Well, you would be wrong on all counts:
FAA loses track of 119,000 aircraftYeah, let's have a big "do over" and maybe, just maybe, we can get it right the next time. One really has to wonder how long this problem has existed; I'm sure it didn't happen overnight. This inability to perform the most basic of functions is incompetence on a breathtaking scale.
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.
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.
This isn't just a bureaucratic SNAFU, It's a screw-up that can get people killed.