Track 115 Aircrafts the FBI uses for Surveillance

Track 115 Aircrafts the FBI uses for Surveillance
By

UPDATE (6/3/15): 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 Public. 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:

Boston Flight

A flight over Boston, MA on May 30th

Queens Flight

A flight over Queens, NY on May 29th

Washington Flight

A flight over Washington, DC on May 27th

Houston Flight

A flight over Houston, TX on June 1st

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

Planes By Certification Date
Company NameStreetCityStateICAOFlight Radar
AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATES INC10678 AVIATION LNMANASSASVAA006AFN100WG
OTV LEASINGPO BOX 636BRISTOWVAA00C4BN102BR
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICEPO BOX 807BRISTOWVAA04ECFN119NA
YAMASEC USA LLC4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134-502GREENVILLEDEA09CC1N139BH
OBR LEASINGPO BOX 725BRISTOWVAA0AB21N142LJ
NBY PRODUCTIONSPO BOX 502BRISTOWVAA0AE77N143GM
PXW SERVICESPO BOX 802BRISTOWVAA0AE7CN143GS
OTV LEASING4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134GREENVILLEDEA10FBBN168DK
OBR LEASINGPO BOX 725BRISTOWVAA1100AN168GP
PXW SERVICESPO BOX 802BRISTOWVAA1488AN182EM
WORLDWIDE AIRCRAFT LEASING CORPPO BOX 807BRISTOWVAA1B021N208EB
AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATES INC10678 AVIATION LNMANASSASVAA1CD07N215KS
KQM AVIATIONPO BOX 721BRISTOWVAA1EC96N223EM
AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATES INCPO BOX 2190MANASSASVAA1ECF1N223JC
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134GREENVILLEDEA2104EN232DW
WORLDWIDE AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP110 W 9TH STWILMINGTONDEA21FBCN236KS
WORLDWIDE AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP110 W 9TH STWILMINGTONDEA22AEFN239LF
AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATES INC10678 AVIATION LNMANASSASVAA23DC9N2432G
WORLDWIDE AIRCRAFT LEASING CORPPO BOX 807BRISTOWVAA2440BN245RB
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605GREENVILLEDEA24DEFN248CF
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605GREENVILLEDEA251BBN249DB
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605GREENVILLEDEA25CD5N251SR
PXW SERVICESPO BOX 802BRISTOWVAA29A7DN267RH
LCB LEASINGPO BOX 726BRISTOWVAA2B573N274BB
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605GREENVILLEDEA2EC92N288JY
NG RESEARCHPO BOX 655BRISTOWVAA2F6FDN290RM
WORLDWIDE AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP110 W 9TH STWILMINGTONDEA32309N301A
KQM AVIATIONPO BOX 721BRISTOWVAA327E1N302MP
NBR AVIATIONPO BOX 752BRISTOWVAA34C1AN311SB
AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATES INC10678 AVIATION LNMANASSASVAA35AEBN315RR
OBR LEASINGPO BOX 725BRISTOWVAA36622N318SJ
FVX RESEARCHPO BOX 554BRISTOWVAA36932N319KS
RKT PRODUCTIONSPO BOX 926BRISTOWVAA37A7DN323LP
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134 PMB 605GREENVILLEDEA37D92N324EB
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134 PBM 605GREENVILLEDEA37EC5N324SJ
PSL SURVEYS4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134GREENVILLEDEA385F0N326PS
LCB LEASINGPO BOX 726BRISTOWVAA41050N361DB
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605GREENVILLEDEA4349BN370JH
AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATES INC10678 AVIATION LNMANASSASVAA43218N37GR
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605GREENVILLEDEA46F56N385RB
OBR LEASINGPO BOX 725BRISTOWVAA4BC6EN404KR
AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATES INCPO BOX 2190MANASSASVAA4C859N407TP
AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATES INC10678 AVIATION LNMANASSASVAA4CBEBN408SB
KQM AVIATIONPO BOX 721BRISTOWVAA4D817N411CP
AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATES INC10678 AVIATION LNMANASSASVAA4E6C5N415AT
NBY PRODUCTIONSPO BOX 656BRISTOWVAA51A7CN428MT
RKT PRODUCTIONSPO BOX 615BRISTOWVAA59D5BN461AJ
PSL SURVEYSPO BOX 756BRISTOWVAA5B556N467TS
OBR LEASINGPO BOX 725BRISTOWVAA622CDN495BJ
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605GREENVILLEDEA624B4N495WW
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORPORATION4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605GREENVILLEDEA6286BN496WW
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605GREENVILLEDEA66261N510KS
OTV LEASINGPO BOX 636BRISTOWVAA67138N514KM
NBR AVIATIONPO BOX 752BRISTOWVAA6718EN514NY
AEROGRAPHICS INC10678 AVIATION LNMANASSASVAA674DFN515JW
PXW SERVICESPO BOX 802BRISTOWVAA68960N520EP
NG RESEARCHPO BOX 655BRISTOWVAA6A3DCN527KM
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605GREENVILLEDEA6C75DN536GR
NG RESEARCHPO BOX 722BRISTOWVAA6D306N539MY
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134GREENVILLEDEA71AB8N557PG
KQM AVIATIONPO BOX 721BRISTOWVAA72E8CN562CB
KLJ AVIATIONPO BOX 731BRISTOWVAA75568N57165
LCB LEASINGPO BOX 726BRISTOWVAA7650FN576DS
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605GREENVILLEDEA7E68FN608SH
OBR LEASINGPO BOX 725BRISTOWVAA7EEC5N610AG
KQM AVIATIONPO BOX 721BRISTOWVAA7F64FN612BK
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605GREENVILLEDEA81E30N622FH
OTV LEASINGPO BOX 831BRISTOWVAA83822N629ET
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605GREENVILLEDEA8464DN632MR
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605GREENVILLEDEA846DDN632TK
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORPPMB 605GREENVILLEDEA86862N64057
PXW SERVICESPO BOX 802BRISTOWVAA8A872N657TP
FVX RESEARCH4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134GREENVILLEDEA91EC1N687RT
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING4001 KENNETT PIKE #605GREENVILLEDEA9849FN712MS
US DEPT OF JUSTICEPO BOX 807BRISTOWVAA9A74EN721AL
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORPORATION4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605GREENVILLEDEA9C265N728MP
NBY PRODUCTIONSPO BOX 656BRISTOWVAA9CEFFN731CL
FVX RESEARCHPO BOX 632BRISTOWVAAAF9D8N806TH
OTV LEASINGPO BOX 831BRISTOWVAAB0D1BN811AH
KQM AVIATIONPO BOX 721BRISTOWVAAB1551N813JH
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605GREENVILLEDEAB36F1N8210G
WORLDWIDE AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP110 W 9TH ST # 634WILMINGTONDEAB371BN8211P
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134GREENVILLEDEAB5C81N831EM
AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATES INC10678 AVIATION LNMANASSASVAAB74CCN83700
AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATES INCPO BOX 2190MANASSASVAAB74F2N83713
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605GREENVILLEDEABC990N859JA
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICEPO BOX 807BRISTOWVAAC06F0N874TW
PSL SURVEYSPO BOX 756BRISTOWVAAC19C5N879WM
NG RESEARCH4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134WILMINGTONDEAC7466N901RM
RKT PRODUCTIONSPO BOX 615BRISTOWVAAC872BN906TM
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605GREENVILLEDEAC8B2BN907WK
NBY PRODUCTIONSPO BOX 502BRISTOWVAAC97ABN910LF
OBR LEASINGPO BOX 725BRISTOWVAAC9E93N912EX
RKT PRODUCTIONSPO BOX 615BRISTOWVAACA29BN913JC
PSL SURVEYSPO BOX 756BRISTOWVAACAEF9N916WR
NG RESEARCHPO BOX 722BRISTOWVAACC2ECN921LS
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605GREENVILLEDEACC6B5N922MK
AV FLIGHT INC4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134GREENVILLEDEACE242N9292L
AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATES INC622 MOUNTAIN RDKINNELONNJAD2AD3N9479Y
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE #605GREENVILLEDEAD3019N949RL
AEROGRAPHICS INC5979 17TH STREET SEST CLOUDMNAD46BFN9546T
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134GREENVILLEDEAD4B3CN956D
PSL SURVEYSPO BOX 756BRISTOWVAAD56F0N959JT
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605GREENVILLEDEAD645EN962JB
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605GREENVILLEDEAD64DBN962PB
FVX RESEARCHPO BOX 632BRISTOWVAAD6BDAN964JR
WORLDWIDE AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP110 W 9TH STWILMINGTONDEAD7EE5N969PL
WORLDWIDE AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP110 W 9TH STWILMINGTONDEAD8888N971N
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE # 605GREENVILLEDEAD8CAFN972SM
NORTHWEST AIRCRAFT LEASING CORPPO BOX 807BRISTOWVAADAF83N981GT
NBY PRODUCTIONSPO BOX 502BRISTOWVAADAFFEN981MR
FVX RESEARCHPO BOX 632BRISTOWVAADBAD9N984JS
NBR AVIATIONPO BOX 752BRISTOWVAADC1C3N986DK
OTV LEASINGPO BOX 636BRISTOWVAADC293N986MT
NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP4001 KENNETT PIKE STE 134GREENVILLEDEADC362N986W