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Today I viewed the following flight on FlightRadar24 website. It show a flight with a callsign of 'BLEED' and with the destination missing. Is this a problem with the website or can an aircraft change its transponder data to show such a callsign?

enter image description here

And this is a news report item about this flight:

https://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Flight-enters-Israel-from-Turkey-with-call-sign-BLEED-573889

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Yes, a pilot can change this in-flight, just as they would have entered the data when on the ground before the flight.

On the A320, this is done from the FMGS (Flight Management and Guidance System). To do this, the pilot presses the DATA key on the MDCU (Multipurpose Display and Control Unit) keyboard. This brings up the following display:

enter image description here

And then selects the A/C STATUS page, which allows them to change the code (call sign/flight number):

enter image description here

This can be changed in flight by the pilots at any time. This information is sent to the ADS-B and other data-link systems that show up on radars and ultimately sites like FlightRadar24.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for detailed the answer, Ron. Can a pilot change the callsign to any value he/she wishes. Are there air traffic rules for setting callsigns? and do you know what 'BLEED' callsign means? $\endgroup$ – Shai Aharoni Dec 10 '18 at 7:26
  • $\begingroup$ I do not know what the BLEED callsign means, but yes, a pilot can change it to anything they wish. What it should be is the flight number though, and ATC will usually get upset if you change it mid-flight (because it shows up differently on radar). $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Dec 10 '18 at 13:36

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