WestWing
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Incorrect Aircraft Type In UAL Flight Plan?

Sun Nov 30, 2008 5:48 pm

UA has many flight numbers which tag-on a domestic leg to an international flight. This allows UA to claim "direct flights" even if there is a change of the aircraft for the domestic leg. For example, UA 898 is a "direct" flight from PEK to BOS with a stopover in IAD. PEK to IAD is operated by a B772. IAD to BOS is typically A320, though it is sometimes operated by a A319, B737 or B757.

At the time of this post (Nov 30, 2008) if you look at FlightAware's history of UAL898, you will see that the aircraft type for the international leg ZBAA to KIAD (PEK to IAD) is showing up as the same aircraft type as the domestic leg (IAD to BOS). FlightAware claim that what you see on their screens is unmodified from what they receive from the FAA - so the error is in the FAA flight plan data.

There seem to be only three possibilities

a) The a/c type error is in the data that UAL submits to the FAA
b) UAL files correct a/c type, FAA changes it and outputs incorrect a/c type in their feed
c) FAA feed output has correct a/c type, FlightAware displays it incorrectly.

Is it possible to verify (from a source other than FlightAware) whether or not UAL has *really* been filing flight plans with "A320" as the aircraft type for UAL898 ZBAA to KIAD ?

(Edited to enumerate possibilities)

[Edited 2008-11-30 09:59:58]
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EMBQA
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RE: Incorrect Aircraft Type In UAL Flight Plan?

Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:25 pm

Quoting WestWing (Thread starter):
There seem to be only three possibilities

(d)...Flightaware is screwed up like it often is. Flightaware has glitchs in the computer system that show up like the errors you pointed out. Very common actually. I would say this comes from the fact that because this flight has continuing domestic service...and Flightaware only tracks international service on a very limited basis..Flightaware only sees the flight information as domestic and it thinks the whole trip is done with the A320

[Edited 2008-11-30 11:34:49]
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WestWing
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RE: Incorrect Aircraft Type In UAL Flight Plan?

Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:51 pm



Quoting EMBQA (Reply 1):
(d)...Flightaware is screwed up like it often is.

My reason (c) - the FAA is sending out the correct information but FlightAware is displaying it incorrectly - was intended to encompass your (d).

I hope somone here can examine the flight plan information disseminated by the FAA ( independent of FlightAware ) - and report whether or not the aircraft type in the data output by the FAA shows a B772 for the ZBAA to KIAD flight.
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Goldenshield
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RE: Incorrect Aircraft Type In UAL Flight Plan?

Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:52 pm



Quoting WestWing (Reply 2):
I hope somone here can examine the flight plan information disseminated by the FAA ( independent of FlightAware ) - and report whether or not the aircraft type in the data output by the FAA shows a B772 for the ZBAA to KIAD flight.

It's a B772 per Flight Explorer.
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jgarrido
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RE: Incorrect Aircraft Type In UAL Flight Plan?

Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:45 pm

Flight aware error. If the plane had filed the wrong type. A controller somewhere would have changed it. Same goes for scenario number 'b'. Furthermore if you look at flight aware's map (at least for now) it shows the correct type in the a/c "tag".

http://www.getdropbox.com/photos/show/flight_track_map.rvt.gif
 
bond007
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RE: Incorrect Aircraft Type In UAL Flight Plan?

Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:42 am

Yes, this is more than likely a Flightaware glitch caused by a combination of factors ... first, the initial leg is international, and Flightaware only gets the data when the aircraft enters US airspace ... more often than not, it will NOT get a flight plan message for this leg, just position report messages when it enters the airspace. Secondly, there maybe multple flights that are current in the Flightaware system for the same flight number (because of the 2 legs), and this may cause a problem because of the first factor I mentioned.

I have disseminated this data many times, and some of the main problems are the above - International flights, and matching mutliple flights/legs using the same flight number, (especially when one is international).


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WestWing
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RE: Incorrect Aircraft Type In UAL Flight Plan?

Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:38 am

Thanks to everyone for all the responses. I had asked the question in the FlightAware forums also, but at the time I started this thread, I had not received a convincing explanation over there.

Now, I am reliably informed that this is a known issue in FlightAware that affects some flights and not others. FYI, an example of a flight where this issue is not seen is UAL888.
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