Get Your Kicks

called the Mother Road, Route 66 has been featured in many TV shows, the
classic-American novel The Grapes of
, and was famously sung about by Bobby Troup in his song “(Get Your
Kicks on) Route 66.” With a total of 2,448 miles of history-rich pavement, Route
66 is an ideal backdrop for a desert fly-in event.

Dustin Mosher, EAA 1129391, never pictured himself as a private pilot. As a kid, he was deathly afraid of flying. It wasn’t until high school that he had his first flight experience — through Microsoft Flight Simulator. After that, he started thinking that maybe he would like to learn how to fly after all. So, he took a Young Eagles flight in a Cessna 150 in Long Beach, California. It was the first time he had ever been in an airplane, and he was hooked. From there, the ideas started spinning in his head and the possibilities were endless.

decided to go to college to get an aeronautical engineering degree and make a
career out of aviation. He is now an engineer at Virgin Galactic in Mojave, California,
but for him, flying goes beyond having a good career — it’s about enjoying the

Photo by Dustin Mosher

owns two airplanes: a Cessna 120 and a Boeing Stearman, which he bought to fly
across South America. Being a California native, he had been to Amboy,
California, many times, stopping there for food and fuel on his trips to and
from Arizona. It never occurred to him to have a fly-in event at the little-used
airfield there until one summer day when he decided to show his out-of-town
friend around.

“The idea came up like, ‘You know, what if we did a
fly-in?’” Dustin said. “I talked to the manager of the place that was there at
the time and he’s like, ‘Yeah, totally. We’d love to have an event out here.’”

may only have a total of 10 surviving buildings and population of about 20
people, but it is rich with history. The small town was once a major stop along
Route 66. In the 1950s Amboy had a nice gas station and motel for passing
travelers. In the ’60s, Amboy looked like something out of Disney’s Cars movie. By the time the ’70s came
along, the interstate had bypassed the town and it lost a lot of business, and
the town shriveled up. Fast forward 10 years and the town had been fixed up and
was looking complete again. Now visitors can stop by, pose for pictures with
some historical signs and buildings in the background, and continue on with
their travels.

got to thinking that people might be interested in flying out to a town with
such a great backstory, so he set a date for end of January and began
advertising it on Facebook. Dustin knew people would be interested, but he
didn’t anticipate just how many people would be interested.

Photo by Etienne Jurieti.

“Pretty quickly I had 30-40 people saying, ‘Heck, yeah. I’m
going to come,’” Dustin said. “And I was like, ‘Whoa!’ So I kind of stop advertising
at that point since the place isn’t huge — 30-40 airplanes is far more than it’s
ever seen at one point in time. And at that point I said, ‘All right. This is
going to happen.’”

The event took place on January 26, with a total of 35 airplanes covering the desert grounds. Dustin said that although Amboy is far from Oshkosh, the event had one important thing in common with EAA AirVenture; people sharing their love and joy of aviation with one another.

“You’re surrounded by pilots and so thus everyone’s
immediately your friend,” Dustin said. “You come away from an event like that
with even more friends and more people of common interests that you get along

The 35 airplanes that arrived encompassed
a variety of types.

“Five or six just of the Cessna
120/140 types, and then a lot of just regular GA airplanes: Bonanza, Cessna
172, 182s, homebuilts like RVs,” Dustin said. “Probably one of the more unique
airplanes we had was a Rutan Quickie Q2, which is a very rare homebuilt. It’s a
tandem wing, very fast, not something people would usually take to a dirt

Photo by Tony Wu.

Pilots from all over the U.S.,
including Arkansas, Arizona, Nevada, and Wisconsin, showed up to hangout, meet
new people, talk about aviation, and camp under the stars.

The event proved to be a huge hit with
the Amboy community, in fact, community members asked Dustin to host another
fly-in event next year.

“People were pulling off the road all day long because they’re like, ‘Oh my God. There’s airplanes everywhere!’” Dustin said. “We’d just taxi off the runway and just park them along the highway there. And it really was a big draw for the town. A lot of folks … never even realized the town had an airstrip, let alone that airplanes still showed up there.”

Dustin said that he is planning on arranging for another fly-in next year simply because he enjoys sharing his love of aviation.

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