Mismatch between flightaware and FAA registry


So it was brought to my attention this mismatch between flightaware registry and FAA’s, see for yourself


In particular flightaware lists the N number as registered and gives some info, whereas FAA lists it as deregistered and lists the last registration to a gentleman that does not appear listed on flightaware registry.

This created some suspicion in some people. My question is what exactly could cause such a mismatch - did FAA delete the registry or is it something else?


Appears to be an error or unexpected behavior in the FAA’s online inquiry tool, or their process for updating the deregistered aircraft. The owners you see on our site reflect what the FAA had in the downloadable version of the registry in the past. N5343M was removed from the downloadable MASTER file sometime around 2013-2014, but the DEREG file was not updated.

From late 2006 files -

MASTER: 5343M,1402 ,2130000,17025,2004,1,PADDOCK STEPHEN C ,3031 FRIENDSHIP HILL CIR , ,HENDERSON ,NV,89052-8535,4,003,US,20040304,20040304,1N ,4,1,V,51541026, ,20040203,

DEREG: 5343M,15284547 ,2071835,A,PHILLIPS WESLEY D ,QUARTERS SL BOX 357027 , ,SAN DIEGO ,CA,92135 , , , , ,073,US, ,20010906,51541026,1, ,20010717,19980707, , , , , , , ,




Yeah, that’ll be the first deregistration that shows up in DEREG. The tail number was later reused and (as far as I can tell) deregistered a second time around 2013-2014, but the second deregistration didn’t make it into DEREG.