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Can You Track Commercial Aircraft Movements?  
User currently offlineAvi8tir From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 410 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 8917 times:
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My questions is: is there a way that you can track an aircrafts movement throughout the day? What I mean is, for example, an aircraft may be doing several legs throughout the day. each leg may have a different flight number. my leg is the last leg. I do not know the other flight numbers for the aircraft on its previous flights. I also do not know the tail reg. I want to know if the inbound flight is going to be on time, which would then obviously effect my flights timing. thanks!


*Long live the Widget*
21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5408 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 8904 times:

The quick answer is no.

You can track the individual flight numbers, but not the specific aircraft. even if you could, you have no idea what that tail number is anyway, without access to the airline's data.

Your best info can probably be got from the airline's website.


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineDTW757 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1558 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 8843 times:

www.flytecomm.com
www.flightaware.com

Those are a couple of good sites for tracking flights



721,2,732,3,4,5,G,8,9,741,2,3,4,752,3,762,3,4,772,3,788,D93,5,M80,D10,M11,L10,100,AB6,319,20,21,332,3,388,146,CR2,7,ERJ,
User currently offlineTbnist03 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 106 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 8786 times:

Quoting DTW757 (Reply 2):
www.flytecomm.com
www.flightaware.com

Those are a couple of good sites for tracking flights

Personally, I think FlightAware is easier to use. I had a heck of a time browsing Flytecomm's site. It seems to me that a lot of flytecomm is software. FlightAware is simple, and produces almost instant results.


Go with FlightAware.



-Mike
User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5408 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 8759 times:

Quoting DTW757 (Reply 2):
Those are a couple of good sites for tracking flights



Quoting Tbnist03 (Reply 3):
Go with FlightAware.

Right, but that isn't the answer to the question.

You can track any commercial flight in US airspace if you know the flight number. You cannot a specific tailnumber for an airline flight, unless you happen to know the specific flights is assigned to.


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineDTW757 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1558 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 8725 times:

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 4):
Quoting DTW757 (Reply 2):
Those are a couple of good sites for tracking flights



Quoting Tbnist03 (Reply 3):
Go with FlightAware.

Right, but that isn't the answer to the question.

You can track any commercial flight in US airspace if you know the flight number. You cannot a specific tailnumber for an airline flight, unless you happen to know the specific flights is assigned to.


Jimbo

I don't think that either of us suggested that a specific tail number for the flights could be tracked.

Quoting Avi8tir (Thread starter):
I want to know if the inbound flight is going to be on time

I was giving a couple of sites where this information could be looked at other than the obvious of checking the airline's website.



721,2,732,3,4,5,G,8,9,741,2,3,4,752,3,762,3,4,772,3,788,D93,5,M80,D10,M11,L10,100,AB6,319,20,21,332,3,388,146,CR2,7,ERJ,
User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5408 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 8682 times:

Yes, the problem with the flight tracking websites, is that the flight plans are often not filed until a short period before departure, and after the inbound flight has landed. If the inbound flight is known to be delayed, the airline's website often will show the delay of the other flight long before a flight plan is filed.

Yes, they are good tracking websites. Also try:

http://icarus.red1aviation.com/index.jsp

Its $14.95/month but definitely has lots of functionality geared toward the enthusiast.


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6003 posts, RR: 14
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 8655 times:

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 6):
Yes, the problem with the flight tracking websites, is that the flight plans are often not filed until a short period before departure, and after the inbound flight has landed. If the inbound flight is known to be delayed, the airline's website often will show the delay of the other flight long before a flight plan is filed.

Incorrect. Flight plans are filed an 1-2 hours prior to the proposed departure time.



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5408 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 8610 times:

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 7):
Incorrect. Flight plans are filed an 1-2 hours prior to the proposed departure time.

In ideal circumstances they are, but I said they often file closer to departure time...which they do all the time.

I can give many examples if you'd like. Here are a couple from today:

UAL 180 SFO-LAX filed 12 mins before planned departure.
DAL 477 BOS-SLC files 39 mins ......


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6003 posts, RR: 14
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 8603 times:

Those guys may have been waiting on something to happen, like getting some maintenance issue out of out the way before sending the release. Rarely do I send a release and file that close to departure, and if I do, it's usually because of the above issue. You must remember that it is not the flight crew that does the filing; it is the dispatcher.


Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31679 posts, RR: 56
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 8575 times:

If you have access to the Airlines Flight Despatch dept.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5408 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 8575 times:

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 9):
Those guys may have been waiting on something to happen, like getting some maintenance issue out of out the way before sending the release. Rarely do I send a release and file that close to departure, and if I do, it's usually because of the above issue. You must remember that it is not the flight crew that does the filing; it is the dispatcher.

Correct, but that's part of the subject of this thread. It's only when something happens and there is a delay, that the normal process of filing/releasing is not in the 1-2hr window.

This information though is routinely included in the flight status screens on the airline's website, even though a flight plan has not been filed yet. Hence my suggestion that for commercial airline flights, you can often get more information from their websites rather than the flight tracking sites.

Another thing to remember is that the flight plan might show the orginal planned departure time, even though the airline knows it's not going to depart for another 30 minutes or more (due to late inbound flight perhaps). The flight plan is valid for a certain length of time (1-2hrs, correct me if I'm wrong!), before it needs to be amended or refiled.


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6003 posts, RR: 14
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 8556 times:

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 11):
The flight plan is valid for a certain length of time (1-2hrs, correct me if I'm wrong!), before it needs to be amended or refiled.

The flight plan is valid until the originating center kicks it out, which can be anywhere from 1-6 hours depending on the center. The release is only good until 1 hour after the proposed, or amended, departure time.

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 11):
This information though is routinely included in the flight status screens on the airline's website, even though a flight plan has not been filed yet. Hence my suggestion that for commercial airline flights, you can often get more information from their websites rather than the flight tracking sites.

If a known, non-flow or maintenance related delay occurs, then the plan would still be filed 1-2 hours prior to departure. The time in FLIFO will reflect the current proposed time, and the dispatcher will plan his release based upon that time. Only in situations where there is a known mechanical issue that cannot be immediately resolved, or estimated, would the time in FLIFO be continuosly updated to a new proposed time, but only when the problem is solved would the actual plan be filed, and that would be pretty close to departure.



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineDelta07 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 8534 times:

I use Red1 aviation all the time to get the flight plan to use in Flight-Sim. I know from years of experience that Red1's website, sometimes falls behind, however, when it's current. DL flight plans will normally show up 29-31 minutes before departure and are "filed" approx. 39 minutes beforehand. United's show up anywhere from 10-min all the way up to 6hrs. AA's usually show up about 1hr and 3 minutes. This is personal experience from using Red1 aviation.

F.R.



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User currently offlineVisityyj From Canada, joined Jun 2000, 519 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 8484 times:

Quoting Avi8tir (Thread starter):
My questions is: is there a way that you can track an aircrafts movement throughout the day? What I mean is, for example, an aircraft may be doing several legs throughout the day. each leg may have a different flight number. my leg is the last leg. I do not know the other flight numbers for the aircraft on its previous flights. I also do not know the tail reg. I want to know if the inbound flight is going to be on time, which would then obviously effect my flights timing. thanks!

Actually for US domestic flights this can be done. Now the bad news - it's going to take a **** of a lot of research  coffee  .

The DoT keeps statistics on all Class 1 airline flights: http://www.bts.gov/programs/airline_...rmation/airline_ontime_statistics/
(it takes about a month to collate them).
So, assuming your flight is a regularly scheduled one, you find a previous occurrence in the departures database and note the tail number for that day. Then look through the arrivals at the same airport for the same tail number and trace it back to the previous flight. And so on.

Hey, I said it wasn't going to be easy  faint . You should end up with the normal rotation for your plane for the whole day, and can monitor the same flights on the day of your flight. Then of course there will be a substitution somewhere  banghead 

hth (but I doubt it)


User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5408 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 8462 times:

...or you could just call the airline  Smile



Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineUAL747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 8414 times:

Some flight tracking websites also show false information on the movements of the flights. For instance, right before I went to NRT, I went to Flightaware.com to see how long the flights had been taking (they show you the scheduled flights previous to the one you are tracking as well), anyway, it was showing DFW-NRT with a time anywhere from 8hrs 10min to 9hrs 45min. Both you and I know it takes several more hours to get from DFW-NRT, more like 12.5-13.5hrs.

UAL


User currently offlineVisityyj From Canada, joined Jun 2000, 519 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 8212 times:

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 15):
...or you could just call the airline

How would some guy in India know where the airplane is ? Big grin


User currently offlineBa757gla From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 760 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 8210 times:

here in europe its a real problem cos we cannot track any flights.

User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 19, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 8143 times:

If I may also kick in... just because weeks or days or even hours before your flight the aircraft from filght 123 is suposed to go out as flight 456 and then come back as 789, and then go out as your flight 1234 doesn't mean an aircraft swap won't happen at the last minute (especially at a hub).

Your the aircraft that flew out as #789, could very well go out as flight 5678, and...

Lincoln



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineUAL747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 8126 times:

Quoting Ba757gla (Reply 18):
here in europe its a real problem cos we cannot track any flights.

Hehe, but we Americans can track your European airlines! WHOAAAAHHAHAHAHAHAHA!

(Well, at least in US airspace and part of the Atlantic.....)


UAL


User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5408 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 8008 times:

Quoting Ba757gla (Reply 18):
here in europe its a real problem cos we cannot track any flights.

For a hobby yes, maybe. To check times for a single commercial airline flight - no problem on the airline's website (most of 'em anyway), including gate and delay information which is not available from flight tracking websites.

In Europe you can buy an SBS-1 receiver and track all the aircraft you want in real-time with registrations!
http://www.kinetic-avionics.co.uk/

...you can get one in the USA here:
http://www.red1radar.com/


Flight Tracking websites are excellent for the enthusiast who is looking at all arrivals for an airport, or at a flight once airborne, etc. etc., but you've gotta use the right tool for the right job  Wink


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
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