Are there new issues with GA flight tracking?


We used to recommend Flight Aware to our friends who wanted to track us/know where we were. Lately, however, our flights do not show up on Flight Aware at all. Or maybe one random flight from 3 months ago will show up. We normally get flight following, even if we don’t file a flight plan and would always show up on flight aware. Lately - nothing. Example, on July 2 we flew from ABQ-SGU-BND - nothing at all on Flight Aware. Is anyone else seeing this?


What’s your aircraft registration? Do you men BDN (Bend, Oregon) instead of BND (Bandar Abbas Int’l Airport, Iran)?


I have been having the same problem over the past few weeks, noted particularly when I track my aircraft, N5090C. If one were to look, for example, at my flight of 7/16 that was VFR, no flight plan, but flight following from KPVC (on Cape Cod) to KCDW (Caldwell NJ), one would see a bizarre flight path and an estimated time from BDL to CDW of over two hours, even though the entire flight from the Cape was 1.4. The flight track is bizarre.

Until recently, once I got flight following, as was the case here with Cape Approach, my flight path was accurately described on FlightAware. Now it is hit and miss, and although I always get flight following on my weekly round trip, Flight Aware is only picking up the returns to KCDW, and then not at all accurately, and it entirely missing the the northeast flights from KCDW to KPVC.

ALSO, the notifications have stopped completely.

So, something has changed drastically, and not for the better.

Any clues why?


FA is a conduit for information received from the FAA and these type of errors can most often be ascribed to the FAA not reporting non-IFR tracking information correctly.


The FAA’s policy has always been to only include IFR flights in their feed to us. For a long time their ability to actually fulfill on that policy was a bit lacking and we’d get flight tracking information for a number of VFR flights, particularly if they were on flight following. On August 22, 2010 they had a major software release that mostly implemented the policy as intended and we haven’t seen many VFR flights since and the VFR flights are generally in poor shape.

Re: N5090C that’s pretty typical of the data we get for VFR flights: no real positions, waypoints that don’t match the origin/destination, bad or missing departure and arrival times.

The best way to be tracked on FlightAware is to fly IFR, file in advance, and pick up your clearance on the ground.


Thanks for the response. It is a shame that the FAA changed the data that it now feeds, because we know a lot of GA pilots who were big fans of FlightAware - and not many of us want to go through the hassle of flying IFR, filing in advance, etc etc on a perfectly nice summer day.


Are you beginning to get the feeling that there might be some among the powers that be that look askance at unregulated and undirected flight?