November 16, 2002

 

Small Airplane Directorate

Michael Gallagher, Manager

901 Locust Street

Kansas City, Missouri  64106

 

RE:  Renaissance Aircraft, LLC, production of the Luscombe 8 series-

production license requirements

 

 

Dear Mr. Gallagher,

 

I was recently provided a copy of a letter from the FAA  to Renaissance Aircraft dated August 8, 2002 (Exhibit A).   The Foundation concurs completely with the FAA license interpretation and Mr. Baker’s determination that Renaissance HAS NOT been delegated any authority to seek FAA approval of type design changes.  Such changes are to be developed by Renaissance, discussed in meetings between Renaissance and the Foundation.  Any TC changes, when agreeable to all, will be transmitted to the ACO for  its review and approval pursuant to Article(s) 7 of the License agreement.  

 

Numerous efforts over the past 6 years to discuss and document these type design changes with Renaissance have been unsuccessful.  We have provided Renaissance with yet another proposal suggesting that we must develop some action plan for these discussions (Exhibit B).

 

In Mr. Baker’s FAA letter at page 2, paragraph 2,  he discusses the potential production of aircraft by Renaissance using an APIS program for final airworthiness certification pursuant to CFR 14 part 21, 21.123.  Please be advised that such a system was not contemplated nor authorized under the production license which Renaissance  obtained from the TC Holder/Foundation.

 

In negotiating this license agreement, the Foundation specifically declined the use of APIS, and we explicitly defined and required Renaissance to obtain a Production certificate for its  certification of new airplanes because we were seeking to establish the highest level of production quality requirements to be applied to the licensed new production-  that level is a Production Certificate obtained under CFR14  Part 21 Subpart “G” at 21.131.  

 

Under the terms of the License it signed, Renaissance is required to obtain an FAA Production Certificate.   APIS and other forms of production approvals are not considered equivalent to a Production Certificate, and were specifically excluded from the license text during negotiations.   A review of the license agreement itself clearly asserts this requirement for a Production Certificate at various points throughout the agreement.

 

The license at page 1, 4th paragraph, refers to the intended Production Certificate. 

The License at Page 2 at Article 1.5 defines the method of aircraft production is to be a Production Certificate.  

The License at Article 3.1 defines:  “…the right to develop and operate under ATC-694,  FAA– approved production facilities and processes, and to obtain and maintain thereby an FAA Production Certificate or its equivalent under a valid international airworthiness agreement”, and, “Such license in no way restricts DLAHF Luscombe support endeavors except in the area of new (PC)[1] production…”.  

The License at Article 4.3 refers to the issuance of,   “a current Production Certificate”.   The License at Article 5 of the license is also specific:  “…to enable RENAIRE to obtain an FAA Production Certificate under ATC 694 or its equivalent under a valid international bilateral airworthiness agreement…DLAHF shall render services in a consulting capacity as may be necessary to obtain said FAA Production Certificate or its equivalent…DLAHF does not warrant that RENAIRE shall obtain an FAA Production Certificate, or its equivalent, or any other desired result.

The License at Article 8.9 discusses those engineering costs necessary to make the data “…acceptable and adequate to the FAA for issuance of a Production Certificate,…”.

 

We believe it is abundantly clear that Renaissance is required by the terms of its production license to obtain a Production Certificate from the FAA to produce certified airplanes.    While the FAA might find lesser standards acceptable to deliver the certified product produced under ATC 694, the TC holder/manager, respectfully asserts that the FAA and Renaissance must agree to abide by the terms of the License agreement which  governs  the licensed production.  

 

The TC holder would like assurances from the FAA that the terms of the license agreement will be honored and abided in the evaluation of the Renaissance production facilities and certification of the aircraft product produced.

 

Thank you in advance for your co-operation.

 

Most Sincerely Yours,

 

 

 

P. Douglas Combs,

President, The Don Luscombe Aviation History Foundation



[1]  Production Certificate (PC)