Taylorcraft Questions and Answers

Rev. #1 April 2, 2006 by Forrest Barber

Rev. #2 February 26, 2010 by Mike Rice

Rev. #3 March 7, 2010 by Forrest Barber

Expand all FAQ's and Answers

The information collection contained in this section has been contributed through email communication between Taylorcraft enthusiasts. The information is divided into the following areas:

The timeliness and accuracy of this information has NOT been verified. Our FAQ team has updated this version with more to follow. Comments are welcome: send to Forrest Barber (fbarber .at. alliancelink.com)

Use at your own risk.

General Taylorcraft Information

What is the history of the Taylorcraft aircraft?
For the most comprehensive answer, read Chet Peek's book "The Taylorcraft Story."
Where were they built?
Prototype in Butler, then on to Alliance, Oh, Conway,Pa., Denver, Co. Back to Alliance, Oh, Lock Haven, Pa., a brief stint in N. Carolina, Georgetown, Del., LaGrange, Tx, and now Brownsville, Tx
What happened to the Taylor Cub?
Went on to become the Piper Cub.
Can one still get parts?
Some are around check with the Taylorcraft Foundation Forum or www.barberaircraft.com
Where can I find more information on the Taylorcraft model BC12-D?
The type certificate #696 has a lot. A copy of the F-19 parts and price list from the Foundation is good. A write up on the BC12-D is at AirBum.com
Where is the factory serial number located?

For the pre-war B, and some ships in 1945 the serial number is stamped on the right or left side top door hinge tab that is welded to the fuselage frame, also sometimes on the door hinge itself. Later on in 1946 it was stamped into the backside of the throttle plate assembly, quite often upside down. Sometimes it may appear on a triangular gusset under the co pilot seat.

The first BC-12D started with ser #6400. The pre-war B models started with #1000 and on up through the 3,000's. The Model D (tandems) serial number is stamped on the top of the rear throttle. You may have to pull the throttle out slightly to see the number. Yes, the military had a separate data plate with their number.

The serial number from the factory was on the top of the rear throttle, i.e. L-5071; we have the books at the Taylorcraft Foundation that matches the Civilian and Military numbers. Some early ships were Civilian only. When they came back out of the military, they had to have a civilian dataplate fabricated.

All TG-6 gliders could be converted back into powered ships.

On the L-2A, L-2B, and L-2M the data plate is mounted on the right side of the desk in the rear (according to the drawings). Ideally you should have a military (if a military ship) and civilian data plates for your DCO.

Dick Huish (warbug34 at aol.com) is our guru for L-2 information. Search the forum for more details.

What are the Taylorcraft models?

The Taylorcraft models from "The Pilot's Guide to Affordable Classics"


Total Produced


Serial Numbers - Notes

A 606 59? 25-603
BC/BL/BF 2401 542 1000-3400
DC/DL/DF 200   4000-4199 note #1
Model D L-series 2119   4200-6318 note #2
Experimental 29   6319-6347 note #3
BC-12D 4191 2025 6400-10590
BC-12D-1 22   10779-10800 note #4
BC12D-85 41 50 12000-12038
12500-12501 note #5
BC12D, 19, 15A 60   13000-13059
18 1   13099
15A, 19 10   13100-13109
15A, 19 21   14101-14121
All-metal 16? 1   15101
20 38   20-001 - 20-038 note #6
F-19 153   F001-F153 or154 note #7
F-21 22   F1001-F1022
F-21A 6   F1501-F1506
F-21B 15   F1507-F1521
F-22 1   F2201
F-22 3   2202-2204 note #8
F-22,-22A,-22B,-22C 13   2205-2217
  1. Civilian Model D and 0-57's s/n 4008 to 4011 and 4045 to 4066 also exp 4183
  2. Prefixes "0" for 0-57 and "L" for L-2 includes 251 TG-6 gliders
  3. Wartime experimental ships given ser #'s and sometimes NX numbers
  4. Built in Alliance after 47 Bankruptcy and reorganization
  5. Built in Conway, Pa., by Ben Mauro (Taylorcraft Inc.)
  6. Ranch wagon, Topper, Seabird, Zephyr 400; all Fiberglas models built in Conway, Pa.
  7. Charles & Dorothy Feris production in Alliance #13 & #113 not built
  8. The F-22 dropped the F in ser# after the move to Lock Haven, Pa. There are some duplications F-22's have the same S/n's as 1940 Model BC's in some cases.

What are the Taylorcraft Model Differences?


BC-65. The BC-65 powered by Continental 65-hp engine

BF-60. This model is powered by Franklin 60-hp engine

BL-65. The BL-65 is powered by Lycoming 65-hp engine

BC-12. The BC-12 is powered by Continental 65-hp engine 1200 lb gross wt immediately prewar. See Type Certificates 696, 699 & 700.

D. The D model is set up in tandem seating with stick controls instead of side by side and was accepted into military service as the O-57. Later the designation was changed to L-2. Several models of the L-2 were used by the military. The L-2 (with no letter designation) was the? basically the same as the civilian D model. The L-2A and B had "glass" or windows all around the cockpit including behind and had the cylinders sticking out the cowling side of the nose like the Piper J-3. The L-2M had spoiler on the wings and a completely cowled engine like the BC12D.

E. L-2C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K and L military models were all civilian B models that the military used in some capacity and were not related to the D model.

Post WWII:

BC-12D. The BC-12D model was the postwar version of the BC-12.

After the war plenty of factory parts existed for the D model (L-2) model. The model D tail was added to the B model (along with other refinements) and the post war BC12D was born. The most notable difference between the pre war B and D tail group is a two hinge rudder verses the three hinge pre war rudder as well as being slightly different in shape.

BC-12D-85. This model is a BC-12D powered by a Continental 85-hp engine.

BC-12D-4-85. The BC-12D-4-85 is a BC-12D-85 with additional rear side windows. The engine was placed 4 inches ahead to allow the starter & generator clearance.

The Model 19 (see Type Certificate #1A9) was a BC-12D-4-85 with a Continental C-85-12 engine & gross weight of 1500lbs. All models to follow are TC # 1A9.

F-19. The F-19 was a model 19 with a Continental O-200 engine. Built in Alliance by Charles & Dorothy Feris 1972 thru 1986.

F-21. The model F-21 was an F-19 with a Lycoming O-235-118-hp engine and hydraulic brakes still 1500 lb. Gross Wt.

F-21A. The A version was an F-21 with (2) 21 gal fuel tanks in the wings, the nose tank removed. still 1500 lb. Gross Wt.

F-21B. The B version was an F-21A with 42 gallons of fuel in the wings and a metal belly skin and increased gross weight to 1750 lbs. And 200 lb. Baggage allowance.

F-22. With flaps, wider doors, revised fuselage fore & aft adjustable seats and a 118-hp engine, the F-21B became F-22.

F-22A. The F-22A is tri-gear version of the F-22.

F-22B. This model is the 180-hp version of the F-22. Fuel lines are ? in.

F-22C. The F-22C is a tri-gear version of the F-22B

What are the FAA flight plan form airplane type designations for Taylorcraft models?

FAA Designator Model
TAYA Model: A
TAYB Models: BC, BC12-D,BF,BL,Ace,Sportsman,Traveller
TAYD Models: DC, DCO, DF, DL (O-57, L-2)
TA15 Models: 15 Tourist, Foursome
TA20 Models: 20 Ranch wagon, Topper, Seabird, Zephyr 400
TF19 Models: 19, F-19 Sportsman
TF21 Model: F-21
TF22 F-22 Classic, Tri-Classic, Ranger, Trooper, Tracker

Where can one find owner manuals for the Taylorcraft models?

I have the original copies of the Instructional Manual for B & B12 models (about 40 pages) and an original illustrated parts and price list (about 22 pages), both from the Taylorcraft Aviation Corp. If you are interested I could copy these and send them to you for copy and postage charges.
Carl E. Carson (oldtcraft@yahoo.com)

Univair and Wag-Aero have the complete manuals too!

Also try: ESSCO manuals

What airfoil did Taylorcraft use that has less drag than the Piper Cub?

The Taylorcraft uses the NACA 23012 airfoil, it is a semi-symmetrical airfoil. The Taylor Cub wing had a flat bottom surface, which continued to be used by Piper for the J-3.

The University of Michigan Engineering Library has an extensive collection of NACA and NASA information on airfoils, and stall/spin research on microfilm. An example of this information is that a particular J3 that had its motor mount angled downward a few degrees to change the thrust line and it's elevator up travel limited. You could still do a 3-point landing, but stalls were no longer possible. No matter what the test pilot did, he could not force that particular J3 into a spin nor could he even get it to stall. No stall - no spin.

Taylorcraft History

What paint was originally used at the factory?

From the pre-WWII Taylorcraft archives: "Speed-O-Laq" aircraft finishes out of St Paul Minn. Were used. These were all nitrate based and the 9340 "Taylorcraft Red" was the same as the Aeronca Red or Stearman Vermillion. The shade is between International Orange and Tennessee Red, being a lot closer to Inter Orange. This paint was used on all the Model As and probably some B models.

"Taylorcraft Poly" is blue and there were two shades of "Olive drab" listed. There was also "Super Flite" paint by Cooper Industries, Inc. These to my knowledge are the Randolph color chips of yesteryear. We find the true Diana Cream, Fairchild Blue which is also Taylorcraft Blue and Piper Blue, The Taylorcraft Red shows up there too. It matches the Speed-O-Laq chip. More will be done on this section ASAP.

What was the Taylorbird?

The Taylorbird was the last design of C.G. Taylor. Kits were available from Robert Taylor of Taylor Aero Engineering. This design had no compound curves that the builder had to form. The design used a Subaru engine, was two place tandem, and claimed to cruise at 120 mph.

This plane was featured at the annual EAA fly-ins at Oshkosh back in the 1970's. Forrest Barber, the Executive Director of the Taylorcraft Foundation here in Alliance, Ohio used to own one.

What is the British Taylorcraft connection?

The first Taylorcraft model A was built, designed and flown here in the States in 1936. A total of 356 planes were built here in 1937. The British connection started back when the Leicestershire Flying Club which operated from Rearsby Aerodrome imported a 40 HP Taylorcraft Model A. They also had three earlier 40HP Taylor "Cubs". Arthur Taylor, father of C.G. Taylor was born in England in 1870 in Nottingham then moved to Sheffield then to Canada in 1883 then on to Rochester, NY. This is documented by Chet Peek in the "The Taylorcraft Story".

The following information was recently communicated to us by John Gates from the other side of the great pond. Note that Forrest Barber, Executive Director of the Taylorcraft Foundation responded back to John Gates & checked with the Taylor family here and determined that this is a great family tale sent to us from England; however it could not be authenticated for many reasons. It is being presented here for comments to the Foundation through Forrest Barber.

History has it that Charles Gilbert Taylor and his brother Gordon designed and built aircraft in the USA in the late 1920's. After Gordon's death in a flying accident, C.G.Taylor formed a company with William Piper. The relationship was not a happy one and eventually William Piper took over control of the company with C.G.T as chairman. In 1936 the partnership became intolerable and C.G.T left the company.

The company became renamed as the Piper Aircraft Company. C.G.Taylor formed a new company and designed the aircraft known as the Taylorcraft model (A) manufactured by the Taylor-Young Airplane Co. Ohio. One such aircraft was bought to England where it was spotted by Lance Wilkes of the Leicestershire Flying Club. He acquired a license and in 1939 commenced building the aircraft at Thurmaston near Leicester.

The British army purchased a number of the aircraft and the company went on to become the Auster Aircraft Company in 1945. This company eventually ceased trading in 1969. My wife is the granddaughter of a Peter Richard Taylor, also sometime known as Peter Harold Taylor according to his army discharge papers. P.R.T was killed on the 7th January 1937 while testing a plane he had designed and built, and we have a number of newspaper cuttings announcing his death together with photographs of the aircraft. The cuttings refer to the aircraft having been built by "Taylorcraft, the company which he owned in Leicester", yet this was probably before C.G.Taylor could have designed the aircraft, and a full two years before Lance Wilkes commenced building the aircraft in the UK. We have photographs of P.R.T with his aircraft in various stages of design and build, and standing beside a finished unit which looks remarkably like the model "A".

Family folklore has it that the model "A" was originally designed and built in Leicester by P.R.T, and not by C.G.Taylor in the states. Some say that the designs were sold to C.G.T; others say that he stole the design after the fatal crash of P.R.T. who could not defend his copyright. I have tried to fathom the true story by writing to a number of sources including Taylorcraft in the USA but have not received any satisfying replies.

Perhaps you can shed some light on this curious matter or suggest any organization, which could help. It would be nice to lay the ghost of P.R.T and his Taylorcraft model "A" before the remaining ageing relatives with fading memories depart this world.

-John Gates

Note: Interesting bit of folklore but there is complete documentation here in the U.S. that C.G. Taylor and others designed and built the first Taylorcraft Model A at Butler , Pa. in 1935-36. Chet Peeks Book the Taylorcraft Story has many sources.

What is a McDowell engine starter?

There is no electrical system or starter on the C65 and earlier engines. The McDowell starter was a handle on the left side along the boot cowl with a cable. That pulled a ratchet that engaged a gear behind the prop. It would only pull the engine over top dead center, hence you needed to properly prime the engine and set the prop before climbing into cockpit. This system required at least one impulse magneto.

Taylorcraft Rebuilding

What are the wood spar dimensions for the BC12D model?

The front spruce spar measures 3/4 inch thick (+1/32, -0 inch tolerance) by 5-11/16 inches tall

The rear spruce spar is 5/8 inch thick and 4-3/8 inches tall.

For wood specifications grain, knots and moisture content refer to Advisory Circular AC43.13-2B on the FAA.gov website.

Where can I obtain information and materials for fabric covering?

Aircraft Technical Support, Inc.

Jim & Dondi Miller; Poly-Fiber & Ceconite Distributors.

(Toll Free) (877) 877-3334; www.aircrafttechsupport.com

Experience rebuilding engine cylinder heads?

Gibson Aviation at 1.800.992.4880 gibsonavaition@msn.com.

Can the 85HP Continental (C-85-12-F) be used in my BC12-D Taylorcraft?

The C-85 is approved for use provided all changes are made to upgrade to the BC12D-4-85.

Other engines such as the 0-200 will need field approvals.

What is the Harer STC for Taylorcraft?

Jack Gilberti was Chief Engineer at Taylorcraft, Conway, Pa and developed the "Gilberti STC". It was purchased by Robert Harer and became the "Harer STC". Robert Harer died in 2009 and the STC is owned by the estate of Robert Harer. As of February 2010, the STC is in limbo with the estate not responding to purchase requests.

This STC can be used to properly convert a T-craft into a BC12D-85, a BC12D-4-85 or a configuration "equivalent" to a Model 19 (Type Certificate 1A9).

The STC was approved by Harer for individual airplanes only. The STC states the Model number, Serial number and the year built. After rebuilding, the STC must stay with the airplane and airplane documentation. This allows an increase in gross weight to 1500lbs.

It also allows the addition of an electrical system with starter, generator, battery, and if desired a Transponder and Mode C. This STC allows for a larger baggage compartment, rear windows, and an additional fuel vent system that ties the two wing tanks and the main tank together with the vent being placed in the wing fairing.

The Foundation has a complete copy set here in Alliance. Basicallly it takes a BC12D and makes it in to a BC12D-85 or BC12D-4-85 (TC 696) OR the "Equivalent" of a Model 19 (TC1A9)

Are the L-2 and BC12D tail brace wires different lengths?

No, the L-2 or D model wires are the same as the BC12D wires (hence the D in BC12D).

New wires can be purchased at times from Univair (888) 433-5433.

Where can one buy the long castle nuts for the Taylorcraft wheels?

These castle nuts that accommodate the AN4 bolt that holds the hubcaps on can be purchased from Skybound located in Georgia. Phone # 770-446-6797. They also carry some Shinn brake parts.

Reprints of the F-19 & F-21 Parts Catalogue:

The part numbers and pictures in this publication are very valuable for rebuild reference. These first generation copy are available from Barber Aircraft Inc. 13820 Union Ave NE, Alliance, Oh 44601 330 823-1168 $14.50 includes two day S&H check, Visa or MC

The Taylorcraft Story by Chet Peek

This publication is available from Barber Aircraft Inc. 13820 Union Ave NE, Alliance, Oh 44601 $31.50 includes two day S&H check, Visa or MC

What rib stitching was used on the original Taylorcraft wing?

If you follow the FCC AC 41.13 guidelines, rather than the Taylorcraft factory methods, you will have a LOT of rib stitching to do. As determined from control surfaces with original factory fabric on them, the factory only used one stitch per rib on the ailerons with a diamond patch over it.

The vertical stabilizer has only two stitches in the top rib only, also with the diamond patch. Many people mistakenly stitch the lower rib and it really puckers the fabric and isn't necessary at all. I know some of the earlier Taylorcrafts were stitched on the second rib, but not the 46's.

The rudder, elevator, and horizontal stabs had up to three stitches on the longer ribs, two on the medium length ribs and only one on the shorter ribs. These stitches were covered with 1" straight cut tape (not pinked). I was surprised by this but that is what one of the original elevators had on it from the factory. If you meet the standards of the factory the FAA will be satisfied.

Also, I found the factory used a small (1") patch where the drain grommets go and all they did was burn a small hole in them. No plastic grommets on the originals.

What is involved to use shielded sparkplugs and wires?

The BC12-D uses unshielded plugs and wires. To improve radio reception it is desirable to replace these with shielded wires and plugs. Modern shielded plugs and wires are significantly taller than the original, and for the top plugs require a bump outs rework to the original engine cowling. One idea is to use shielded plugs and wires only on the bottom set, and switch the magneto to this set during radio conversations. Another suggested alternative is to use Ercoupe Cups available from Fresno Airparts (559-237-4863). You have to turn the threads down to fit the standard shielded plug harness end.

Taylorcraft Maintenance

What is the timing specification for the A65 engine?

The manual says to time Bendix magnetos at 30 degrees btdc for an A65. However, some old-timers use the 28 degrees on the left (no impulse) magneto.

What is the proper torque specification for a wooden propeller?

For WOOD props check the Sensenich website go to installation, operation etc. Also get a copy of Service Bulletin # WSB-1 dated 7-13-99 on loss of prop torque.

When is it time to replace the landing gear shock cords

Rock the airplane from the wing tip and watch the gear. If there is much movement (I prefer none, my opinion only) it may be time for shock cords. When I replace my shock cords I pick the best of the old cords and add one to each side over the new cords. It is stiff but does handle good. An alternate solution I think I heard about (Forrest?) is to use one F19 cord and one BC12D cord on each side. An old IA years ago told me to use wax paper under the cords to let them move better on the mounts. It has been suggested that bees wax works as well.

Comment from Forrest: the early B models use the 9090 cord. Later BC12D, 19 & the F-19 uses 9010, 9010HD, 9010HDX. Beyond that we used the 1110 cord for the 1750 Gross airplanes. I have used one 1110 combined with one 9010 HD on the BC12D, 19, & F-19 for a stiffer system and it seems to work real well.

How do you remove wheel-bearing races?

I am replacing the wheel bearings on my BC12-D (Shinn wheels). I am having problems removing the inboard race. The race does not protrude inside the axel hole enough to punch it through from the out board side.

Take a common slot screwdriver and heat it at the tip end, put it in a vise and bend about 1/4" from the tip, let cool at room temp till you can touch it. Now put the flat tip between the race and the wheel, tap it and when it gives a little, go 180 degrees and repeat, then turn 90 degrees and do the same thing.

When you get a bit of a space in between the wheel and the race, turn it down on the workbench, put the screwdriver in the space and tap down on the handle, moving back and forth 180 degrees and then 90 degrees. This will work; I have one made and keep it in my toolbox for just this sort of situation.

A more drastic solution: If you are talking about the Timken cup and you are not trying to reuse it there is a way. It will destroy the cup but this works on Timken cups or on outer ball bearing races that are inside a housing. If you are proficient with an arc welder (if not hire someone you trust) weld a bead about 1/3 the way around the cup. Let it cool and it will fall out. This procedure shrinks the cup or race as the weld bead cools.

Can anyone give me an idea on how to adjust these Shinn brakes?

My mechanic told me to tighten up the two nuts on the back of the wheel. I know there is also a possibility that the brake cables may need tightening.

FIRST adjust the adjusters so there is no excessive movement & NO drag. Tighten up the upper and lower adjuster bolts a bit. It can make an amazing difference. But be careful that you don't get them so tight that they drag. It's best to jack the plane up so you can spin the wheel and feel for drag as you adjust the brake.

How much to tighten the upper vs. the lower? I put a couple of turns on each one, spin the wheel, then put another turn on each, recheck for drag, etc. These adjusters will sometimes stick and by jiggling it, the "V" adjuster will return to a true position relative to the brake shoes. Pretty soon you will find that the top or bottom will begin to cause wheel drag. Back that one off a turn and continue to tighten the other until you get drag. Then back both bolts one to two turns. My experience has been to start with the linings slightly loose and adjust them tighter as they seat over a period of 2 or 3 weeks to get it perfect.

When everything is right, you should be able to just about run the engine at full throttle before the brakes begin to creep. If they run way out then you need linings. THEN pull the cables up so there is no play, there are "bugs" just aft of the pedals to do this part. Check the pulleys and lube the system so the pulleys roll freely. If you ever replace the brake cables do it with 1/8" diameter cable if it has not been done already.

If you still have problems, consider replacing the linings. The grease seal for the wheel bearing is pretty poor, and you will eventually get grease on the old linings. I find that I seldom wear the linings out; I just change them when they begin to get impregnated with grease.

What should the propeller pitch be for the BC12-D?
My logs indicate that in 1973 at Flightcraft, Inc of Portland, OR the prop was re-pitched to 45". I believe the 45" pitch would be considered a normal prop for the BC12-D. A 43" pitch for better climb performance, and a 47" pitch for cruise. Your prop may have been re-pitched from one of these other numbers. My personal belief is that a "cruise" prop really gives a false perception of increased performance. You lose a significant amount of take off and climb performance to pick up a small amount of cruise speed but in reality you are running your engine at a much higher manifold pressure to get the same RPM, thereby getting the extra speed. I am running a 74" x 43" metal McCauley prop on my A-65 and it performs at 90mph at 2100rpm. I get pretty good take off and climb performance and if I want to run the engine a little harder I get about 10mph indicated increase for each additional 100rpm. -- Jim Zangger.

Note from Forrest: I use the 72-42 Wood and the 74-45 Metal on mine. I cruise at 2200 rpm and get 97-98 mph on a BC12D, A-65 N43533

What is the least expensive way to add a transponder to my L-2?

Well, after trying to avoid the almost inevitable, I am coming to the realization that I will have to fit a transponder to my L-2 if I want to have any reasonable area to fly within. I have a wind generator that I have not installed, as I am told that it would slow the airplane significantly. I will certainly need a battery. I don't like the idea of having acid that can leak or spill in my aircraft. Gel cell would be an option, but I hear they are expensive.

Your question about airspeed with a wind generator, I fly a 1940 B-65 with a wind generator and normal flight airspeed indicates between 90 & 95. Of course, there are variable, but it performs, no different, than the BC-12D that I had before this one. zookie, Theodosia, MO #N26658

I have run across several people who install a small gel cell battery and charge it with a solar panel on top of the instrument panel. In Florida I would think you would have enough sunshine to take full advantage of the solar panels. It saves a lot of weight. A local flight school flies two Piper Cubs with electric starters and radios, but no generators. They take the battery out every evening and charge them on a regular battery charger overnight.

What are the proper FAA processes for modifying a Taylorcraft? Rev. 4-2-06 by Forrest Barber

Private pilot aircraft owners are permitted to perform preventative maintenance on their certified aircraft. These permitted tasks such as changing oil, or spark plugs are outlined in FAA 43.xx. Adding or removing equipment is not part of this rule, and must be signed off by an A&P or I.A.

An A&P will not arbitrarily modify a certified aircraft without following some precedent. These rules are in place to maximize safety and minimize litigation exposure. To keep your production aircrafts value, the most important thing is to document everything properly. Keeping a certified aircraft records properly signed off also protects the aircraft owner from legal action even after the aircraft has been sold.

Major modifications to a certified airplane require FAA form 337 to be completed. This form is simply a description of the work filed by the A&P that is kept with the aircraft registration files with the FAA. An example might be the recovering of the aircraft. Aircraft owners normally keep excellent maintenance records and pass these on to the new owner, however, in cases where the owner records are lost, the 337s for that aircraft are on file with the FAA in Oklahoma.

An FAA Field Approval is where the A&P puts his career on the line, stating that a modification does not compromise safety. Needless to say, these types of approvals will be very conservative. When an A&P fixes something he is responsible for everything that was done to it up to that time. Don't think you are smart if you have modified something and it gets by the IA on the annual inspection. It will be discovered when you crash and the IA may be held responsible.

When it is desirable to modify a certified aircraft from the original Type Certificate the STC process may be used. This process involves expensive testing and paperwork. An example is an STC to use auto gas in an engine that was originally approved for aviation fuel. A company or organization that works to obtain an STC will generally charge an individual for the right to apply this STC to their airplane. Another example of an STC is the modification necessary to upgrade an early model aircraft to the equivalent of a later model.

Can anyone fabricate aircraft parts for the Taylorcraft?

This is the best description I have ever seen! Edited by Forrest Barber. Many Thanks to Bill Weiser

Certified aircraft requires FAA approved aircraft parts. According to the FAA there are 11 ways that approved parts can be produced. (from FAA Aviation News July/Aug 2001):

  1. Produced in accordance with a Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA)
  2. Produced in accordance with a Technical Standard Order Authorization (TSOA)
  3. Produced during the Type Certificate (TC) or Supplemental Type Certificate (STC)
  4. Produced under a TC and an Approved Production Inspection Systems (APIS)
  5. Produced under a Production Certificate (PC).
  6. Produced in a foreign country and accepted by the FAA in accordance with a bilateral agreement.
  7. Approved in any other manner by the FAA.
  8. Standard parts that conform to established industry or US specifications
  9. Owner/operator produced parts (section 21.303(b)(2) and section 65.81)
  10. Parts manufactured by a repair station or other authorized person during alteration in accordance with an STC or Field Approval.
  11. Fabricated by a qualified person in the course of repair for the purpose of returning a TC product to service.

Given these regulations, the Taylorcraft owner can fabricate parts to maintain their own aircraft, but are not permitted to manufacture these parts for sale to others.

Does the owner have to manufacture the part themselves to meet the intent of the rule?

No, however, the owner must considered the producer of the part by participating in controlling the design, manufacture or quality of the part such as:

  1. Provide the manufacturer with the design or performance data from which to make the part, or
  2. Provide the manufacturer with the materials to make the part, or
  3. Provide the manufacturer with the fabrication processes or assembly methods to make the part, or
  4. Provide the quality control procedures to make the part, or
  5. Personally supervise the manufacturing of the part.

Can the owner contract out for the manufacture of the part and still have the part that is considered owner-produced?

Yes, as long as the owner participated in one of the five functions above. The manufacturer does not have to be certified.

If an A&P mechanic manufactures the parts for an owner, is he/she considered in violation of section 21.303(b)(2)?

The answer would be no, if it was found that the owner participated in controlling the design, manufacturer, or quality of the part. The mechanic would be considered the producer and would not be in violation of section 21.303(a).

What should your A&P do to avoid the appearance of violating section 21.303(b)(2)?

They must ensure that the owner-produced part meets form, fit and function and, within reasonable limits, ensure that the part does meet its approved type design (e.g. like looking at the approved data used to make the part). The A&P should NOT make a logbook or maintenance entry that he or she made a part under their certificate number. However, the mechanic can say on the work order that they helped manufacture an owner-produced part under section 21.303(b)(2).

Second, the owner or operator should make a logbook entry that is similar to section 3.9 maintenance entry that states: The part is identified as an owner produced part under section 21.303(b)(2). The part was manufactured in accordance with approved data. The owner/operators participation in the manufacturer of the part is identified, such as quality control. The owner must declare that the part is airworthy and sign and date the entry. The mechanic then installs the part on the aircraft, makes

How does the owner or operator get the approved data to make a part if the manufacturer or other sources are no longer in business?

For that aircraft that the manufacturer is no longer supporting the continuing airworthiness of, the owner or operator can petition the FAA Aircraft Certification Directorate under the Freedom of Information Act for the data on how the part was made. Or the owner or operator can reverse engineer the part and have the data approved under a FAA field approval or, if it is a really complicated part, have the data approved by a FAA engineer or FAA Designated Engineering Representative.

What happens to the owner-produced part on the aircraft if the original owner sells the aircraft?

Unless the part is no longer air-worthy, the original owner produced part stays on the aircraft.