Reserving N numbers… these companies suck!

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Monte92
Building an Experimental. I go onto FAA’s registration page. I live under a rock I guess. Companies go reserve thousands of N numbers. Then they hold you hostage to pay $3000 for it. I get it. Capitalism… supply and demand blah bla bla. N number registration should be tied to an actual airplane. I didn’t know this was a thing. Anybody ever run into this ?
 
Same thing happens with website addresses.

I thought I had read a fix for this in the FAA Reauthorization Bill, but it may have been just a draft and obviously hasn't been passed yet.
 
Blame the FAA for letting this happen.
How would they prevent this

A) Practically? (There are airlines, etc. who “legitimately” grab these for their new planes coming down the pike)

and

B) without someone screaming “Bad, bad FAA” for doing so?
 
The guy wrote me back. They want $9,500 for the simple N number I would have liked. Yeah that’s crazy. It’s legal, it’s capitalism… it’s just petty.
 
There was a long thread on this....
To me a while to find it, but here it is
 
The FAA has no balls. They could stop it if they wanted to. It should be easy: You can reserve an N number as long as you provide a make and model that it will be registered to, and then have to have it done within some time period, maybe two or three years. Legitimate aircraft manufacturers can reserve blocks of numbers consistent with their production volume. Private parties may reserve one. Reserved N numbers cannot be registered to an aircraft by anyone other than the party reserving it. If someone reserves or attempts to reserve numbers for resale, they will be banned for life from future numbers, and will have their pilot certificate emergency revoked (if they have one) due to cognitive dysfunction because they demonstrate an inability to follow rules.
 
How do you solve this? No serial number no N number. No signed sales agreement, no N number.
 
How do you solve this? No serial number no N number. No signed sales agreement, no N number.
The system is for aircraft under construction and recently constructed. You have to be able to get the number before you sell it. And if you are the manufacturer it never gets sold.
 
The system is for aircraft under construction and recently constructed. You have to be able to get the number before you sell it. And if you are the manufacturer it never gets sold.

If construction is started or finished, you get the number. If it hasn't started construction, you don't get it. Reserving the number for future use needs to stop. Selling the number should stop, or a limit imposed, say $50. This is a government mandated and generated requirement, not an actual product developed and sold by someone. The parasites who do this should be stopped.
 
If construction is started or finished, you get the number. If it hasn't started construction, you don't get it. Reserving the number for future use needs to stop. Selling the number should stop, or a limit imposed, say $50. This is a government mandated and generated requirement, not an actual product developed and sold by someone. The parasites who do this should be stopped.
All I'm saying is that your proposed solution doesn't work.
 
It sucks that it’s a guy in Iceland who doesn’t even fly. He’s using public resources to profit off of a foreign country ( to him). Thats messed up. He wants $9500 for the number I liked.
 
I get it. Capitalism… supply and demand blah bla bla.
Ehh, this isn't capitalism. This is abuse of a government system.
I don't think the original intention of registration was to have a secondary market of traders controlling access to N-numbers.

Unlike buying a URL, where there are a limitless number of valid strings and a near-limitless number of domain extensions, there's a fixed quantity of N numbers.

It reminds me of when the FCC was proposing a rule for 'use it or lose it' when it came to buying rights to certain radio frequencies. Essentially desiring a mandate where you have to start deploying infrastructure for utilizing those frequencies or else you lose them. B/c someone squatting on those or saving them for a rainy day or for speculative future use was not beneficial to the public (and there's only so many frequencies to go around). To me that's similar to what they should do for N-Numbers. Buy it and fly it, or give it up within a few months.
 
Everyone should start swamping your congress critters with emails and in 10 years something might change.
 
Everyone should start swamping your congress critters with emails and in 10 years something might change.
It might be better to point these guys out to the IRS, I somehow doubt they are paying their US taxes on these profits.
 
The fix seems pretty easy to me - just stop the whole concept of reserving N-numbers. For anybody. You finish building the plane, you get the next randomly-assigned one. Or maybe, just maybe, I could allow "search our database of available numbers and pick one". Or how about "here's 5 or 10 to choose from, pick one" - like it is for new cell phone numbers (or at least was the last time I got a new number, which has been years).

So manufacturers and companies won't be able to get all numbers of a certain format. Big deal. And you won't be able to get your initials as part of your tail number. Big deal.

Admittedly, this makes me no fun and is coming from the same guy who will never have a personalized license plate on his car.
 
The fix seems pretty easy to me - just stop the whole concept of reserving N-numbers.
Or institute a charge of, say, $100 or $200 for each reserved N-Number. An insignificant amount compared to the cost of ownership of an aircraft, but a real burden if someone wants to reserve a thousand numbers in hope of an eventual sale of a few of them.

Ron Wanttaja
 
The guy wrote me back. They want $9,500 for the simple N number I would have liked. Yeah that’s crazy. It’s legal, it’s capitalism… it’s just petty.
A local guy had N4K on his Glasair. Someone wanted that N-number and paid him enough that he used the money to paint his plane.
 
The fact that a non citizen non pilot is behind this makes it 90% of the irritation.
 
Does N number reservation have to be done on the internet.??

Can a form be filled out and sent in by snail mail.??

If I get a plane I have a N number in mind but not for 10 grand...
 
Not really. If the plane is under construction, there's a serial number. Requiring a serial number would cut down on this type of operation.
Serial numbers for homebuilts are whatever the builder wants to designate them. There are over 40 Vans RV-6 aircraft listed as serial number 001, as well as another 16 with S/N "1".

Reminds me of about 30 years ago, when the Internet first got big. There was a web page for pilot weather (forget if it was FAA sponsored or not). It required an N-number to access. A company made an app for non-pilots that automatically filled-in the N-number block, so that anybody could get the weather. Don't know if it was just a single N-Number, a block, or just a random number. Flooded the "pilot weather" site to the extent it was unusable.

Ron "The Stainless Steel Rat" Wanttaja
 
Serial numbers for homebuilts are whatever the builder wants to designate them. There are over 40 Vans RV-6 aircraft listed as serial number 001, as well as another 16 with S/N "1".

Reminds me of about 30 years ago, when the Internet first got big. There was a web page for pilot weather (forget if it was FAA sponsored or not). It required an N-number to access. A company made an app for non-pilots that automatically filled-in the N-number block, so that anybody could get the weather. Don't know if it was just a single N-Number, a block, or just a random number. Flooded the "pilot weather" site to the extent it was unusable.

Ron "The Stainless Steel Rat" Wanttaja
"None" begins with an "N". I don't recall whether I ever tried that.
 
Serial numbers for homebuilts are whatever the builder wants to designate them. There are over 40 Vans RV-6 aircraft listed as serial number 001, as well as another 16 with S/N "1".

Reminds me of about 30 years ago, when the Internet first got big. There was a web page for pilot weather (forget if it was FAA sponsored or not). It required an N-number to access. A company made an app for non-pilots that automatically filled-in the N-number block, so that anybody could get the weather. Don't know if it was just a single N-Number, a block, or just a random number. Flooded the "pilot weather" site to the extent it was unusable.

Ron "The Stainless Steel Rat" Wanttaja
While it's true that anyone could make up a serial number, if on request, they can not produce any documentation that an aircraft is being built, they lose their reservation and any money paid in. Another possible add-on is to limit the number of reservations that a non-manufacture can reserve to a small number. Maybe 5. Not sure why person or business would need to reserve more than 5 N-numbers.

I also think that the cost of reserving the number should be higher. I can't remember what I paid to reserve my N-number when I purchased my kit, but I do remember thinking it was ridiculously low ($5.00? $20.00?). And here we are.

It sucks that we even have to be discussing this, but this is why we can't have nice things.
 
Reminds me of about 30 years ago, when the Internet first got big. There was a web page for pilot weather (forget if it was FAA sponsored or not). It required an N-number to access. A company made an app for non-pilots that automatically filled-in the N-number block, so that anybody could get the weather. Don't know if it was just a single N-Number, a block, or just a random number.
When DUATS came out you had to have at least a medical / student certificate on file to get access. Ultralight pilots could get access on request (I did as I was flying ULs at the time), but a human had to approve it.

Gotta enter a number at the self service pump at most airports, too. It confused my buddy when he wanted to buy avgas for his classic car, I told him to enter N-anything, and of course it worked.
"None" begins with an "N". I don't recall whether I ever tried that.
Hafta try that at the pump. Might have to be N0ne (with a zero). But for the FAA, the first character has to be 1-9.
 
I thought there was an RV guy with similar software that could help with snagging a number?
 
When DUATS came out you had to have at least a medical / student certificate on file to get access. Ultralight pilots could get access on request (I did as I was flying ULs at the time), but a human had to approve it.

Gotta enter a number at the self service pump at most airports, too. It confused my buddy when he wanted to buy avgas for his classic car, I told him to enter N-anything, and of course it worked.

Hafta try that at the pump. Might have to be N0ne (with a zero). But for the FAA, the first character has to be 1-9.
It seems odd that gas pumps would require a number, because that would exclude pilots from some countries from buying fuel.
 
It seems odd that gas pumps would require a number, because that would exclude pilots from some countries from buying fuel.
Well, it may be that you can enter all letters, I never tried... but we've all probably struggled with input forms written by an insufficiently imaginative programmer.
 
While it's true that anyone could make up a serial number, if on request, they can not produce any documentation that an aircraft is being built, they lose their reservation and any money paid in. Another possible add-on is to limit the number of reservations that a non-manufacture can reserve to a small number. Maybe 5. Not sure why person or business would need to reserve more than 5 N-numbers.

I also think that the cost of reserving the number should be higher. I can't remember what I paid to reserve my N-number when I purchased my kit, but I do remember thinking it was ridiculously low ($5.00? $20.00?). And here we are.

It sucks that we even have to be discussing this, but this is why we can't have nice things.

I know some large airliner manufacturers associate their financials and material and manufacturing planning against a specific tail number, so that tail number is actually 'in use' for a long time before the actual assembled flying machine rolls off the end of the line. In the OP, I don't think the 'big boys' are what's causing the headaches, though.
 
a simple solution is to stop allowing payment by credit card over the internet, require payment by check and snail mail, one n number per check, and one check per envelope. lets see that guy write 3000 checks and mail 3000 checks a year.
 
a simple solution is to stop allowing payment by credit card over the internet, require payment by check and snail mail, one n number per check, and one check per envelope. lets see that guy write 3000 checks and mail 3000 checks a year.
Bah, that's a trivial automation job for a check printing / envelope stuffing machine. I'm sure there are mass mailing companies that can handle that job in an hour or two for a nominal cost.

But... change the rules so the jerk loses all the numbers he's reserved. The FAA would have to refund his money, of course, so require the refund application to be one per envelope, on an official fAA carbon paper form, no printing allowed.
 
a simple solution is to stop allowing payment by credit card over the internet, require payment by check and snail mail, one n number per check, and one check per envelope. lets see that guy write 3000 checks and mail 3000 checks a year.

And now the FAA adds 300 heads (10 people doing the work, 20 people supervising, 30 people 'managing', and then 240 HR reps) to their budget to open those checks and process the forms - open the form and type it into the now publicly inaccessible website.
 
Outlaw selling N-numbers for more than you paid for them. Or maybe outlaw reselling them at all.
 
the problem as I see it with simply "outlawing" the practice of doing something...is the lack of enforcement and follow-up that will be sure to follow.
Who's going to monitor it?
Who's going to enforce it?
Are they going to go to Iceland to arrest the guy?

In my thinking, the idea of limiting the number a single person or entity can reserve makes sense, as does making a reservation tied to an actual aircraft...but no doubt there would be ways to work around that too.
The idea of stopping any transfer of a number not on an aircraft seems to have merit.
 
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