Special Tail Numbers

I tried doing a brief search on the subject and came up empty handed so please don’t destroy me if it has already been discussed.

I have been wondering for some time now about many aircraft tail numbers that have a U.S. registration but do not have the standard “N” number. Specifically those that begin with “TN” i.e. TN320FX, TN212RG, TN333PC, etc.

What is the point of this and does it signify anything special?

The “T” is appended to the beginning of the standard N number to indicate that this particular flight is operating as an air-taxi flight. Positioning flights usually do not have the “T” prefixing them because they are not carrying passengers. This is based on my limited knowledge, so correct me if I am wrong.


You’re correct Dan. What I haven’t figured out though is what significance the designation means. I mean, who cares whether it’s an air-taxi or not?

Not sure of any significance to it but i’m glad I know what it means now. Thanks Dan.

Anyone have any insight to the tail numbers beginning in VP? It says that they are owned by “British Overseas Territories” but from what I can tell they are mainly operated in the U.S.

Like this?


Registration primarily reserved for aircraft registered in UK owned tax havens, e.g. Montserrat, Anguilla, Malta, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, etc. Used to be a commonplace registration prefix for almost all UK connected overseas island territories.

WRT to “mainly operated in the U.S.”, it only appears that way because we in the US have the best access to flight information.

Check the online photobases for VP registered aircraft seen all over the world.

One of the more well known ones:


The VP you mention is actually a nationality mark.You can find the nationality marks here

Aircrat is registered in the BVI (British Virgin Islands). It is a way of sheltering a large asset.

Not necessarily. It all depends on the next letter. Here’s a few examples:
VP-F__ is Falkland Islands
VP-C__ is Cayman Islands
VP-B__ is Bermuda

I was working in genralities but you are correct.

I’m curious what purpose the T prefix serves. We noticed it about a year ago due to the curious number of flights that appeared to have Congo-Brazzaville registrations (TN*) before we found the information about the air taxi prefix.

One thing is that they get treated differently from regular flights. In the days after 9/11 there were many general aviation flights that attached the “T” prefix to their flights so they could fly.

No they don’t get treated differently.
It has always been the case that a commercial operation without a discreet radiotelephony (callsign) identify itself with the T prefix. This was rarely if ever done pre 9-11. In the couple of days after 9-11 when only comercial operations were allowed all the people who had been doing charters but never bothered with the prefix started using it again.

That’s basically what I meant. Just didn’t say it right.