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Flabob Airport DC-3 Fly-in

Monday 5th June 2017 at 16:01

Douglas C-47A (DC-3)
Douglas C-47A (DC-3) N103NA

Flabob Airport is a small airport located in Riverside, California and was established in 1925 by Flavio Madariaga and Bob Bogan. The airport got its name from combining the first three letters of their names – hence Fla-Bob and it is the seventh oldest surviving airport in California.

The airfield is also home to the Tom Wathen Center, a non-profit organisation dedicated to education through aviation. The center was founded in 2000 by Tom Wathen who believes that aviation is a powerful stimulus to learning, especially in subjects such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics and has offered a growing number of programs of instruction to young people. The airport has always been known as a center of restoration for antique and classic airplanes.

Aviation experts and amateurs alike know Flabob for its famous vintage air racers built under the sponsorship of Tom Wathen, with a number of these racers still at the airfield on public display.

In addition, Flabob is home to EAA Chapter One and a chapter of the Antique Airplane Association.

The Flabob Express, a classic 1940’s Douglas DC-3 registered N103NA, has been based at the airfield since 2001. It continues to fly at air shows, do scenic flights, tours and even gives the 'DC-3 personal flight experience' to those who want to put some DC-3 time in their logbook.

Flabob Airport

During May 2017, Flabob Airport hosted an event dedicated to the Douglas DC-3, including military C-47's and other variants, with invites sent to aircraft from various parts of the USA. Friday May 19th was arrival day with a number of aircraft being open for tours, and there were flights available to the public throughout the weekend. It was not a formal airshow as such, rather a gathering of DC-3 enthusiasts with the aircraft displayed up close and personal, no ropes, no crowd lines. The weekend hosted various programs/seminars and provided opportunities to talk with aircrew and operators.

US Army Air Forces DC-3C
Douglas DC-3C N62CC

Flabob promotes itself as a very friendly airfield and still has the nostalgic feel of airports of a bygone era, including the cafe which is located in a building which was originally the cookhouse of the NCO Club at Camp Haan, the anti-aircraft auxiliary of March Field during WWII (now March Air Force Base).

Overall it was an excellent event with superb aircraft on display and very well organised by friendly people which will hopefully be repeated in future years at Flabob.

Douglas DC-3 Photos

Flabob Airport Photos

Reporter Simon Willson

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