Straight and Levelby Susan Dusenbury, VAA President, VAA 5721, EAA 55229

On February 8,th your board of directors and advisors along with a host of our volunteers met at Flabob Airport in Riverside/Rubidoux, California for our annual midwinter board meeting. The midwinter board meeting is designed to cover and complete some of the business of the organization before as I say, “All heck breaks loose in preparation for AirVenture”.

The first Gee Bee reproduction, constructed by Bill Turner in 1978, features extended wings and fuselage for better flight characteristics. It appeared in 1991 as both a static and flying prop in the Walt Disney feature film The Rocketeer; it is now on display at the Museum of Flight in Tukwila, Washington. (Photo by El Grafo – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

I am sure that all of you are aware of the Flabob Airport which over the years has been a haven for sport aviation with a very strong presence of vintage aircraft, vintage aircraft restoration and homebuilding. It was also at one-time home to Bill Turner’s shop appropriately named Repeat Aircraft. If you remember Bill built some splendid and very well-known replica racers including the Gee Bee Model Z “City of Springfield” and from the Tom Wathen collection The Firecracker, Caudron, Meteor and Comet.

I found this very brief history of Flabob on their website.

“Flabob is the seventh oldest surviving airport in California. Founded in 1925 as Riverside’s first civil airport, Flabob is a paradise for homebuilders, antiquers and everyone devoted to the sport and family aviation. We’re a village of aviation nuts-“Flabobians”-stuck in a ‘40s and’50s time warp. Flabob is a year-around home to more “education through aviation” than anywhere else.”

Today Flabob is home to The Tom Walthen Center (learning based), Consolidated Aircraft Coatings (formerly Poly-Fiber Aircraft Coatings and Randolph Aircraft Products), the Inland Empire Campus of Spartan College, EAA Chapter 1, and several restoration shops. Flabob also serves as the headquarters to a couple of other nonprofit aviation organizations. Currently, about 86 aircraft are based on the field.

Bill Turner’s Meteor on the ramp at Flabob from the Tom Wathen collection.

Anyway, your board had a very productive meeting. Discussed at the meeting were methods to park our arriving aircraft as effectively and user friendly as we possibly can during AirVenture.

Thanks so much to Parking Chairman Michael Kosta, co-chair Kathy McGurran, flight line training Chairman Patty Dorlac and head of special aircraft parking Tim Fox. They are absolutely the best at what they do. Their experience and insight is invaluable to our organization. Thanks, also, to Operation Quench Chairman Pat Blake and to Transportation and Information Chairman Phil Blake. Both gave enlightening presentations on plans and improvements for AirVenture 2018.

In closing, I am happy to report that our midwinter board meeting was productive as well as educational while giving us the opportunity to visit with antiquers who shared their thoughts about the vintage aircraft movement. In the end it was worth the 5-hour flight from coast to coast where I kept thinking that I was just another sardine packed in a tin can.




Here are some FUN photos from our Flabob trip: