EAA Fights For Release Of Antique Specs
EAA has joined a legal battle that would allow access to drawings and technical data for a 70-year-old aircraft that, for some reason, the current holder of those documents doesn’t want to release. At issue is the Fairchild 45, a five-seat touring plane, of which only 17 were built. The Fairchild Corporation, which was formed in 1990 and claims rights to the data, has consistently refused requests by Brent Taylor, executive director of the Antique Airplane Association, for access to the documents. So far, the FAA is backing Fairchild’s request to keep the data private, even though, according to EAA, there’s some question over whether the company has the legal right to the data. The larger issue is the ability of owners of discontinued aircraft to maintain them per FAA airworthiness standards. Taylor said his fight could set a precedent. “I think it’s a far-reaching case that we would like to see resolved so people can still get the drawings they need to simply preserve aviation heritage,” Taylor told EAA. A court decision in Taylor’s case should be made by summer. In the meantime, the FAA is proposing legislation that would allow blanket access to type certificate and supplementary type certificates that have been abandoned by their original owners so that airworthiness standards can be maintained.