Claim: Photograph shows the tail number of Air Force One to be ‘N166ER.’
Example: [Collected via e-mail, February 2009]
Origins: In tandem with an attention-getting photograph of a book store window
display came this purported image of Air Force One, both pictures offering none-too-subtle allusions to the racial background of President Barack Obama. In this case the tail number of the airplane shown in the photograph displayed above is ‘N166ER,’ a combination of letters and numbers conspicuous as a reference to a common racial epithet.
The image itself is easily dismissible as an obvious digital cut-and-paste job, but other evidence demonstrates it to be a fabrication as well. Although “Air Force One” is technically the call sign of any Air Force aircraft which is currently carrying the President of the United States rather than an identifier of a particular airplane, the President usually travels in one of two customized
The combination N166ER is a valid N-Number registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), but the FAA’s registry shows that number to be currently assigned to a privately owned, two-seat, single-engine T-28C airplane.
Last updated: 3 July 2009