake breakfast at the 2014 San Marcos Fly Out.San Marcos Airport HYISan Marcos TX USA

The origins of the proverbial pancake breakfast at an airport must come from the joy and comfort (less turbulence in the morning)
of an early morning flight. Fly for the food, stay for the hangar talk.

Spring is the start of flying season and across the country, pilots are waking up and heading out to the airport for coffee and a pancake breakfast. Often organized by Experimental Aircraft Association chapters, the pancake breakfast is ubiquitous with general aviation. Small airport supporters organize a legion of volunteers who purchase the pancake mix, sausage, bacon, orange juice, and coffee and put up a sign for donations, just to have visitors come by and visit. They can fly in or drive in, but the talk around the table is going to be aviation. Often chairs are set up outside along the runway to judge landings and takeoffs.

Many events are annual but often small airports will have monthly breakfasts, and many are all you can eat. Cost is welcoming too. Usually $5 to $7 per person. You can use the AOPA Airport Directory to search for events in your area and you can advertise your airport’s pancake breakfast on the site too. Many breakfasts are used as fundraisers for a flying club, charity, or Rotary Clubs.

Julie Walker

Julie Summers Walker

AOPA Senior Features Editor
AOPA Senior Features Editor Julie Summers Walker joined AOPA in 1998. She is a student pilot still working toward her solo.

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