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Aug/Sept 2000

Table of Contents
Green River, UT
Flying to Seldom Used Airports
Planning Makes a Difference
Dream Plane
The Spartan Executive
The $100 Hamburger
The Flight Deck Restaurant, North Las Vegas, NV
Back To Basics
Flying in the High Country
Hangar Flying:
High Field Departures
SWAV News Update

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SW Aviator Magazine
3909 Central NE
Albuquerque, NM 87108
Phone: 505.256.7031
Fax: 505.256.3172
The Flight Deck Restaurant, North Las Vegas
story and photos by Gerrit Paulsen

Okay, that does it; I’m moving to Las Vegas. True, Nevada offers great flying weather, stunning resort-casinos, a booming economy, gambling galore, and the rugged beauty of the Great Basin’s mountains and deserts. But that is not why I’m running away from home… I just want to spend more time at North Las Vegas’ Flight Deck Restaurant. The Flight Deck has everything I need: an expansive view of airport activity, bar service, and great food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

My wife and I arrived in North Las Vegas (VGT) famished after a long, scenic flight from Albuquerque via the Grand Canyon. We eagerly climbed the stairs from the airport terminal lobby to the large, modern, clean restaurant on the second floor. Our first dilemma was whether to dine in air-conditioned indoor comfort, or to get the full effect of the airport activity outside on their large observation deck patio. Since it was 107 degrees outside and the patio was short on shade, indoor refrigeration won out over prop wash.

I was done flying for the day, and would be taking a taxi to the hotel, so I splurged and sipped a frosty beer while studying the lunch menu. Life was good. Salads, sandwiches, and burgers dominate the lunch menu, with homemade soups and tasty pies available to round out the meal. I ordered the half-pound cheeseburger (a quarter-pound burger is also available for people who haven’t been flying all morning), and my attractive dining companion ordered up a taco salad. My burger was good, flavorful, juicy, and well prepared. The fries overcame their industrial looking first impression to reveal tender yet crispy morsels. The taco salad was beautifully presented with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and taco meat piled high in a crisp fried tortilla shell. Admittedly, it would have been better though if there had been an option of salsa, even a lowly jar of Pace, to enhance the experience, but the taco meat was tasty and well seasoned. A big slice of freshly made peach pie was the perfect encore to an overall thumbs-up rating on my co-pilot's airport dining experience.

During lunch we had a commanding view from our window-front table of North Las Vegas’ two runways and busy ramp and taxiways. In addition to the usual bug-smasher traffic, a steady stream of Scenic Airlines’ Twin Otter "Vistaliner" hauling tourists to and from the Grand Canyon droned past our vantage point, and the occasional corporate jet dropping off yet another Vegas high-roller kept us entertained during our meal.

I was anxious to try the view from the restaurant’s observation deck patio, as well as sample the breakfast menu, so I jumped at the chance to take some friends out for a morning meal just a few days later. The patio certainly has the better view of airport activity, and my sun-loving dining companions reveled in soaking up the early morning rays. I, too, was relatively comfortable outside, but only after bathing in sunscreen and huddling in the meager shade of our patio table’s umbrella.

Breakfast items are named for various aircraft seen around the airport. Aircraft spotted on our tabletop included the "Eagle," perfectly battered and grilled slices of French toast with just the right dusting of powdered sugar; a "Beagle" breakfast burrito, with scrambled eggs, bacon (or ham, sausage, or Mexican chorizo if you prefer), and hash browns lovingly wrapped in a soft flour tortilla; and a "Westwind," a.k.a. ham and eggs. I had hoped to clear a "Corsair" (biscuits and gravy) in on final approach to my plate, but alas, the biscuits were sill being preflighted back in the kitchen. An "Interstate" — chicken fried steak and eggs — was quickly substituted for the mission. We were all very pleased with our selections, though all seated around the table envied the pilot maneuvering the ham and eggs off his plate. The ham was a thick, absolute lean ham steak slab, lopping off the plate at either end, and grilled just right. Awesome.

Unfortunately for me, the lure of the Las Vegas Strip kept us away from The Flight Deck Restaurant at dinnertime. This turned out to be a serious error in judgment, especially once I learned (too late) that in addition to traditional American dinners, they serve a full, authentic German menu every night. Sauerbraten, schnitzel, and goulash were within my grasp and I foolishly let them slip away. This is why I have to move to Las Vegas. I need to be on the restaurant’s east-facing outdoor patio every evening as the sun slips behind the terminal building, carefully determining which beer best complements every German dish they have to offer.

Dinner is served from 3-8:45 pm every night, with the German menu available after 5 pm. The Flight Deck Restaurant opens for breakfast on weekdays at 7 am, and at 6 am on weekends. There is also a breakfast buffet on weekends from approximately 8 am ‘til noon. Call (702) 261-3844 for more information, or just see me out on the patio.

Leaving (North) Las Vegas

Flying in and out of the North Las Vegas Airport is easier than it has been in years, now that the new VFR transition routes through McCarran’s Class B airspace are active. We used the "Showboat 1" arrival and departure on our recent visit. Navigation and radio procedures were simple, and the routing and altitudes direct and convenient. We were impressed with how smoothly the Approach and Tower controllers handled the traffic using these procedures. Arrivals from the south and west should expect similar simplicity using the new "Rocks 1" route. See the current Las Vegas VFR Terminal Area Chart for all the details.

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The material in this publication is for advisory information only and should not be relied upon for navigation, maintenance or flight techniques. SW Regional Publishing, Inc. and the staff neither assume any responsibilty for the accuracy of this publication's content nor any liability arising out of it. Fly safe.