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Tracking a plane – non aviators

Asked by: 3202 views General Aviation, Private Pilot

I traveled 180nm to visit my parents (uneventfully since I was with my CFII) But the question came up, what would I (my parents) do if you didn't show up? I asked my husband a Instrument rated and he said he'd try my cell phone first (obviously) and then would call flight services.  What sort of information should I give to someone if I'm traveling to them?  

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1 Answers



  1. Paul Tocknell on Nov 19, 2010

    Have you ever tried Flight Aware?  

    http://www.flightaware.com

    You can use this site to track both airline flights and specific tail numbers of general aviation aircraft.  My wife was able to use it at my former employer to track when I landed and made it to my destination safely.   All she had to do was put in my tail number.  You could give your parents that site and your N-number.  Although it works better with flights that have filed IFR flight plans, it will even sometimes track VFR flights if you are receiving flight following and are squawking a unique beacon code (something other than 1200).

    Another popular product is SPOT – Satellite Personal Tracker:

    http://www.mypilotstore.com/mypilotstore/sep/6636

    This line of products is designed EXACTLY for what you require and works for any flight – IFR / VFR as long as you are carrying your SPOT GPS receiver on board.  They have loads of features that will notify your love ones via email or SMS when you’ve landed.  I haven’t used it, but I know lots of pilots who have and like the peace of mind that comes with it.  You can read more features about the SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker here at MyPilotStore.com: http://www.mypilotstore.com/mypilotstore/sep/6636

    +4 Votes Thumb up 4 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes


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