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N2189M-N2731G is widely alleged to be a CIA-operated aircraft. Under its previous registration of N2189M it achieved notoriety for being allegedly involved in extraordinary rendition. It was re-registered in December, 2006 under a new tail number, N2731G.[1]

Registration number: N2731G
Serial number: 4582
Manufacturer: Lockheed
Model: 382G-44K-30
Registered owner: JJS&D LLC, previously Rapid Air Trans, Inc.
Operator: Tepper Aviation, Inc.
Previous reg numbers:: N2189M

Known movements and sightings

Bob Sikes airport is where Tepper Aviation is based. Notable destinations for the plane include the CIA's training facility at Camp Peary, and the landing strip at Desert Rock Airport, a disused nuclear testing facility in the Nevada desert.

Date Origin Destination Dep Arr Ref(s)
21-June-2007 Sendai, Japan Anchorage, Alaska [2]
18 May 2007 Budapest Ferihegy (LHBP), Hungary [3][4]
29-May-2006 Bob Sikes (KCEW) Grantley Adams Int'l (TBPB), Barbados 14:38 GMT Unknown [5]
12-May-2006 Camp Peary Landing Strip (W94) Bob Sikes (KCEW) 17:21 GMT 19:59 GMT [5]
12-May-2006 Allen C Perkinson Blackstone Aaf (KBKT) Newport News Williamsburg Int'l (KPHF) 11:43 GMT 11:44 GMT [5]
09-May-2006 Bob Sikes (KCEW) Allen C Perkinson Blackstone Aaf (KBKT) 20:24 GMT 22:22 GMT [5]
27-Apr-2006 Laurinburg Maxton (KMEB) Bob Sikes (KCEW) 18:00 GMT 19:34 GMT [5]
27-Apr-2006 Camp Peary Landing Strip (W94) Laurinburg Maxton (KMEB) 15:09 GMT 15:57 GMT [5]
24-Apr-2006 Bob Sikes (KCEW) Newport News Williamsburg Int'l (KPHF) 17:27 GMT 19:34 GMT [5]
06-Apr-2006 Palmdale Prod Flt Test Instl Af Plt 42 (KPMD) Bob Sikes (KCEW) 17:07 GMT 21:50 GMT [5]
19-Mar-2006 Bob Sikes (KCEW) Mojave (KMHV) 14:46 GMT 21:18 GMT [5]
4 Feb 2006 San Juan - Luis Munoz Marin International, Puerto Rico [6]
25 June 2005 Oporto (Francisco sa Carneiro) (OPO/LPPR), Portugal [7]
1 April 2005 Lajes / Azores (AB4) (TER/LPLA), Portugal [7]
31 March 2005 Lajes / Azores, Portugal [6]
26 May 2004 Prestwick Gander Intl [8]
25 May 2004 Praha/Ruzyne Prestwick [8]
19 January 2004 Prestwick Amman/Marka [8]
18 January 2004 Gander Intl Prestwick [8]
December 7, 2003 Tenerife Sur - Reina Sofia (TFS/GCTS), Spain Unknown [7]
4 December 2003 Prestwick Frankfurt Main [8]
3 December 2003 Goose Bay Prestwick [8]
21 September 2003 Prestwick Gander Intl [8]
20 September 2003 Genova/Sestri Prestwick [8]
24 March 2003 Prestwick Frankfurt Main [8]
23 March 2003 Stephenville Prestwick [8]
8 Jan 2003 Desert Rock Airport (DRA) Andrews AFB Airport (ADW) [9]
8 Jan 2003 Phoenix/Williams Gateway Airport (IWA) Desert Rock Airport (DRA) [9]
8 Jan 2003 Norfolk International Airport, Virginia (ORF) Desert Rock Airport (DRA) [9]
31 Dec 2002 Desert Rock Airport (DRA) Phoenix/Williams Gateway Airport (IWA) [9]

For sightings of the plane where it is not clear if the plane was arriving, departing, or neither, the location is shown as spanning the 'Origin' and 'Destination' columns (this applies to most sightings from aviation photography sites).

Take the Tepper flightdeck tour

In June 2007, in a somewhat remarkable display of glasnost, the crew of N2731G apparently allowed a fellow pilot at Japan's Sendai airport to tour the aircraft and photograph the flightdeck. A posting by the pilot on a pilot reports message board claims that:

"There was an atmosphere of Air America with these gents, especially their obvious reluctance to be included in the photos I took. A request to take of photo of the cargo hold area - 'Is it okay to take a shot here? I guess there's nothing sensitive?' - was declined with, 'Better off not to, there's some diplomatic material onboard.'"
"Having been unaware of Tepper's association with the CIA - and moreso this particular aircraft's history - I have to admit I think my naievete was probably what allowed me to be given access onboard. Although I observed only 4 crew - 2 pilots, 1 F/E and the 'mechanic', sob was given as 5 to ATC. Thinking back about the size of the 'mechanic', I wonder what the cargo was that was being hauled back to the US?"[10]

The purported photos of the flightdeck are available here.

Resources and articles


  1. FAA records for N2731G. Undated, accessed February 4, 2007.
  2. 'Kaptin M', Message board posting, PIREP.org (Pilot Reports site), June 21, 2007 2:23pm.
  3. Szabó Gábor (photographer), Photo of N2731G at Budapest Ferihegy, jetphotos.net, May 18, 2007.
  4. Nagy János (photographer), Photo of N2731G at Budapest Ferihegy, planepictures.net, May 18, 2007.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Tracking data for N2189M, flightaware.com (screengrab). Undated, accessed June 5, 2006. Registration req'd to view historical data.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Photos of N2189M at airliners.net.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Photos of N2189M at myaviation.net.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 8.9 Eurocontrol UK flight data (PDF), Department of Transport, Freedom of Information Act request. Undated, accessed May 14, 2006.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 "Desert Rock, Nevada", published by Keith Stein's ISI Consulting website. Now only available from the Google cache (dated June 11, 2005).
  10. 'Kaptin M', Message board posting, PIREP.org (pilot reports site), June 23, 2007, 12:07pm.

Related SourceWatch articles

Other external resources

N2731G photo searches