Well Drilling and Falcos
by Larry Weldon
Larry Weldon, the old well man checking in.
It has been quite an exciting year, drilling water wells and flying the Falco 811LW. I want to pass a little information to anyone owning property that may have good quality ground water. It could be worth quite a bit of money.
I will tell you a little story about a well I drilled this year. I was hired by a water system called Loachapoka Water near Auburn, Alabama to try to locate a water well that would pump 200 GPM continuous. I hired a geologist, a graduate from the University of Alabama who specializes in ground water.
He used satellite photos and infrared to read ground water temperature. We located a site just south of Auburn and contacted the land owner to ask if he was interested in drilling test wells and selling water, and he was. I will make a long story short. We drilled three test wells, and on the third, we drilled into a limestone fracture that produced 3000 GPM continuous.
The guy who owned the property will receive about a half million dollars per year. If you own property, it may be worth more than you know. So much for well drilling.
What I really want to tell you about is the Falco. It has been 14 months since the first flight. It took about five months to work out all the little bugs. The communication antenna in the tail did not work very well, so I made a bracket and a short antenna about two-feet long, fastened it underneath the aft gas tank pointing aft. It works very well. The S-Tec 30 autopilot was the most time-consuming, but finally works perfect.
Brett Currenton, the test pilot and flight instructor flew with me until I was comfortable with the Falco, which took about 20 hours.
I had been flying a 172 Cessna, it was quite a change.
I struggled with the landing on the first few days, but finally learned, turn final at 90 knots, pick out a place on the runway, cross the fence, about 75 knots, leave in a little power and don’t over-correct and it lands very smooth.
Sometimes it’s hard to get away from the airport. People want to look at it and talk about how it is built. One guy there who never talks very much, came over to the Falco and said, “I know you probably hear this all the time, that is one good looking airplane” and walked away without another comment.
I recently did an annual, and while the Falco had all its covers off I had a few builders to look at the construction and the plans. They all talk about how well it is built and how good it looks.
Everytime I take off, I get a rush of excitement. It is a great, fun airplane to fly.
Recently I landed at Tallassee, Alabama. I announced my arrival, “Tallassee Traffic Falco 811LW, left down wind for runway 31 Tallassee.”
I get a call back, “Falco man, I am enroute to Florida, would like to look at your Falco.”
After landing, looking it over and talking for a while, he said “I have seen a few Falcos, and they always seem to have more quality than other homebuilts.”
I said to him, “Even an old well driller can build a good looking Falco with Sequoia Aircraft and their plans.”
In Texas they hit oil, but Larry goes for water.
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