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2 Answers

Sporatic Flight Tracking

Asked by: 3116 views Commercial Pilot, General Aviation

I frequently fly IFR and can always find my flights tracked on flightaware.com but find that when I fly VFR, even when I use flight following, the track is hit and miss.  Sometimes it's there and sometimes it's not.  Any idea why?

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2 Answers

  1. CFI Academy on Oct 12, 2011

    VFR flights as we know, don’t even have to be tracked. But sure enough they sometimes do. And my thinking is that it’s got to do with the squawk code (transponder code). All ATC facilities usually use 2 different (maybe more) sets of codes. One for purely VFR, and the other for VFR traffic which goes through a lot more IFR traffic areas. For example, if you ask for a Transponder code for VFR flight following, and then for practise IFR approaches, which is still VFR, you will notice the difference. More if you fly in the same area a lot more often.
    Won’t bet any money on it, so this is just my guess.

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  2. Jim Foley on Oct 13, 2011

    Copied from the Flightaware.com FAQ:
    Can FlightAware track VFR flights? What about a VFR flight with a flight plan?
    Some VFR aircraft with flight following are available on the position maps but it largely unreliable and arrival/departure/flight plan data is often not available. VFR flight plans are irrelevant and only used by FSS for search and rescue. We suggest ensuring that aircraft are on an IFR flight plan from wheels up to wheels down for proper tracking.

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