You own a fractional share in a specific aircraft through one of the several fractional aircraft programs, and you want (or need) to know who the other owners are. What can you do? Some programs have an ownership agreement that is supposed to be signed by all of the owners of a specific aircraft; if that is the case with your program, you could ask the program provider for a copy of the agreement signed by all owners. Even if your program provider does not require a separate agreement amongst the owners of a specific aircraft, you could request that information from them anyway.
If the program provider will not or cannot supply you with a list of the other owners, what are other options to obtain this information? If your fractional program is based in the United States, then your aircraft is required to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Most of the information filed with the FAA pertaining to aircraft ownership and registration is public information and easily accessed, if you know where to look. To gain co-ownership information, you will need to know your aircraft’s FAA registration number (also referred to as the tail number or N-Number - this information should be stated in your program provider agreements). Then you can simply go to the FAA web site (www.faa.gov) and then to the N-Number Inquiry page. Type in your registration number and you will get a list of the other co-owners.
The problem with getting a list of the other co-owners from the fractional provider, or from the FAA website, is the lack of contact information. It is doubtful the fractional provider would give you anything but the name the share is owned under, and that is all the FAA provides via their website. To add to this lack of information, most fractional providers use their address, not the co-owner's address, on the registration document and bill of sale to provide an additional level of anonymity for the aircraft co-owners.
You do have other options, such as the subscription service JETNET Online (www.jetnet.com). With access to JetNet, you can search for the other co-owners and drill down for contact information such as an address, a phone number, or an email address. All you need to know to conduct the search is the name of another co-owner (if you happen to already know of one), the FAA registration number, or your specific aircraft manufacturer’s serial number. (Like the registration number, the serial number should also be stated in the program provider agreements.)
Even with the ability to search FAA records and the availability of online services to mine additional information, you can still run into problems determining the real end owner. If the ownership is held in the name of a trust (and many are) or the aircraft share was financed by a financial institution and leased back to the owner, then the true owner or responsible party is masked.