Home Classic Airliners Flabob Airport – A Piece of Aviation History in California

Flabob Airport – A Piece of Aviation History in California

by Matt Falcus
Flabob Airport
Flabob Airport

Photo (c) Flabob Airport


The curiously-named Flabob Airport (KRIR) is a really interesting place for aviation fans to visit, and it’s easily reached from Los Angeles.

Located in Riverside, around 50 miles east of Downtown LA, in the Jurupa Valley, is still technically within the built up area of Los Angeles, but its scenic location is so much nicer.

This small airport with a single concrete strip is actually the seventh oldest airport in California, and has attracted a community of like-minded fans of historic aviation the way things used to be done.

Most of the movements at Flabob are light aircraft, either based or visiting to enjoy the highly recommended Flabob Cafe, which occupies one of the original airport buildings and serves fantastic food in a relaxed atmosphere.

The airport was established in 1925 by Flavio Madariaga and Bob Bogan. A combination of their names gives the airport its unusual title.


Flabob Express

Many come to Flabob to experience a flight in the resident Douglas DC-3.

Nicknamed the Flabob Express, this aircraft is a former World War II veteran of both the US Air Force and Royal Air Force. Today it is registered N103NA and flies across the country to events and airshows, and also offers scenic air experience flights.

You can find out more about how to fly on the Flabob Express DC-3 here: http://www.flabobairport.org/flabob-dc-3-experiences/


Visit to Flabob Airport, California

Another DC-3 is on display at the airport, behind the cafe, which is in a good position for photographs.

It is registered N131FS, but wears US Air Force markings to represent its proud history.



Spotting at Flabob


It’s easy to see the action at Flabob Airport.

From the main access roads, you can drive or walk along behind the row of hangars and other buildings and see any aircraft parked on the ramp. There is parking here.

On the south side of the airport, the residential Mission Rock Way runs parallel to part of the runway with great views and photography opportunities. There are also roads running past both ends of the runway for approach shots.





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Jim Carroll July 7, 2019 - 2:50 pm

My late u
Uncle, Roy Sprague, flew out of Flabob. he was a pilot and an A&P mechanic. his name is on Art Scholl’s Chipmunk at the Smithsonian.

Tom Armstrong January 24, 2021 - 7:26 am

Is anyone familiar with Grieve Air Service back in the late 50’s and early 60’s? Possibly Leon or Adrian might still be around. Also anyone familiar with Carson Shade converting a B24 to fight forest fires. I got my private pilots license there.

Jack DeLay October 25, 2021 - 1:00 am

Yes, I knew Floyd Grieve and his family. I grew up at Flabob during the 50’s and 60’s. My name is Jack DeLay and grew up on the street at the end of the runway (Carol Way). I am familiar with the first names Leon and Adrian. Hard to remember that long ago, but those names ring a bell. Tom Wathen was kind enough to publish my memories as a kid, specifically my saturday’s spent at Flabob. It has gone away now as I scoured the website to find my story. I spent many hours with Art Scholl, Ed Marquardt, Floyd Grieve and many others. I played a lot of music and recorded music with Floyd’s son Mark Douglas. My email address is jdelay007@sbcglobal and live in Sacramento now. I’d enjoy chatting a bit about Flabob and it’s cast of characters.
Jack DeLay, Flabobian

Kathy November 27, 2021 - 4:03 am

Hello Jack Delay. I tried to write you but Microsoft says it does not recognize jdelay007@sbcglobal . Please respond to my e-address KathySvenson1@hotmail.com or 970-433-5061.
Thank you. Kathy ( :

Long Beach VA Hospital and historic Queen Mary and U.S.S. Iowa to be honored in vintage plane flyover on Memorial Day – Long Beach Tribune December 13, 2021 - 9:33 pm

[…] Aviation Associates based at the historic Flabob Airport  in Riverside. Nicknamed the Flabob Express the plane is a converted Douglas […]

Matt June 20, 2022 - 5:10 am

Grieve Air Service, that brings memories of Adrian Grieve. I grew up with his son Leon who lived at the airport with his father in the 70s. We used to work on my first car a 1969 Dodge Charger at that hanger. I will never forget the time Leon’s dad Adrian took me up in a Bell helicopter one time at about 13 years old and did a autorotation maneuver. Scared the hell out of me to say the least. If anyone knows how I can contact Leon Grieve please email me. roadwarrior411@yahoo.com


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