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FAA Missing Records For 119,000 Aircraft

From an unfazed Associated Press:

FAA loses track of 119,000 aircraft

By Chris Hawley, Associated Press
December 10, 2010

NEW YORK – The Federal Aviation Administration is missing key information on who owns one-third of the 357,000 private and commercial aircraft in the U.S. — a gap the agency fears could be exploited by terrorists and drug traffickers.

The records are in such disarray that the FAA says it is worried that criminals could buy planes without the government’s knowledge, or use the registration numbers of other aircraft to evade new computer systems designed to track suspicious flights. It has ordered all aircraft owners to re-register their planes in an effort to clean up its files.

About 119,000 of the aircraft on the U.S. registry have "questionable registration" because of missing forms, invalid addresses, unreported sales or other paperwork problems, according to the FAA. In many cases, the FAA cannot say who owns a plane or even whether it is still flying or has been junked.

Already there have been cases of drug traffickers using phony U.S. registration numbers, as well as instances of mistaken identity in which police raided the wrong plane because of faulty record-keeping.

Just wait until the same federal government is in charge of keeping track of all of your medical records.

Next year, the FAA will begin canceling the registration certificates of all 357,000 aircraft and require owners to register anew, a move that is causing grumbling among airlines, banks and leasing companies. Notices went out to the first batch of aircraft owners last month.

Confusion and havoc and time wasted – all because of a government agency’s screw up? Who ever heard of such a thing?

The FAA says security isn’t the only reason it needs an up-to-date registry. Regulators use it to contact owners about safety problems, states rely on it to charge sales tax and some airports employ it to bill for landing fees

At last we come to what is probably the real reason for all the concern. The state governments are afraid they might not be getting all the taxes they are ‘owed.’

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, December 10th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

16 Responses to “FAA Missing Records For 119,000 Aircraft”

  1. U NO HOO says:

    Now we know why no one could tell us what the plane was that left the underwater contrail.

    Art Bell and George Noory, chemtrail?

  2. MinnesotaRush says:

    “The Federal Aviation Administration is missing key information on who owns one-third of the 357,000 private and commercial aircraft in the U.S.”

    … but under the o-blah-blah administration, NOW they’ll be able to do much, much better.

    Maybe they should ask WikiLeaks .. they may have more up-to-date recordkeeping and files.

  3. Mae says:

    Each day another assault on our sensibilities. Each day another ineptitude by The One and his administration is revealed and the news media still has his back. Guess I should bookmark it and wait for the follow-up stories (cough-cough).

  4. River0 says:

    On the bright side, we can celebrate our new era of limited, inept government. They can’t do anything without screwing up. Libertarians and conservatives win by default.

  5. P. Aaron says:

    The country’s in the very best of hands.

  6. Enthalpy says:

    After 9/11 this issue should have been put to rest, but as we know, when much of the government workforce is selected by exception rather than be rule, what is to be expected?

  7. TerryAnne says:

    Isn’t it comforting to know that if the terrorists or drug lords weren’t thinking of abusing holes in our flight system…that they will be now?

    Way to go, AP!

  8. untrainable says:

    The majority of these planes are just good hard working planes who are doing flights that American planes won’t do. Why all the hate? These planes are probably just looking for a better way of life for themselves their little single engine children. Now you’re going to start asking for their papers? Where is the ACLU on this issue? (sarc off).

    Same principle… isn’t it?

  9. GetBackJack says:

    This sort of reminds me of how men get recruited into the most serious Black Ops. There’s a “training Accident” and all the paperwork trail on that guy dead ends. He’s then free to start a new life.

    Me brainpan wonders how many planes are going to be “lost” in this shuffle.

  10. Chuckk says:

    And if the government had these records what good would it do for anyone?

  11. chainsaw says:

    Another poorly written article by the our un-investigating and un-educated press. Many of the so-called “missing” planes are already razor blades or trash heaps. The FAA has known about this “problem” for years. The problem being; what happens to aircraft records when a craft is no longer airworthy and previous owners fail to report it as such. Yes, much of this concern is caused by old non-airworthy crafts, i.e. an old barnstormer sitting in an Iowa field.


  12. JohnMG says:

    I guess we need to hire more people at the FAA, Huh? And will these count as jobs “saved or created” (which, by the way, we haven’t heard for a while)? And while I’m thinking about it, does Harry Reid’s and BaBa Boxer’s jobs count too? (slap, ouch!–sorry) :-(

    [Back to the topic at hand……]

    If they can’t find them, then how do they know there are 119,000 of them? For all they (we) know, the number may well be 119,321, plus a few homemade ultra-lights and a few remote controlled toys that were never registered. We need an ‘airplane czar’ to get right on this.

  13. tscottme says:

    This is much ado about nothing. First, most of the missing data, are for the odlest and smallest aircraft. Aircraft that weigh less than your sedan. The aircraft can’t do more damage than a teenager in an SUV. The other aircraft are so active in the air traffic control system and they are used by business and generate IRS data that the Feds know plenty about them.

    Second, what possible difference would it make anyway if the FAA has the correct owner info on an aircraft, whether it be a Cessna 152 or a Canadair RegionalJet? Even if the FAA has correct data on-file they will not look at that data until after the aircraft is in some sort of incident. What possible emergency can be averted by looking into the FAA database to see that the B-767 that is not responding to ATC or the F-16s on its wing is registered to Int’l Aircraft Financing or GE Capital or Jihad Network, Inc?

    Many of the aircraft with missing data haven’t moved in years or decades and aircraft data is completely irrelevant for any safety concern I can think of. Besides, do you really think that the FAA and DHS that won’t notice a 25 year old Muslim man with a one-way ticket are going to detect some paperwork anomaly for a 1952 Piper TriPacer or that a 737 registered is at 123 Anydrive, America USA?

    This isn’t even a tempest in a tea cup, it’s a bureaucrat’s work product.

    • U NO HOO says:

      Good points.

      Is there a yearly registration fee associated with each N number as for road vehicles?

  14. U NO HOO says:

    Just an example of how tight your health records will be kept.

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