In the first part of this YouTube video, you can see an aircraft supposedly flying 4x faster than the surrounding aircraft, at the time the Malaysian 777 went missing.

After replaying this on Flight Radar 24, KAL672 departs Kuala Lumpa a short while before MAS370. It then does a 180, flies back towards the airport, then appears to do another 180 and rockets across the ocean:

Here are the playback links for 2014-03-07 16:55: KAL672 and MAS370.

Essentially, my question is, what is this oddity that FR24 is showing? (to ward off conspiracy theorist nuts).

  • $\begingroup$ Sorry mate, while I get what you want to do, there's no way of explaining the (what is essentially a software-) glitch without speculation (or having access to their database) $\endgroup$
    – falstro
    Mar 14, 2014 at 6:20
  • $\begingroup$ @roe Fair enough if that's the case, but I thought someone might've been able to explain it :) $\endgroup$ Mar 14, 2014 at 7:10
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @roe Gotta admit, I think I disagree. I think this is quite easily explained by the fact that FR24 has random anomolies on almost all flights it tracks routinely (a fact I'm aware of because I'm the weirdo that sites at home, late at night, watching FedEx flights move about the country on FR24...). To me that is a pretty solid answer, and is also the first answer here. $\endgroup$
    – Jae Carr
    Mar 14, 2014 at 12:46
  • $\begingroup$ @JayCarr Sure. Too me that feels like saying "There's a glitch, because there's a glitch". You can't say with certainty what KAL672 was up to. If the question was rephrased to "Why are planes jumping around on flight radar" then ok. At the very least, ask the same question in the title as in the body, as the question has nothing to do with KAL672, and certainly nothing to do with MAS370. $\endgroup$
    – falstro
    Mar 14, 2014 at 13:18
  • $\begingroup$ @roe Ah, okay, I see where you're coming from. Perhaps I'll ask that other question and we can do a merge or something... $\endgroup$
    – Jae Carr
    Mar 14, 2014 at 13:50

1 Answer 1


With the way in which it suddenly switched back and forth it appears to be either a software glitch or bad data from one of the feeders.

All aircraft displayed in yellow on FlightRadar24 are detected by volunteers with their own ADS-B receivers, of varying quality in hardware, software and range. When aircraft reach the very edge of someone's receiver range you can occasionally get corrupted data, perhaps showing the aircraft somewhere back along its path or far off it.

Another scenario is when a receiver is having trouble uploading its data to the FR24 servers because of a bad internet connection or similar, so position updates arrive later than they should.

Sometimes the FR24 servers get conflicting info, for the same reason, where one ADS-B feeder is providing good data and the other bad. When that happens you can see the plane seem to jump backwards and forwards until one of the receivers is out of range.

It's something I've seen fairly often, even with my own receivers. FR24 does try to filter the anomalies out but it's a difficult task.

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    $\begingroup$ I'd have to agree. I'd also point out that anyone who has used FR24 for any period of time (to track a friends flight for examples), knows that pretty much every flight will have moments when it jumps around randomly. Though it can be a fun tool, FR24 is hardly perfect. $\endgroup$
    – Jae Carr
    Mar 14, 2014 at 12:44
  • $\begingroup$ the network delay shouldn't matter because ADS-B also transmits the time of day on the plane, and unless FR24 ignores that then it should only use the latest position $\endgroup$ Mar 14, 2014 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ @ratchetfreak: I'm pretty sure the timestamp is not included in the ADS-B data. There's not a lot of room in the packet and the time of day can be determined by the receiver when it actually receives the signal. $\endgroup$ May 16, 2014 at 2:37

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