FAA Loses Ownership Records on 357,000 Aircraft

The FAA is concerned about the 357,000 records of aircraft ownership missing from their system. Is there any entity more inept than our federal government?

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…

But even if the records were up-to-date, there’s this from Steven Lathrop, who owns a Piper Cheyenne II XL:

“Anybody with a roll of duct tape can put any number they want on an airplane…”

We have possibly hostile aircraft in our skies, and procedures are so lax that anyone can change a tail number with a roll of duct tape. Can anyone name one federal department worth their bloated salaries?

  • Wow.

    I used to think that stories of invasion of the United States were far fetched. But we seem to be moving closer and closer to that possibility.

    Love the last sentence of this post, Maggie!