FlightAware Discussions

ADS-B and GPS tracking

The use of GPS in air navigation makes the airplanes follow very precise “lanes” in the sky. This was not possible with the previous navigation aids.
I don’t know why, but that fascinates me…

This is a screenshot of what I am seeing on my radar, when clicked on the first plane in that line:


Yes, that’s pretty cool.

I see this on my radar from time to time if a chain of aircraft departing from EDDF going to east.

You can draw a single line across them, it’s fascinating

1 Like

Lots more to come with GNSS navigation.

L1C, L2C and L5 are being rolled out. They promise increased accuracy by 2027.

For Galileo
They are rolling out Dual band signals for increased accuracy.

Glonass and Beidou are also rolling out upgrades to their systems.

The ability to use more than one GNSS system improves accuracy and resiliency.

I think GNSS is really impressive for trans oceanic, Polar and outback(Middle of nowhere flying) routes . INS systems are expensive and require calibration. They are still great as a backup.

The Garmin 65 is a multiband GNSS hand-held receiver

My Air-Squitter GNSS info (Single frequency per GNSS system)


I love to watch Dubai International Airport. So impressed every time I see it.


I think that, as of now, only GPS is certified for flight.

I’m also amazed when I see the same flight follow the same track line 3 days or 2 weeks later. I see this from time to time at the edges of my VRS range plot map. A flight follows the exact track of a far away range plot line, again and again over time.


It does look strange in certain locations - like a motorway / highway in the sky

1 Like

Tha’s because they all pass the Ukrainian air space. Nobody wants to end up like Malaysia Flight 17 in 2014


Russians did a banged-up job there!

1 Like

Departing EDDF this morning in two directions:

But i am not sure about this guy and his GPS device :rofl:


Vacation time


That’s interesting! I don’t think this was a normal training flight.

He did that twice this week. This was the day before

1 Like

Some kind of aerial survey?


1 Like

Mapping services happen quite often here, but these are normally a square area and not this pattern

Callibration flight ? It seems to be centered on the same spot :innocent: Radar equipment maybe ?

I have heard of some users deliberately adding an offset of say 50M(150ft) to the right of track(where allowed) to reduce the chances of a head on collision. This is more important in areas that are not ATC controlled or covered well by surveillance. Two aircraft using highly accurate GNSS systems navigating between two well-known waypoints at the same altitude(I know there are preferred altitudes based on compass heading, however, they are not mandatory) could easily run into each other head on. Being at the exact same altitude could make them more difficult to see. Being head one would also significantly increase the closing speeds and lesson reactions times.

1 Like

ADS-B and TCAS makes pilots aware of each other, even if there is no ATC involved.

Is not like in old times, but yes, in the past, the precision of flight level was factor of other accidents…
This was a historic mid-air collision: 1956 Grand Canyon mid-air collision - Wikipedia

After more hearings the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 was passed, dissolving the CAA and creating the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA, later renamed the Federal Aviation Administration in 1966). The FAA was given total authority over American airspace, including military activity, and as procedures and ATC facilities were modernized, mid-air collisions gradually became less frequent.

Yes and no.
If you have ads-b and tcas then you should be fine.
If you have neither then it could be an issue. In a lot of airspace a transponder or even a radio, are not required.

1 Like

I’ve the usual up and down flight patterns for search and rescue and surveying, but never circles like that - they must have gotten dizzy :upside_down_face: