download track log for a given aircraft

Hi there,

  1. Given an aircraft’s info (airline, flight number, etc.), I would like to download the “track log” (time stamps, position, altitude, speed, etc.) as a spreadsheet or table. I can see this info displayed under “Live Flight Tracking” for each aircraft, but just wanted to know if there is a link to download the same (instead of manually copying over to a file).

  2. Also, the time-stamps have the hours and minutes info but the “seconds” info is missing. Can this info be made available as part of the track log?

I have searched the forums for these question but couldn’t find anything relevant. So, I am posting them here (apologies if I missed a similar topic in the forum, kindly direct me to the same). Thanks much!


If you are interested in developing your own application using the FlightXML API, you can use the “GetLastTrack” or “GetHistoricalTrack” function to retrieve the data and output it in any format you like. Timestamps are provided in UNIX epoch format (seconds since 1970).

Alternatively, once a flight has landed the flight tracking webpage has a Google Earth link to allow you download the flight path in KML format. The format is well documented by Google.

thank you for your help. this information helps!

I’ve been trying to view some historical flight info in google earth, but for a flight from CYHZ to CYUL it shows the aircraft flying eastbound over the equator? I can’t seem to figure it out…

Can you provide an example?

It’s done it with every flight I’ve downloaded so far. The long changes but the lat is always over the equator. Google Earth will put location markers on the correct airports but when you track the progress of the flight it’s way down south over the equator either move eastbound or westbound.

For example for Air Canada Jazz 8182 from March 4 (Fort St. John BC (CYXJ) - Vancouver International (CYVR))

Fort St. John and Vancouver have the pins on them but when I click on the flight from the side bar it relocates the screen down to the equator and the flight moves westbound over the equator.

I put together a quick test and it worked for me. If you would like I can share the program.

This is what I cobbled together over a five minute period. This is done with PHP:


$options = array(
                 'trace' => true,
                 'exceptions' => 0,
                 'login' => 'x',
                 'password' => 'y',

$client = new SoapClient('', $options);
$params = array("faFlightID" => "VNR184-1362480502-4-0");

$result = $client->GetHistoricalTrack($params);

$numReturned = count($result->GetHistoricalTrackResult->data);

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<kml xmlns="">
for ($count = 0; $count < $numReturned; $count++) {
 $latitude = $result->GetHistoricalTrackResult->data$count]->latitude;
 $longitude = $result->GetHistoricalTrackResult->data$count]->longitude;
 $altitude = $result->GetHistoricalTrackResult->data$count]->altitude;
 print "$longitude,$latitude,$altitude

I captured this output to a file called “maptest.kml”. Stored that output file on a webserver and then put this URL into my browser:

In my browser Google Maps loaded up with the flight track.


I’m not familiar with PHP.

Is it really necessary to run this code? I mean, why would they give you the option of viewing the flight in google earth if it doesn’t work properly?

I can see myself doing something like this.

I would project the path on Google Earth instead of Google Maps though. As a flight simmer I might want to project a few flights from FlightAware into Google Earth to give me the ability to see the altitude changes. At what waypoint were the altitude changes undertaken. I struggle with being either too high or too low on arrival. Seeing what the real world pilots do may help to teach me how to do it correctly also.

I can confirm that flight appears fine in Google Earth here. May be a problem with your Google Earth install.

Must be…I’ll try install