Aircraft Title

Aircraft Title Search & Report

Aircraft don’t have physical titles.  The title really consists of a digital record found at the FAA Aircraft Registry.  Powell has a desk at the FAA, and has for a very very long time.  We are linked to the FAA’s system and view records this way.  This desk acts as our connection from our office in Oklahoma City to the FAA.  Below we explain a little about aircraft title searches, how they are done, and why you need one.

How an aircraft title report is generated

One of our examiners gets a copy (digitally these days) of every document in the record of the subject aircraft, and then starts with the first document ever filed and works forward.  They compare ownership records, make determinations about things such as titles, names and so forth, and then end with a final owner and some notes about things which may be wrong.

In this process they are also keeping track of all the liens filed and their corresponding releases.  This will of course give them, in the end, a list of all outstanding liens.  They then note the necessary details of these liens.

They also make note of any possible issues or discrepancies with any prior matters of record, and examine any recently filed documents or past filed documents which are in a suspense state. This then is compiled into an aircraft title report (aircraft title search).  This is basically a snapshot at that day and time of the aircraft title.

While it is a little more complicated to explain in detail, that is the general summary of what goes on.

If the aircraft or engine (engines and props are done as described above with the exception that no ownership on these is recordable at the FAA, just liens) being searched is eligible for the IR, then you should read our International Aircraft Registry page for more information.

Couldn’t I just do my own aircraft title search?

In theory a person could order the CD of the record from the FAA and have it mailed to them, and then open the documents and work through them similar as described above.  However, this wouldn’t be a good route to take.  You wouldn’t know all the details and rules our examiners have learned over time.  Also you wouldn’t be able to see recent documents which weren’t yet added to the file.  As well you wouldn’t see documents that came in after the CD was created.  Also the record could have references to other files, which you would then have to order, and the above list of issues would then apply to those.   I take the opinion that no matter what you know, having it done and done right is the only way to go.  No dealer, manufacturer, or lender does it themselves, and look at how much so many of them know!