Trump Has Been Flying in an Unregistered Plane

Could be fined or get 3 years in jail
April 19, 2016 Updated: April 19, 2016

Donald Trump has made his 1997 Cessna 750 Citation X a fixture on the campaign trail for the last couple months. However, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the plane’s registration expired on January 31.

Laura J. Brown, an FAA spokeswoman, confirmed that the plane’s registration was not in good standing and said the owner had not renewed it, according to The New York Times. 

The potential damage for the Republican frontrunner could include a civil penalty of up to $27,500, a criminal fine of up to $250,000, and imprisonment of up to 3 years—though Brown declined to comment on any action the FAA might take.

The plane has flown dozens of times since its registration expired, most recently transporting Trump from La Guardia Airport to and from Buffalo for a campaign event on the eve of the New York primary. 

The price to register an aircraft is $5, and that registration is good for 3 years.

Trump owns another airplane, a Boeing 757, which has “Trump” in big letters on the outside and gold-plated fixtures inside. However, the Boeing airplane weighs over 100,000 pounds, which limits it from landing at smaller airports.

As a result, Trump has been using the Cessna to get to more remote cities.

This not only could lead to potential fines or jail time, but could leave the airplane grounded for months while the registration gets sorted out. 

The FAA warned Trump in December that the registration for his plane was coming to an end.

“On Dec. 1, DJT Operations CX L.L.C., the limited liability company owned by Mr. Trump that operates the Cessna, received a “final notice” from the F.A.A.,” according to records reviewed by The Times.

Then on March 1, Trump’s company was informed that the registration had expired. 

“The aircraft’s registration and airworthiness certificates no longer support the aircraft’s operation,” the agency wrote.

The price to register an aircraft is $5, and that registration is good for 3 years. 

Trump has held a sizable lead in delegates over the remaining Republicans, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, but his campaign has often struggled with the details and administrative side, losing important delegates at both the Colorado and Wyoming party conventions.