David Leslie


Falco N89WH, now N199DL

I originally purchased the plans to build my Falco in August 1989, while I was working in London, England. At that time, I owned a Piper Cherokee 140 Cruiser, which I had left in Australia, as I was originally only supposed to go to London for three months (turned into two years). I lived in an apartment at the time, hardly efficient for building an airplane. Then in May 1991, I was transferred to New York, again living in an apartment for 3 -- 4 months, then I moved to the burbs in Westchester County. I should have started building the Falco then, but alas, got tangled up in a 1948 Beech 35 which I then flew for five years. In retrospect, it wasn’t all bad, because in that time frame met my future wife Deborah, and also through the Bonanza ownership, my now best friend Greg Keshishian.

Anyway, after two years in New York, then a year and change in Hong Kong (really not the place to build a plane), we returned to Chicago, where we took up residence in Wheaton, IL, and I kept my Bonanza at Dekalb, IL. This is where I met two of my best buddies, Danny Thurnau and Alan Abell. Alan was always on my case to start on the Falco, and kept a great lookout for parts that came available from projects -- this resulted in several trips to pick up those parts -- Canada (where I bought a bunch of stuff from Jack Wiebe), southern Illinois (where I bought some parts from an unknown person).

Roll forward ... relocated to Connecticut in September 2001 and with the perfect place to build a plane then decide to build a motorcycle!!!!

After completing the motorcycle, riding round to various local shows (which mostly I would win Best of Show trophy at every show), and then getting the bike into “The Horse” magazine, it all started to get very boring.

The bike that finances the airplane

At that point, it was now time to get back into aviation -- I got my medical back in August 2010, and in the same month, started the Falco project in earnest, and really seriously. So, posted the bike online, and finally got a buyer for $32.5K, which went into the bank ... down-payment for the Falco project!

(Then, sold the Falco project to Rob Weidemeier, bought Falco N89WH built by Williard Hofler ... this narrative to be finished by David...)

David Leslie

David Leslie

David Leslie is a managing Director at GE Power in San Juan Capistrano, California. He began building a Falco in Australia but sold it to Rob Weidemier when his job took him to London, and later when he was moved back to the U.S. he bought Falco N89WH built by Williard Hofler. David is a driving force behind creating a new Falco Aircraft Association. Cell: (949) 485-1958 david.s.leslie@gmail.com

(From his LinkedIn profile: I'm the business executive for GE's aero-derivative power services unit that provides maintenance, overhaul and upgrade services to the customers of GE's installed base of aero-derivative gas turbines in the Americas, which includes Canada, USA, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America and South America. I lead a team of professionals who live and breath gas turbines 7x24x365 , and take pride in keeping our fleet operating at high reliability to provide power generation to the industry and community. I have 30+ years experience in global leadership positions, I am technical with great business savvy, a clear thinker who finds solutions and gets things done. In my spare time, I am professional pilot, I love to fly and teach people how to fly.)