Ever wondered where the old planes end up after they have finished their life with the airlines.
Head to the Mojave Desert in southern California to find out about it.
Airport: KMHV Route: KPAO-KMHV Aircraft: N3576J - PA28-181 Transportation: Uber
The Mojave Air and Space Port is not only that though. It’s the first civilian space port and a lot of futuristic and innovative companies are based on the field and run their experiments from there.
The restaurant, “Voyager“, features for example a fully aviation inspired menu and offers pretty cool views of the flightline.
The best way to get there from the Bay Area is to head to Bakersfield and then cross the sierras over Tehachapi (KTSP) following the freeway over relatively low terrain.
Once past Tehachapi you can start a slow descent into the valley over the huge wind farm.
You will then start seeing the huge runways from a distance and you will start to realize that the shapes you see are actually remains of old planes.
Overfly the field for a very good view of the various wings and tails before the final descent for landing.
Winds are generally very strong and sometimes gusting but the very big runways (and the choice of three) offer a pretty safe margin.
Once you land make sure you taxi to the transient parking which is adjacent to the Admin building close to the tower.
Park anywhere else and you may end up on the news.
Inside the main building you will find a very nice pilot lounge and memorabilia of all the adventures and aviation related events that have happened at Mojave.
If you are lucky and meet the right employee at the field you might get a tour of the boneyard itself.
Every 3rd Saturday they organize “Plane Crazy Saturdays” which allow you to experience Mojave Airport at its fullest. Get there, have brunch, play with planes and if you have some time left head to town.
Besides being a cool place for a pilot to visit, Mojave will always have a special place in my heart as it was the last flying adventure I did with my friend Melissa who has since flown west.