Grey Aviation Services Assists Owner/Operators with the Preservation and Organization of Warbird Documents

Check the condition and storage practices of your Warbird records and documents. Safe storage practices are essential to the survival of these documents. Here are some tips for getting started with Warbird document organization and preservation.

PR Newswire

PHOENIX, March 13, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — If you’re an owner or operator of a Warbird aircraft, you understand the importance of preserving the aircraft’s records and other documents. If the aircraft is on static display, having possession of the historical records may or may not be important to the owner or museum. If the aircraft is being maintained in airworthy condition, it’s essential to maintain accurate and complete records for the aircraft.

Check the condition and storage practices of your records and documents. Safe storage practices are critical to the future survival of these records. If you haven’t already done so, start a preservation process now to prevent further deterioration of those important items. If the maintenance records could use some organization as well, it’s a good time to look at sound options going forward to organize and preserve them.

Many Warbird aircraft in existence today have likely changed hands many times over its lifetime. This can present challenges to account for the historical maintenance records and in some cases, the operating manuals. There are those exceptions where the owner acquired the aircraft early in its life in which case, they likely do have all its original records if they’ve been meticulous enough to do so. Precious log books and other records can easily deteriorate over time. Some documents may have already faded or may be damaged beyond their usefulness. Sunlight and other unfriendly environmental conditions can wreak havoc with the paper and bindings. Oils and salt from your fingers can also cause damage. Protect your investment by caring for your documents.

Assess where the records, manuals, photos, maintenance manuals, drawings, etc. are being stored. Are they in a fireproof cabinet? Is the environment damp and conducive to mold? Is there a possibility of pesky rodents or insects visiting the files? Are they stored in plastic sheeting that is not preservation friendly? Are they stored in a high heat area without the benefit of moderate temperatures or air conditioning? If you are using original copies of the maintenance and operating manuals, over time, repeated thumbing through the pages contributes to them becoming torn, brittle and loose from its binder. Make a photo copy (paper) of the most used maintenance and operations manuals for daily use or make it available on a tablet or computer. Check how you have these items stored and make sure they have the best advantage of being preserved for years to come.

One thing you can do to preserve your documents for viewing is to digitize (scan) everything. This also helps preserve the value of the aircraft if the items become damaged through fire, flood or other disastrous circumstances. In the event of an incident or accident, the records will be readily available when needed if they have been well preserved and organized. If the pages are bound and in a book like presentation (log books and manuals), there are special copy stands that are placed on the photo copier to prevent stress on the binding. It’s tedious work but if you have a one of a kind book, it’s a good way to copy and prevent damage to the spine. Once you have everything scanned, remember to back it up on a computer cloud based product or a (new) portable digital storage device. Don’t use an old device you’ve had around for years. New technology is less prone to errors and a single device with enough storage will hold a lot of data. If using a portable device, keep it at another location, preferably in fireproof cabinet or a safe deposit box. Ask a techie friend for some help if you need it.

There are many good articles on the web about preserving papers and photographs. Local museums and archivists are also a good resource to learn about preserving these items through classes or just asking. If you want to spruce up your Warbird’s portfolio of historical items, check out some of these resources. There is excellent information on the National Archives web site

If you’re restoring or maintaining a Warbird and attempting to piece together a historical and accurate accounting of the aircraft records, a digital copy can make this process easier. Whether you’re reconciling Airworthiness Directives’ (ADs) status, searching for a history of Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs), major repairs and alterations and the like, organizing and cataloging the documents aids this tedious process and is important for the future of maintaining the aircraft.

It’s a golden opportunity when a Warbird enthusiast has the opportunity to see their favorite Warbird up close and personal. It’s a bonus to speak to the owner or operator, pilot or maintainers (mechanics) and icing on the cake when you can view historical documents and artifacts in their original form. There is a lot of work that goes into the process of maintaining an airworthy aircraft or just preserving the documents for future generations to enjoy. Sharon Grey of Grey Aviation Services LLC, works with Warbird records on a routine basis and is an advocate of organizing and preserving Warbird documents.

She said, “Organizing and performing research on old aircraft, in particular Warbirds can be a challenge. It’s interesting work as these aircraft all have an interesting history. Assisting owners and operators to be good stewards of these documents is not just a job – it’s a passion.”

If you require assistance to preserve, organize and reconcile your Warbird records and documents, Grey Aviation Services LLC can assist you. They have experience working with Warbird records and documents.


SOURCE Grey Aviation Services