The identity of USAF 757/C-32 "96143" (full serial assumed to be 99-6143) has been discussed many times in the past across several internet sites. The general opinion is that it is an alias of 09001 (00-9001) msn 25494 and that always seems to be where the discussion ends. Some others have suggested it could be the Comco 757s N226G and N610G in disguise but "those in the know" have shouted them down and once again assured them it's 09001, discussion over.
I've never been a believer of this theory and have actually spent a considerable amount of time trying to prove it but info is unfortunately rather sparse. However I do believe there is now enough evidence to prove that this is indeed a completely separate aircraft and not an alias of any of the other 'known' ones. What makes this interesting is that to my knowledge there are no unaccounted 757s that could possibly fit, so what is its identity (msn) and history?
1. "It's an alias of 09001".
There are 3 key pieces of evidence here to at least 99% prove this not to be so :
a. external differences in the roof pods
99-6143 only has 2 roof pods :
18 oct 09 http://planepictures.net/netshow.php?id=884182
17 sep 10 http://jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=6948697&nseq=2
00-9001 has 3 roof pods :
9 feb 09 http://www.airliners.net/photo/USA--.../Boeing-C-32B-(757-23A)/1608873/L/
28 oct 10 http://www.airliners.net/photo/USA--.../Boeing-C-32B-(757-23A)/1808672/L/
b. external differences in the equipment
99-6143 has an ice detector probe (I believe that is what it is?) on the lower starboard side of the nose :
6 dec 04 http://planepictures.net/netshow.php?id=287776
18 oct 09 http://planepictures.net/netshow.php?id=884174
31 aug 10 http://jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=7068734&nseq=1
00-9001 has no ice detector probe :
9 feb 09 http://www.myaviation.net/search/pho..._search.php?id=01567924&size=large
28 oct 10 http://www.myaviation.net/search/pho..._search.php?id=01883680&size=large
c. 99-6143 was flying as TOWNY45 on 22 Jun 10 Stuttgart to Bangor (visually confirmed at Stuttgart as 99-6143 and also same on flight plan) whilst at the same time TERRA21 was also in flight confirmed from flight plan and also selcal code as 00-9001.
So that rules out it being an alias of 00-9001.
2. An alias of 02-4452 (assumed to be msn 25493) has also been mentioned as a possibility but again, same conflicts as with 00-9001 - it has 3 roof pods and no ice probe :
1 Feb 08 http://www.airliners.net/photo/USA--.../Boeing-C-32B-(757-23A)/1388672/L/
8 Sep 10 http://jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=6941915&nseq=8
3. Now onto the theory that it is one of the Comco 757s in disguise.
It cannot be N226G but that one has no ice probe :
25 Oct 08 http://planepictures.net/netshow.php?id=779943
6 Jan 11 http://www.airliners.net/photo/Comco/Boeing-757-23A/1848917/L/
Now the other one N610G is more tricky, because it has the right amount of roof pods and also the ice probe, but....
If you look at any starboard pics of 99-6143 prior to 2010 you will notice that there are only 12 windows on the front section. From 2010 onwards there are now 13. In some of the older pics you can see where the one at the left hand end has been plugged. Now on every pic of N610G from 2 Dec 10 right back to 2003 there are always 12 windows, including the period where 99-6143 has 13 windows :
10 Apr 10 N610G 12 windows http://www.airliners.net/photo/Comco/Boeing-757-22L/1686805/L/
8 May 10 N610G 12 windows http://www.myaviation.net/search/pho..._search.php?id=01774630&size=large
31 Aug 10 99-6143 13 windows http://jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=7068734&nseq=1
17 Sep 10 99-6143 13 windows http://jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=6948697&nseq=2
2 Dec 10 N610G 12 windows http://www.myaviation.net/search/pho..._search.php?id=01900148&size=large
Although it is not beyond the realms of possibilities that the window could have been unplugged for flights as 99-6143, I think most people would agree that it is unlikely and hence also rules out 99-6143 being an alias of N610G.
I am of course aware of the other 2 mystery aircraft, 86006 (assumed to be 98-6006) and 25001 (assumed to be 02-5001). 98-6006 hasn't been seen or heard about for a long long time now and as there are no pics of it online, it's impossible to make any attempt at saying what it's ID may (have) been from visual similarities. 02-5001 is still about and was last seen (photo proof) 20 Sep 10 at TJPS. Externally the aircraft is identical to 00-9001 & 02-4452 so is possibly an alias of one or the other.
The main question is, what is the true identity of 96-6143 now the other suspects have been discounted?