Dan Dorr
Airline Pilot


Dan's Falco takes shape

 

I've been working sporatically on a Falco for a few years now. Both the cost of building and the time involved have caused the work to go slow, as with so many others. I currently have on hand about half of the airframe and systems components. I've read plenty about the Falco, but until a few weeks ago, I'd never seen one.

Two years ago, I visited Larry Black to take a close look at his nearly completed Falco. It was encouraging to see one so far along, and Larry had done a beautiful job of construction. After reading in the newsletter of Larry's first flight, I was anxious to see the completed airplane. I contacted him again, and he was as eager to show it off as I was to see it. One Saturday morning I drove to Frasier Lake Airpark, which is a small grass strip about half an hour south of San Jose. As I turned down the row of hangars to meet Larry, I saw the Falco parked outside. It was an awesome sight -- the kind of image that makes you realize you made the right decision when you decided to build a Falco. I walked around it several times taking a close look at every detail. I took a lot of pictures and asked a lot of questions.

After the sun had burned off the thin cloud cover, Larry said "Let's go flying." We got in and closed the canopy (the head room was a little tight for my 6'3" size, but Larry's seats are installed a little higher than standard) and taxied out to the grass strip. After the takeoff, Larry gave me the controls, and for the first time I got to sample the wonderful flying qualities of the Falco that I'd read so much about.

The handling is truly smooth and crisp. I had pretty high expectations, and I wasn't disappointed. We did some rolls and some lazy eights. I remember something I read a long time ago about the comparison of the Falco with other light, single-engine planes in the Falco brochure: "a stallion among plowhorses". That's an accurate description.

We landed at a local airport for fuel, and while we were on the ground, several people walked over to the fuel pumps to get a look at the Falco. It's amazing the way people are drawn to it. We took off and headed back to Frasier Lake, where Larry greased it onto the grass strip. I hung around for a few hours and talked Falcos with Larry, and then I drove home with a big smile on my face all the way.

Dan Dorr
September 1992

 


Here's a look inside the tail cone of Dan's Falco. That's the battery box you're looking at.

 

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