Carla Bielli

I'm sorry to report that Carla Bielli died on Dec. 21, 2005. This is very sad news. She was a wonderful lady, very colorful and without her enthusiasm and belief that Americans can 'do anything', the world of the Sequoia Falco would not exist.

Alfred Scott

Yes, Carla Bielli died on Dec 21. As you may know she has been sick for  a couple of years and the last time I spoke to her she was going to the hospital for a chemo treatment.

I'm very sorry when Mr. Frati called me to tell the bad news yesterday. I stopped to think that we (all Falco Builders) have to thank her if today we are flying the Falco. The way Mr Frati is... well probably you would have never got the drawings... He was too busy designing new planes plus he would have never believe that individuals could build such a complicated plane.

Carla was always very gentle, and I still remember that when I decided to build the Falco, I asked for a meeting with Ing Frati. She set up the appointment right away, and Mr Frati wrote the letter to the Registro Aeronautico asking them to let me build the plane. That was 18 years ago!

Andrea Tremolada

Truly saddened to hear of Carla's death. We corresponded often, me wearing my 'Pilot' magazine and 'Jane's' hats, but met just the once, at a very wet Paris Air Show when I was due to interview Frati. He'd fled back to Milan with a cold, but Carla was a most gracious and attentive hostess in the General-Avia chalet to this muddy-shoed reporter.

Mike Jerram

This is terrible news. I had wondered about Carla's whereabouts for quite some time, but nobody seemed to know where she had gone. I guess the answer was in Andrea's "chemo treatment" comment. Sad. She was so very full of life.

Jack Amos

Stelio Frati and Carla Bielli at Oshkosh '95

No mention of the Falco is complete without including a note about Carla Bielli, Frati's long-time assistant who talked him into offering plans for the Falco.

Carla Bielli worked for Stelio Frati for about 30 years.


"When Mr. Scott first proposed to Engineer Frati that he should sell copies of the plans, Frati said no no no," Carla Bielli recalled. "I told Frati 'You don't know the Americans. They can do anything.'" Bielli, fortunately, is an Americophile. "You see in small towns when you come to America millions of people living far from cities, taking care of themselves. Nothing is impossible in the United States. People in the United States, if they have to do something, they do it. When they decided they wanted to go to the moon, they went six times. It is so simple."

Stephan Wilkinson
"Forty Years of Falcos"
August/September 1996 Air & Space



I work with Engineer Frati for 25 years, and we build in this time 10 prototypes. But honestly speaking, I never saw that somebody could build this beautiful Falco alone. We were 20 persons in the shop. Somebody ordered materials, some other did drawings, Engineer Frati did designs... I know there is something special, honestly, about you people. Now I see how to build aircraft.

Carla Bielli
Oshkosh 1995


Carla and Bob Bready arrive at Oshkosh in Bob's Falco.


Without Carla Bielli around, Mr. Frati sometimes seemed almost lost, like a little boy, and his English was noticeably better when Carla was around. Carla came to work for Mr. Frati when she was 19 and has been with him for 25 years. She is a glamorous lady with unending enthusiasm for Frati's designs, and she tell tales on him with a tinge of tragedy in her Milanese accent. Like when they were proof-loading the Falco wing during certification and how the Italian government inspector with a warped sense of humor snapped a stick of wood behind Frati. "Engineer Frati, he jumped like this." Or how when the Falco first flew, it had a reputation as a hot ship, so to prove that anyone could fly in the plane, Stelio Frati took lessons in the Falco and learned to fly in the plane he had already designed. On one of his first landings, however, he hit the runway with an 8g impact, and the student pilot Frati had to inspect the airplane before it could be flown again.

Carla loves America and all things American. She takes her vacations traveling in the U.S, and she is proud of her role in the Falco. Years ago, when I wrote Mr. Frati and suggested we sell plans for the Falco to homebuilders, Frati thought it was impossible, that only a factory could build the Falco. "When Meester Scott first proposed to Engineer Frati that he should sell copies of the plans, Frati said no no no. I told Frati, you don't know the Americans. They can do anything."

Alfred Scott
From "Stelio Frati, Out in the Open"
Falco Builder Letter, September 1995