Track 115 Aircrafts the FBI uses for Surveillance

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UPDATE (June 3rd): We updated our list to 115 suspected planes.  You can see our methodology here and download the code/data used to generate the list on Github.

An investigation published by the Associated Press today revealed that the FBI “is operating a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the country carrying video and, at times, cellphone surveillance technology.” Interestingly, to comply with Federal Aviation Administration regulations, the FBI registered these aircraft under “at least 13 fake companies, such as FVX Research, KQM Aviation, NBR Aviation and PXW Services.”

We were curious as to whether we could identify the exact planes the FBI was using for surveillance, so we dug into the FAA’s dataset of registered aircraft in Enigma. Following the AP’s report that most of these fake companies were registered to post office boxes in Bristow, Virginia, we filtered the dataset to just these records. We then filtered out the list of 17 unique companies associated with these addresses ( four more than reported by the AP) as well those at an office park in Greenville, DE.  In a fashion typical of other Government spying programs, the names of these companies almost all contain cryptic acronyms:

  • OBR LEASING
  • KQM AVIATION
  • OTV LEASING
  • NBY PRODUCTIONS
  • PXW SERVICES
  • PSL SURVEYS
  • NG RESEARCH
  • FVX RESEARCH
  • RKT PRODUCTIONS
  • LCB LEASING
  • NBR AVIATION
  • KLJ AVIATION
  • OTV LEASING
  • YAMASEC USA LLC
  • PSL SURVEYS
  • AV FLIGHT INC
  • NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP

 

This returned a list of 84 aircraft which you can view in Enigma. By reconciling these flights with FlightRadar24, we were able to view their recent flight paths. Almost all seem to exhibit a similar pattern in which they repeatedly circle over a particular area of interest:

Screenshot 2015-06-02 17.10.19
A flight over Boston, MA on May 30th.
Screenshot 2015-06-02 18.19.18
A flight over Queens, NY on May 29th.
Screenshot 2015-06-02 17.16.41
A flight over Washington, DC on May 27th.
Screenshot 2015-06-02 17.19.19
A flight over Houston, TX on June 1st.

 

Most of the aircraft seem to have been registered in 2010-2011:

 

cert-date

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the list of all the aircraft with links to their Flight Radar page:

 

Company Name Street City State ICAO Flight Radar
AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATES INC 10678 AVIATION LN MANASSAS VA A006AF N100WG
OTV LEASING PO BOX 636 BRISTOW VA A00C4B N102BR
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PO BOX 807 BRISTOW VA A04ECF N119NA
YAMASEC USA LLC 4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134-502 GREENVILLE DE A09CC1 N139BH
OBR LEASING PO BOX 725 BRISTOW VA A0AB21 N142LJ
NBY PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 502 BRISTOW VA A0AE77 N143GM
PXW SERVICES PO BOX 802 BRISTOW VA A0AE7C N143GS
OTV LEASING 4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134 GREENVILLE DE A10FBB N168DK
OBR LEASING PO BOX 725 BRISTOW VA A1100A N168GP
PXW SERVICES PO BOX 802 BRISTOW VA A1488A N182EM
WORLDWIDE AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP PO BOX 807 BRISTOW VA A1B021 N208EB
AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATES INC 10678 AVIATION LN MANASSAS VA A1CD07 N215KS
KQM AVIATION PO BOX 721 BRISTOW VA A1EC96 N223EM
AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATES INC PO BOX 2190 MANASSAS VA A1ECF1 N223JC
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134 GREENVILLE DE A2104E N232DW
WORLDWIDE AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 110 W 9TH ST WILMINGTON DE A21FBC N236KS
WORLDWIDE AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 110 W 9TH ST WILMINGTON DE A22AEF N239LF
AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATES INC 10678 AVIATION LN MANASSAS VA A23DC9 N2432G
WORLDWIDE AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP PO BOX 807 BRISTOW VA A2440B N245RB
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605 GREENVILLE DE A24DEF N248CF
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605 GREENVILLE DE A251BB N249DB
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605 GREENVILLE DE A25CD5 N251SR
PXW SERVICES PO BOX 802 BRISTOW VA A29A7D N267RH
LCB LEASING PO BOX 726 BRISTOW VA A2B573 N274BB
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605 GREENVILLE DE A2EC92 N288JY
NG RESEARCH PO BOX 655 BRISTOW VA A2F6FD N290RM
WORLDWIDE AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 110 W 9TH ST WILMINGTON DE A32309 N301A
KQM AVIATION PO BOX 721 BRISTOW VA A327E1 N302MP
NBR AVIATION PO BOX 752 BRISTOW VA A34C1A N311SB
AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATES INC 10678 AVIATION LN MANASSAS VA A35AEB N315RR
OBR LEASING PO BOX 725 BRISTOW VA A36622 N318SJ
FVX RESEARCH PO BOX 554 BRISTOW VA A36932 N319KS
RKT PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 926 BRISTOW VA A37A7D N323LP
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134 PMB 605 GREENVILLE DE A37D92 N324EB
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134 PBM 605 GREENVILLE DE A37EC5 N324SJ
PSL SURVEYS 4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134 GREENVILLE DE A385F0 N326PS
LCB LEASING PO BOX 726 BRISTOW VA A41050 N361DB
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605 GREENVILLE DE A4349B N370JH
AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATES INC 10678 AVIATION LN MANASSAS VA A43218 N37GR
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605 GREENVILLE DE A46F56 N385RB
OBR LEASING PO BOX 725 BRISTOW VA A4BC6E N404KR
AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATES INC PO BOX 2190 MANASSAS VA A4C859 N407TP
AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATES INC 10678 AVIATION LN MANASSAS VA A4CBEB N408SB
KQM AVIATION PO BOX 721 BRISTOW VA A4D817 N411CP
AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATES INC 10678 AVIATION LN MANASSAS VA A4E6C5 N415AT
NBY PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 656 BRISTOW VA A51A7C N428MT
RKT PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 615 BRISTOW VA A59D5B N461AJ
PSL SURVEYS PO BOX 756 BRISTOW VA A5B556 N467TS
OBR LEASING PO BOX 725 BRISTOW VA A622CD N495BJ
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING 4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605 GREENVILLE DE A624B4 N495WW
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORPORATION 4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605 GREENVILLE DE A6286B N496WW
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605 GREENVILLE DE A66261 N510KS
OTV LEASING PO BOX 636 BRISTOW VA A67138 N514KM
NBR AVIATION PO BOX 752 BRISTOW VA A6718E N514NY
AEROGRAPHICS INC 10678 AVIATION LN MANASSAS VA A674DF N515JW
PXW SERVICES PO BOX 802 BRISTOW VA A68960 N520EP
NG RESEARCH PO BOX 655 BRISTOW VA A6A3DC N527KM
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605 GREENVILLE DE A6C75D N536GR
NG RESEARCH PO BOX 722 BRISTOW VA A6D306 N539MY
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134 GREENVILLE DE A71AB8 N557PG
KQM AVIATION PO BOX 721 BRISTOW VA A72E8C N562CB
KLJ AVIATION PO BOX 731 BRISTOW VA A75568 N57165
LCB LEASING PO BOX 726 BRISTOW VA A7650F N576DS
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605 GREENVILLE DE A7E68F N608SH
OBR LEASING PO BOX 725 BRISTOW VA A7EEC5 N610AG
KQM AVIATION PO BOX 721 BRISTOW VA A7F64F N612BK
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605 GREENVILLE DE A81E30 N622FH
OTV LEASING PO BOX 831 BRISTOW VA A83822 N629ET
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605 GREENVILLE DE A8464D N632MR
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605 GREENVILLE DE A846DD N632TK
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP PMB 605 GREENVILLE DE A86862 N64057
PXW SERVICES PO BOX 802 BRISTOW VA A8A872 N657TP
FVX RESEARCH 4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134 GREENVILLE DE A91EC1 N687RT
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING 4001 KENNETT PIKE #605 GREENVILLE DE A9849F N712MS
US DEPT OF JUSTICE PO BOX 807 BRISTOW VA A9A74E N721AL
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORPORATION 4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605 GREENVILLE DE A9C265 N728MP
NBY PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 656 BRISTOW VA A9CEFF N731CL
FVX RESEARCH PO BOX 632 BRISTOW VA AAF9D8 N806TH
OTV LEASING PO BOX 831 BRISTOW VA AB0D1B N811AH
KQM AVIATION PO BOX 721 BRISTOW VA AB1551 N813JH
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605 GREENVILLE DE AB36F1 N8210G
WORLDWIDE AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 110 W 9TH ST # 634 WILMINGTON DE AB371B N8211P
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134 GREENVILLE DE AB5C81 N831EM
AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATES INC 10678 AVIATION LN MANASSAS VA AB74CC N83700
AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATES INC PO BOX 2190 MANASSAS VA AB74F2 N83713
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING 4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605 GREENVILLE DE ABC990 N859JA
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PO BOX 807 BRISTOW VA AC06F0 N874TW
PSL SURVEYS PO BOX 756 BRISTOW VA AC19C5 N879WM
NG RESEARCH 4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134 WILMINGTON DE AC7466 N901RM
RKT PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 615 BRISTOW VA AC872B N906TM
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605 GREENVILLE DE AC8B2B N907WK
NBY PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 502 BRISTOW VA AC97AB N910LF
OBR LEASING PO BOX 725 BRISTOW VA AC9E93 N912EX
RKT PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 615 BRISTOW VA ACA29B N913JC
PSL SURVEYS PO BOX 756 BRISTOW VA ACAEF9 N916WR
NG RESEARCH PO BOX 722 BRISTOW VA ACC2EC N921LS
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605 GREENVILLE DE ACC6B5 N922MK
AV FLIGHT INC 4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134 GREENVILLE DE ACE242 N9292L
AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATES INC 622 MOUNTAIN RD KINNELON NJ AD2AD3 N9479Y
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE #605 GREENVILLE DE AD3019 N949RL
AEROGRAPHICS INC 5979 17TH STREET SE ST CLOUD MN AD46BF N9546T
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134 GREENVILLE DE AD4B3C N956D
PSL SURVEYS PO BOX 756 BRISTOW VA AD56F0 N959JT
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605 GREENVILLE DE AD645E N962JB
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605 GREENVILLE DE AD64DB N962PB
FVX RESEARCH PO BOX 632 BRISTOW VA AD6BDA N964JR
WORLDWIDE AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 110 W 9TH ST WILMINGTON DE AD7EE5 N969PL
WORLDWIDE AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 110 W 9TH ST WILMINGTON DE AD8888 N971N
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605 GREENVILLE DE AD8CAF N972SM
NORTHWEST AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP PO BOX 807 BRISTOW VA ADAF83 N981GT
NBY PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 502 BRISTOW VA ADAFFE N981MR
FVX RESEARCH PO BOX 632 BRISTOW VA ADBAD9 N984JS
NBR AVIATION PO BOX 752 BRISTOW VA ADC1C3 N986DK
OTV LEASING PO BOX 636 BRISTOW VA ADC293 N986MT
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP 4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134 GREENVILLE DE ADC362 N986W