This Times' investigation revealed gaps in federal records meant to track mechanical problems on U.S. jetliners. In examining FAA Service Difficulty Reports from January 1987 to January 1989, the newspaper uncovered how airlines failed to provide key information in the reports. Of the more than 2,400 reports filed, 1,700 failed to include the name of the airline submitting the report. In one case, the tail number N2FOR was used to identify four different airplane models made by three manufacturers and operated by six airlines.
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