Gilchrist Aviation Law is engaged by clients to provide aviation title, registration, finance and leasing of national and international aviation companies as well as their local and special counsel. We serve as special FAA and Cape Town Convention counsel to clients and their lawyers throughout the world. 


For the past 30 years, Gilchrist Aviation Law has had an unwavering commitment to the ongoing personal and professional character development of our attorneys and staff. We firmly believe this approach to our people equips us to provide a preeminent quality of counsel and service to our clients.

About Us

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Aircraft Buying, Selling,
Leasing, and Financing

Because of the firm’s location in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Gilchrist Aviation Law is uniquely able to serve our clients, as well as other law firms, as special FAA counsel, special Cape Town Convention and International Registry (IR) counsel for all manner of aircraft transactions. Our firm assists clients and law firms around the world in structuring aviation transactions, whether they involve documents to be recorded with the FAA Aircraft Records Branch located in Oklahoma City, interests to be registered with the IR, located in Dublin, Ireland, or both.


The work of the firm includes legal counsel and written legal opinions regarding aircraft registration, title, financing, leasing, liens and escrow services. As special FAA Counsel, Gilchrist Aviation Law assists in the drafting and preparation of instruments and pre-positioning executed instruments in Oklahoma City in advance of closing and filing instruments with the FAA Registry upon closing. Gilchrist Aviation Law also serves as Special Cape Town Convention Counsel, advising of the “international interests” and other interests registrable on the IR and serving as IR registering agent for one or all of the parties to a transaction.


Gilchrist Aviation Law is best known in the aviation industry for the availability of our attorneys, the accuracy of our work product and counsel and the timeliness of our response to pressing client needs. Gilchrist Aviation Law has built a reputation on the level of service, quality and practicality of the counsel provided to our clients.

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Aviation Title Law

Gilchrist Aviation Law maintains a daily presence at the FAA Aircraft Records Branch in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for purposes of accessing, examining and monitoring the title, registration and encumbrance records for aircraft which are or have been registered in the United States. In addition, our firm maintains its status as a certified user of the International Registry (IR) for instant and comprehensive access to the international online registration records.


With an experienced staff of attorneys and legal assistants, Gilchrist Aviation Law examines the FAA and IR records and issues title opinions or memoranda advising parties of the status of title, liens and encumbrances on records. Our firm also prepares “curative” documents to correct defects in the FAA records.


On a daily basis, Gilchrist Aviation Law serves as special FAA and IR counsel in connection with closings, including escrow services for funds and documents, and establishing clients as qualified users on the IR.


Our firm maintains a close working relationship with the FAA’s Aeronautical Center Counsel to secure advisory opinions on a variety of matters, such as registration of aircraft under ownership trusts, statutory trusts and complex leasing structures.

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Business Aviation

Gilchrist Aviation Law prides itself on having counseled business aircraft owners, lessors, lessees and lenders for many years on regulatory compliance. Balanced with an understanding of business objectives and realities, our firm provides counsel on a wide spectrum of aviation matters, including the documentation of aircraft transactions, aircraft title and registration matters, fractional ownership, escrow closings, closing legal opinions and title insurance.


Gilchrist Aviation Law provides start-to-finish services for transactions involving the sale, finance or lease of aircraft. From counsel regarding the terms of a purchase and escrow deposit agreement to the expedient securing of a “fly-wire” on the day of closing, our firm is well-versed in meeting the demands of business transactions and guiding a matter through the nuances of the FAA Civil Aircraft Registry and the International Registry.

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Commercial Aircraft

Gilchrist Aviation Law represents air carriers, manufacturers, lessors and lenders worldwide in connection with commercial aircraft transactions and serving as special counsel to other law firms for filings involving the FAA Registry and/or the International Registry (IR).


Whether the matter involves a complex financing structure requiring counsel as to unconventional registration possibilities or the routine use of the FAA Registry for national registration, the experience of the attorneys and staff at Gilchrist Aviation Law provides a responsive and comprehensive level of service.


Gilchrist Aviation Law advises on structuring transactions for purposes of regulatory compliance while at the same time satisfying the business and timing objectives of the parties involved. Our firm maintains a close working relationship with the FAA’s Aeronautical Center Counsel to secure advisory opinions on a variety of matters, such as registration of aircraft under ownership trusts and complex leasing structures. Our intimate understanding of the Federal Aviation Regulations and the procedures of the FAA Registry allow us to file documents which accurately comply with the FAA’s requirements for filed instruments.


As special counsel for making filings with the FAA Registry (for U.S. transactions) and the IR (for both U.S. and International transactions), Gilchrist Aviation Law issues legal opinions that detail the rights and interests established between the transaction parties under the U.S. Transportation Code and/or the Cape Town Convention.

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Cape Town Convention and Aircraft Equipment Protocol

The Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and the Aircraft Equipment Protocol entered into effect on March 1, 2006. The Cape Town Convention established comprehensive laws for every ratifying country. As a result, the vast majority of transactions involving all aspects of buying, selling, leasing and financing aircraft and engines are subject to the Cape Town Convention. Most significantly, the Cape Town Convention established the International Registry (IR), an online registry maintained in Dublin, Ireland. In effect, the Cape Town Convention now requires parties to register their sale, leasing and financing interests in aircraft, helicopters and engines on the IR in order to make them effective against third parties.


Gilchrist Aviation Law served in an advisory counsel capacity to the United States throughout the ratification of the Cape Town Convention and currently serves on the Legal Advisory Panel to the Aircraft Working Group of the Cape Town Convention oversight authority. Our firm also serves as Special Cape Town Convention Counsel for many international aircraft transactions having no direct connection with U.S. law. Gilchrist Aviation Law provides counsel to clients and other law firms worldwide in connection with the Cape Town Convention and the IR and advises of the “international interests” and other interests registrable on the IR for any given transaction, including both U.S. and non-U.S. transactions. Our firm often serves as IR registering agent for one or all transaction parties.


Our attorneys and staff also regularly assist clients by guiding them through the IR user application process or, more commonly, making application on their behalf and serving as IR administrator on a part-time or permanent basis.

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