flightaware tracking w/VFR flight following

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flightaware tracking w/VFR flight following

Postby Emil on Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:18 am

Hi All,

With regard to www.flightaware.com . I thought I had them figured out like this. Yep they track all IFR flights and Yep they drop you when you squawk VFR. They seem to not track you on VFR flight following when ATC is not sure where you are going. The last time I was handed off from a class C Dep. ctrl to center, I requested center to copy my entire route. She said go ahead, I spouted out the fixes and destination. That did it. flightaware tracked me until I requested a frequency change.

Emil
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Re: flightaware tracking w/VFR flight following

Postby Jon on Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:58 pm

This is excellent information.

I have asked receiving rescues to track my flights on flightaware so they have an estimate of the time of my arrival. It is an excellent tool which enables rescues to plan their day rather than waiting for a long time at the airport. I also call upon my departure after receiving the pups I am carrying, but flightaware can show if I have weather deviations or unforecast winds aloft which may affect my planned arrival time.
Jon
 

Re: flightaware tracking w/VFR flight following

Postby chaero on Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:22 am

Hello,

North of the border (Canada) Flightaware seems to do OK with IFR flights but shows virtually no VFR traffic from what I've seen.

For Christmas I received a SPOT Satellite Tracker and plan to use that to keep family and friends in the picture, when flying.
Have only done one flight with it so far, but it appears to be an effective and relatively cheap way to provide real-time tracking info to anyone with access to the internet.

If you're not familiar with this device, the company website at http://www.findmespot.com/en/ provides all the info you could wish for.

I have no interest, financial or otherwise in pushing this product. I'm only a customer and not even sure if it's a 'satified' one yet. Just bringing this up in case someone out there has been using SPOT and can chime in with real-world experience.

Chris
Comox, BC
Chris Hansen
Sidewinder C-GCSW
CAH3 Courtenay, BC
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Re: flightaware tracking w/VFR flight following

Postby mchutto on Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:20 pm

I flew two legs of a transport today. When I called FSS to file the VFR flight plans, I told the briefer to put "Pilots N Paws Animal Rescue Filght" in the remarks. He asked if I would be using flight following and I stated that I would. He then generated a strip for ATC for both flights. When you contact apporach to set up flight following, they are already waiting for you with a squawk code. Flightaware can pick you up and track you. So, try it next time you file VFR and ask them to generate a strip for you.

Marty
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Re: flightaware tracking w/VFR flight following

Postby Smileyy1 on Sat Mar 28, 2009 2:54 pm

This is good information. I will have to try it the next time I fly.
Thanks!!
Mark

Vinton, Iowa (VTI)

http://www.NoeAviation.com

iowa.agpilot at gmail dot com
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Re: flightaware tracking w/VFR flight following

Postby kkealy on Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:24 pm

You can also get reliable Flightaware tracking by doing this:

File an IFR flight plan (yes, even if you're not IFR qualified or intending to fly an IFR flight) BUT put (exactly like this) VFR/8500 (or your appropriate VFR altitude) into the Altitude field on your on-line flight plan tool, and put VFR ADV into the "remarks" field.

The characters "VFR/" followed by a VFR altitude will ensure that you do, actually, get a VFR flight plan, but it will be tracked and passed on as though it was an IFR flight plan. VFR ADV in the remarks field will be a reminder that you're asking for VFR Advisories. This has an additional benefit; when you launch and contact Center or your local TRACON in the air, they will already have your squawk code waiting for you.

For filing flight plans and online flight planning, I haven't yet found a tool to beat www.fltplan.com. You can't beat the price, and - although it takes a bit of getting used to - I love the features. For passengers taking their first (or rare) flight on a private plane, the "passenger briefing" printout is an inspired bit of class.

Oh, and I - too - use the SPOT tracking beacon thingy. My wife absolutely loves it, because she can see where I am when I fly long solo cross-countries.

Hope this helps someone!

Kevin
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APRS alternative tracking

Postby 9erPH on Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:46 am

I track my flights a different way, using APRS. This is a ham radio protocol and works great for airplanes. Here is a track of the first rescue I helped out with this week from Dayton to Minne:

Image

http://aprs.fi/?call=n789ph&mt=m&z=11&timerange=3600

You need to get a ham radio license - easy to do with a few nights of studying and radio tracker. The tracker is small and costs about $200. Once you are set up there are no subscripton fees.

My family uses this to track me all the time when I fly - it makes for easy pick up at the airport. This would work great for PNP coordination and central tracking of rescues. I'd be happy to help out anyone interested in APRS tracking.

Cheers,

Pete
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Re: flightaware tracking w/VFR flight following

Postby mchutto on Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:30 pm

There has been some discussion about flights not showing up on Flightaware. Having made many VFR trips using flight following up and down the east coast, I have noticed that the short trips under the control of local Class C controllers seldom show up. However, long trips under center control almost always appear. For example, when I go to FL my path shows up on Flightaware until Jacksonville Center hands me off to Daytona Approach. Then it looks like my flight terminated in the Atlantic Ocean. Locally, Norfolk Approach doesn't report parameters either.

The point of this is be sure to tell friends and family that sometimes your flight parameters are not picked up by Flightaware. Just because your track suddenly stops, it doesn't mean you've crashed. Filing IFR with VFR altitude and VFR ADV in the remarks doesn't guarantee that you will be tracked from take off to touchdown.

Any controllers out there that can shed more light on this?

Marty Hutto
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Re: flightaware tracking w/VFR flight following

Postby DCat22 on Fri May 22, 2009 3:17 pm

chaero wrote:If you're not familiar with this device, the company website at http://www.findmespot.com/en/ provides all the info you could wish for.

I have no interest, financial or otherwise in pushing this product. I'm only a customer and not even sure if it's a 'satified' one yet. Just bringing this up in case someone out there has been using SPOT and can chime in with real-world experience.


I use the SPOT too...sometimes tricky to get into a good place for reliable updates, but when it has a clear view of the sky, it works well. You can publish a public tracking map that can be viewed by anyone you send it to.

The SPOT also includes two configurable messages (the "ok" and "request help" buttons) that you can change the message on to send a pre-set email and/or text message to the destination party from the air. Something like "Should be landing in 30 minutes..." (I just wouldn't rely on this as an absolute though, and keep a time set if they don't get the message.)

SPOT sometimes runs promo's at pretty deep discounts...picked it up when it was less than $99.


9erPH wrote:I track my flights a different way, using APRS. This is a ham radio protocol and works great for airplanes. Here is a track of the first rescue I helped out with this week from Dayton to Minne:

<snip>

You need to get a ham radio license - easy to do with a few nights of studying and radio tracker. The tracker is small and costs about $200. Once you are set up there are no subscripton fees.
Pete


Nice. I had started working on a ham license way back...well I think morse was required, but I don't remember.

Is the device something like this? http://www.byonics.com/microtrak/mtaio.php (Or I suppose you could link the data device to an existing portable radio.)

Looks very interesting. I'll stop here to avoid derailing the thread, but I may bug you in the future once I look futher into it. :idea:
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