28

Looks like they were avoiding a storm system from Oregon north into Canada.


27

I find it hard to believe that this was a holding pattern of some sort. Believe it. An hour before landing would be about the point at which the aircraft will start its descent to its destination. Almost certainly, air traffic control were delaying your flight for a few moments to ease insertion into the landing pattern at Chicago. Doing this at altitude ...


20

Based on your provided flight info, I looked up the track history on flightradar and did see some potential traffic conflict that might have tempted the controller to route your plane that way. The first turn to the South appears to be a conflict with AAL 91, who was coming in from the North, also descending. AAL 91 executed a 90 right turn, while UAL 1709 ...


18

LiveATC.net has live and recorded ATC radio for most countries/airports. There are lots of flight tracking websites, e.g. FlightAware, that have live and recorded radar/ADS-B tracks. You'll have to correlate the two yourself.


17

It's on flightradar24.com blog: RF-85655’s Open Skies flights over the United States since the beginning of 2017 Here you can see more details over Washington. Two of the recent routes are here. One of them flying as low as 3,800 feet.


14

What you are seeing is merely a glitch in the publicly available telemetry sites like FlightAware use. They aggregate flight data from the FAA (ASDI), EUROCONTROL and others to feed their sites, but this data is not always accurate, and doesn't need to be. For that interval, the speed was either malformed or reported as 0/unavailable (don't remember ...


9

Storms have nothing to do with this. I'm a pilot who routinely flies into both Chicago O'Hare and La Guardia. The S-turns are because of flow control into busy airports. ATC normally tries to change speed of incoming aircraft but sometimes it's not enough and delay turns are required to ensure adequate separation. If they get really backed up due to bad ...


8

From the Flighradar How it works page: Flightradar24 relies on volunteers around the world for the majority of our coverage Note it implies: There are people willing to contribute These people can afford to buy receptors, gather the data and upload it to Flightradar About point 1. In case of China how much people are willing to contribute? How many ...


7

(Guessing the) Runway Selection For spotting airplanes, you want to know which are the current active runways. The runway history of planes or flights shouldn't matter much, unless your plane of interest is limited in what runways it can use. Large airports have many parallel runways. In general, outsiders will not have enough information at hand to ...


7

I'm a PPL student and I use two sources: LiveATC.net web site for getting used to live communication on my local airport and also for analyzing recorded communication during my training flights. VASAviation YouTube channel, which contains many videos capturing communication during aviation incidents, including charts and subtitles.


6

You can download Google Earth airspace files for most countries, and move through them in 3D to explore what they would look like for various areas. For example, you could see where you would be "under" a Class B shelf, or where you might navigate to avoid B/C/D airspace and "surface airport E airspace" (if you're flying an ultralight, for example). These ...


6

The German Space Agency (DLR) worked with ESA to track flights from space using ADS-B, the same technology behind flightaware etc. Some info about it is here A commercial entity, called Aireon, is planning a global constellation to monitor aircraft that will piggy-back upon the next generation of Iridium satellites. But, unfortunately, the recent setbacks ...


6

Your observation is somewhat correct. Plenty of flights land at hundreds of Chinese airports every day. The main reason why it always seems so empty on FR24 (technological issues aside addressed by Jean), is that 80% of China's airspace is open only to the military. Civillian flights are restricted to narrow corridors, adding many miles onto a flight, while ...


5

It's not fixed. I checked ICAO Annex 10 Vol II that lists the SARPs for communication. It will be down to the FIR the flight is being conducted in. For the NATS (UK) side of the Atlantic, I found this document (may not be current). The basic intervals are whichever comes first: Waypoint on the flight plan One hour had passed ETA has changed for the next ...


5

The next generation of Iridium satellites will have ADS-B receivers installed on them which will be used to track properly equipped aircraft. The company providing this service is Aireon. Most airliners are already equipped with ADS-B transmitters. From 2020 it is manadatory on the USA and in Europe to have ADS-B. The first satellite were to be launched ...


5

Tracking sites use FAA data for the most part, augmented by ADS-B data nowadays. For FAA data, they use what's in the National system. This is usually 99%+ of IFR flight plans, and some VFR flight following flight plans. IFR flights plans that aren't included are those that are local area pop-up requests(staying with the same approach control with a pop-up ...


5

No, there will always be flights that are private, or for any other reason not traceable.


4

NATS launches new flight tracking app National Air Traffic Services (NATS) has launched a new flight tracking app for iPads. The air navigation service provider said the Airspace Explorer app is the first of its kind to use “the same data that air traffic controllers use to safely guide the 6,500 aircraft that fly through the skies each day”, giving ...


4

Everything has been developed already. Geostationary satellites cover +/- 70° latitude. Many aircraft are equipped to communicate through geostationary satellites for telephony, internet, or tele-monitoring. In the MH370 event, the engines (!) have sent some data packages to the manufacturer. This is how we got to see these circles of MH370's last position, ...


4

If you just need a few days then FlightAware let’s you do that. I think it goes back 7 days for free. Past that you have to pay. That is for a particular flight. FR24 has a history feature that will play back the whole radar starting at a particular time. It plays back at 12x speed, though. On FR24 you just open the main screen, move the map where you want ...


3

No, no technology has been developed that utilize the smartphone of passengers because the airplane is at a location where it is outside the connectivity of any smartphone during the entire flight, except for maybe the first and last few minutes. A smartphone needs a cell tower to establish network connectivity, which typically has a range of a few hundred ...


3

Some websites offer historic flight records, but they are not free. And they don't go back for decades and are not complete. If you really must, try the FAA Registry, see if the owner is listed, and get in touch if their contact information is listed. The FAA only keeps broad records, as this answer explains. Don't get me wrong, but it's like asking where ...


3

There are initiatives taking place to provide satellite based ads-b service to aircraft. As a caveat, this doesn't necessarily mean that you will be able to see the data on FR24 or FA via the internet, at least the way it is currently. The implementation is through a complicated network of various entities. ICAO Since the disappearances of AF447 and MH370 ...


3

Just because FR24 and Flightaware don't show anything doesn't mean that the information is not available. FR24 and Flightaware are not the only systems out there; there are several others if you care to search, and many of them are not subject to the same restrictions as FR24 and FA. There are already (and have been for quite a few years) uplinks and ...


3

Yes: Many publicly available accident/incident reports contain communication transcripts; some of those will contain aircraft tracks, too.


2

Military aircraft, like civil aircraft have transponders. Military aircraft are assigned military codes, and their transponders have special military modes. An aircraft doesn't need a transponder to be "illuminated" by radar, but the transponder enhances the "blip" and modern transponders transmit additional aircraft information such as altitude (Mode C). ...


2

https://www.flightradar24.com/how-it-works - taken from the FR24 website. They use ADS-B - hence the reason the majority of General Aviation stuff doesn't show (unless it has a mode S transponder).


2

The data that FlightAware first receives for most commercial flights is sometimes delivered a year in advance via schedules published by the airlines. That data then usually remains unchanged until a few hours before the flight. Pilots or air traffic control operators controlling airspace on the route of flight will push out new data with a flight ...


2

It looks as if the GPS location was only updated at intervals, and the software extrapolated the missing path information using bezier curves.


2

Flightradar24 gets all this data from thousands of ADS-B receivers that they have all over the world. Rural areas in China (Middle and western parts) don't have these receivers and hence not much data is shown there. The kit they provide is free or charge and all they require from the recipient is to have a stable internet connection and power. ...


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