One More Falco Finale

by Per V. Brüel

This article appeared in the December 2000 issue of the Falco Builders Letter.

Per Brüel

First Alfred Scott and then Stephan Wilkinson have given up flying Falco. Now it is my turn.

I was born in 1915, and my first solo flight was in an old glider in 1933. On September 1, 1999 my licence was not renewed, because my eyes did not pass the medical examination. I really felt sad. It was difficult to believe that I was not allowed to fly any more. Not even VFR in my Falco.

I had my Falco as my personal, private plane. In my company, we have always had other planes which I flew. I accumulated approx. 9,000 hours in my life as a pilot. I have flown the Falco IV, which I bought in Trento, Italy in 1968, around 1000 hours. It is such a pleasure and satisfaction to fly a Falco. I only flew it in nice weather and never outside Europe. On longer trips in bad weather I flew an Aztec, C90 or Mooney 252.

In 1991 I sold my company and started a small business making R&D in electronics. I bought a Mooney 232, also a wonderful plane. The Mooney was officially owned by my company whereas the Falco was my own. We have an awkward tax rule in Denmark. If a company owns a car or a plane which can be used privately by an employee, the employee has to pay income tax of at least 25% of the total cost of the car and plane expenses. That can be quite a lot of money. The only way to solve the problem is when you own a car or plane yourself. So here the Falco came in handy. It was much cheaper to pay all the expenses for the Falco than pay the 25% tax for a Mooney and still worse for the C90. During the time the Falco was always there, whereas the other planes only were ours for 6 to 12 years.

I loved the plane and felt a pang when I could not use it any more. Then I got-I thought-a brilliant idea. I have a friend, who is some years younger than me and who has lost his license five years ago. He had 5,500 hours, some of them as an instructor.

At the hospital they found with a new instrument that his cardiogram showed a small irregularity. He has probably been born with it. We then applied for permission to fly together. My friend has very good eyes, and I have an excellent heart. We made a serious risk probablity study. The result was that the risk was much smaller than for a person flying alone.

The risk was small because we both as single pilots easily could pass the yearly performance check without the approved instructor noticing anything. At first it looked as if it would be approved. So I did not sell the Falco hoping that I would be able to fly for some years more. But finally after five months the beaurocrats rejected our application.

So now I shall sell the Falco hopefully to a person who will like the Falco just as much as I do and will keep it the same way as I have done: always in a hangar, always clean, fly it gently aerobatic and only stall and spin far from the ground and always make long straight landing approaches.