FlightAware Discussions

Alerts received on wrong aircraft

I keep getting flight alerts on movements of an unrelated aircraft in another state. Flight ware sends alerts saying my N number is flying from A to B in Texas while my aircraft is in the hangar in north Carolina.

Is this because that aircraft transponder is incorrectly transmitting the same code as the code assigned my N number? How do I stop getting these nuisance alerts?

That is one explanation. In that case you would see ADS-B or mlat data sources in the tracklogs for the other aircraft.

Another possibility is that we are receiving the wrong registration in the FAA feed; this can happen with short tail numbers when abbreviations of a longer tail number are used when talking to ATC (and so the abbreviated tail gets entered into their systems)

It will require fixing the upstream source that is giving us plausible but incorrect data.

(Without the actual N number to look at, most of the above is educated guesses)

My aircraft registration is N1CW. My aircraft is a PC12 based at KCLT.
From FAA database:
Mode S Code (base 8 / Oct) 50000111
Mode S Code (Base 16 / Hex) A00049

The nuisance alerts are from an aircraft in Central Texas.
I wish I knew how to stop getting alerts every time the Texas aircraft flies.

Looks like you are suffering from the tail abbreviation problem I mentioned.

Here’s a spurious flight for N1CW in Texas: https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N1CW/history/20200912/1451ZZ

Here’s a corresponding flight for N761CW at around the same time/location:

From the flightpaths, these are clearly the same aircraft.

If you look at the tracklog data, the track for “N1CW” was based entirely on data from the FAA (“Houston Center”) while the correct data for N761CW was entirely from our terrestrial ADS-B network.

What will have happened here is that for part of the flight, ATC will have entered the aircraft as N1CW (perhaps because the pilot identified themselves as “1CW” when talking to ATC) and that caused us to believe that N1CW was in fact in the air.

I’m not sure that there is a particularly good solution here since it is a human / communication / process issue rather than a technical problem. Note how it only happens occasionally, not for every flight. Unless you can somehow get the FAA to stop entering the wrong data, it’s tricky to fix short of blacklisting all data for N1CW from the FAA.

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