FlightAware Discussions

Another odd track

OK, what’s the deal with this track?

another pilot drinking and flying :open_mouth: :open_mouth: . Just joking that is a weird one for sure. 8)

Two aircraft in the air at the same time with the same identification; it’s likely that one of them was typoed or abbreviated.

Flying with a student yesterday on an RNAV GPS approach. The final is straight in on a NW heading, and we flew it with the autopilot coupled. The actual ground track was straight but the FlightAware graphic is … odd.

Can’t do much with this without a link to the flight or a tail number to look at.

Here is the Flight.

We lost direct ADS-B coverage (probably because of terrain) at around 6500ft at around 1605Z. Subsequent data is FAA radar data.

At about 1615Z (at around the time of the turn to the northwest) the FAA data source switched from Washington Center to Cleveland Center. The Cleveland data quality was worse and produced the zig-zag you see. Typically this happens when the data feed is combining data from two separate radar sources, and the two radars are tracking the aircraft at slightly different positions. Think of the resulting track as alternating between two parallel tracks.

(You can see the data sources by looking at the flight track log and checking the “reporting facility” column)

Unfortunately this is just an upstream data quality issue that we can’t do much about. If we had direct ADS-B reception down to lower altitudes the quality would be better, but looking at some terrain maps that might be … challenging.