Only recently have I become acutely interested in keeping track of the registrations for the aircraft on which I travel, so I was excited when I recently discovered a number of old ticket stubs hidden away in a desk drawer. Using them, I was able to pin down a number of flights I had had no information about (and realized that one cancelled trip would have put me on a 732 for the first and only time, alas.)
But one aircraft registration (specifically N511AA) that the BTS database returned exists neither on A.net nor on any aircraft census on the Internet. I checked the FAA's N-number database, and the registration returns information about some sort of experimental single-wing craft registered in 1985. Though my memory of the flight is hazy, I'm pretty sure that's not the right plane.
So what is the problem? It seems the BTS's database has some kind of error, which concerns me because I've come to rely on it for tracking down the registration of aircraft used on past flights. Is this a common occurrence, or have I misinterpreted the results in some way?
The flight, by the way, was AA668 on Mar. 13, 1997, if anyone can help me resolve this discrepancy.