FAA Tracking Down 11,000 Noncompliant Aircraft

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The FAA says it’s tracking down the owners of up to 11,000 aircraft operating in the U.S. that may be noncompliant or have expired registrations. The focus of the operation appears to be commercial aircraft but the FAA didn’t make any distinctions in its comments on the topic. “When the FAA does not know the location of an aircraft, the owner of an aircraft, or whether the owner might be deliberately attempting to circumvent safety regulations, that’s a serious problem,” Special Counsel Henry J. Kerner said in a release.

A whistleblower came forward in September of 2017 to report that hundreds of aircraft might be operating illegally with interior doors between passengers and emergency exits, suggesting that business aircraft might be involved. The walls are allowed in privately registered aircraft but can’t be there if the planes are used in commercial operations. The agency said most inspectors weren’t aware of the rule. A task force was formed to review interior door exemptions on 1,000 aircraft and the registration records of 11,000. It expects to be finished in September.

Comments (4)

"When the FAA does not know the location of an aircraft, the owner of an aircraft... that's a serious problem"

No, it isn't. The vast majority of the time it doesn't matter at all. Indeed, I venture the FAA doesn't know the location of most of the airplanes in the country right now. It never has. Life goes on just fine.

Posted by: Thomas Boyle | June 19, 2018 6:38 AM    Report this comment

and I'd add ... how the heck do they know that there's a door between the pax and an emergency exit? Who signed off the airplane? It takes a 'whistleblower' to tell 'em that??

And MY airplanes ain't anyplace near where they're registered ... how does THAT work out for 'em?

The FAA ... making simple stuff hard since 1958 !

Posted by: Larry Stencel | June 19, 2018 11:30 AM    Report this comment

Does the DMV know the location of my automobile? Does the DMV know the location of the owner of my automobile?

If they do not know, does that mean that I am deliberately attempting to circumvent safety regulations?

Posted by: Robert Ore | June 20, 2018 9:54 AM    Report this comment

When I worked for a major manufacturer, we had experimental airplanes that we no longer needed. Some of these airplanes get donated to schools or museums, some are sold for scrap. They are NEVER to be flown again. Occasionally, one slips through the cracks.

Several years ago, a co-worker was wanting to look at an engine installation in a bird that had scrapped. Knowing that I had access to many of our old airplanes in the area, he asked if I had seen it. No, it wasn't an airplane I was familiar with. Check the FAA database; deregistered over 5 years ago, and we were the last to use that number. Check FlightAware; aircraft flew 20 days ago.

WHAT?!? A look back in time shows that the aircraft picked up flight following 3-4 times a year, always in the same neighborhood. Maybe a pilot miss-spoke the tail on the radio, maybe the controller miss-keyed it, but with this frequency, I doubt it.

I sent a letter off to the FAA and told them what I'd found, after all, if they'd assume John & Martha King were air pirates, they'd surely love this.

That was years ago, and I still get an occasional email from FlightAware telling me that plane is once again in the air.

Maybe the FAA needs to give the controllers FlightAware accounts...

Posted by: John (Dizzy) Phunt | June 26, 2018 8:01 AM    Report this comment

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