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Contract Term Requiring Delivery of Aircraft in Airworthy Condition Prevails Despite “As Is” Language in Sale Agreement

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas recently decided a case involving an aircraft sales agreement with seemingly conflicting provisions. While calling for the seller to deliver its aircraft “in an airworthy condition and [with] a current Certificate of Airworthiness” the agreement also provided that the buyer agreed to accept the aircraft “in an ‘as is where is’ condition.” On these facts, the court in Luig v. North Bay Enterprises, Inc. ruled that the “as is” clause served only to waive implied warranties on the aircraft, and that the promise to deliver the aircraft in an airworthy condition created an express warranty that was not subject to this disclaimer. Because the aircraft in question was delivered with an airworthiness certificate that was not the correct type designation due to prior engine modifications, and because the aircraft log book did not clearly indicate compliance with one of the Airworthiness Directives applicable to the aircraft, the Court found that the aircraft was not delivered in an airworthy condition, in breach of the seller’s express warranty.