Aircraft Manufacturer: BEECH
Aircraft Model: B200C
Engine Manufacturer: P&W
Engine Model: PT6A-60A
Aircraft Year: 1982
Owner Name: DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE
Owner Address: PO BOX 1504, LAYTON, UT, 84041-6504
Type of Owner: Government
Registration Date: 31-May-1989
Airworthiness Certificate Type: Standard
Approved Operations: Normal
Mode S Code A8B80A 52134012
This plane was sold in late 1983 from the Beech Aircraft Corporation (the manufacturer) directly to the (presumed) Air Force outfit at “DET 1, AFEREG” – the same address that shows up in relation to N654BA.
A public records search of the address comes up with very little, but one interesting tidbit does emerge. Box 528, Mercury, NV (the DET 1 address) was also the listed address for a notary named “Nancy A. Martin.” Martin’s name shows up in the Lincoln County Recorder’s office attached to the names of seven men (William J. Hull, Jr., Kenneth Learned, David Palay, Thomas E. Taylor, Robert R. Armstrong, Donald R. Domkoski, and Lawrence Rountree) who’d been deputized by the Lincoln County Sheriff. These men were presumably Groom Lake security forces who’d been deputized by the Lincoln County Sheriff so that they had authority to arrest anyone getting too close to the base. Most of these deputizations were revoked in 1994.
So, we know that DET 1, AFEREG is an outfit that purchased Janet planes in the mid 1980s. We also know that the PO Box of the Detachment was used by a notary named Nancy Martin to notarize Groom Lake’s security forces' deputization oaths. But, the name of the outfit changes on the notarizations – as of 1992, Box 528, Mercury, NV (Martin’s address) was attached to DET-AFFTC, not DET 1, AFEREG. This acronym makes more sense. It is unclear what AFEREG stands for, but AFFTC is well-known. It is the Air Force Flight Test Center, headquartered at Edwards Air Force Base. DET means “detachment,” so Box 528, Mercury, NV is a detachment of the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base.
Here we come to the question of David Palay. This man shows up in three places. First, he was one of the people who’d been deputized by the Lincoln County Sheriff – his oath originated from Box 528 in Mercury. David D. Palay also shows up in every single FAA file for a Janet plane. In June of 1996, Palay filed change-of-address forms for every Janet, informing the FAA that the aircraft were now based at “Box 1504, Layton, UT 84041-6504.” His title on these documents is “Program Manager.” Finally, the name David D. Palay shows up as the pilot of doomed N27RA – the Beechcraft that crashed near the Tonopah Test Range when Palay had a heart attack en route from Groom Lake to TNX.