Flight Drops off Tracking Screen

I normally track my wife’s flights from East Central Florida to Virginia. Her flight seems to drop off the tracking screen at the same place every time, just about 15 to 20 nm South of KDAB on V3.

Is there something about this area that causes the system to lose the transponder information?

Yes, very likely the airplane left one component of air traffic control (Center) and arrived into another component of air traffic control (approach).

Approach probably shows the flight as arrived and the tracking stops.

Very common occurrance with SOME approach facilities.


Thanks for the explanation. She was probably handed off to DAB Approach from Orlando Center. If they enter that handoff as an arrival, then the system would show an arrival. Sounds like the system needs a software update so this doesn’t happen since the aircraft is still flying and not at it’s destination.

You may want to do a search through the forums, as the support folks on Flight Aware have noted this problem many times. Flight Aware is just the receiver of the data that the FAA transmits, so the problem doesn’t exist on the website.

Needless to say, I’d suspect there is no safety issue since the plane is still squawking and talking :smiley: Just an inconvienance to the tracker of the flight.


I agree that the change in status is an FAA issue, however, the plane is still squawking, so the flight should remain on the tracking screen until the squawk code and flight plan is closed by the FAA. If the FAA is receiving the transponder code in the SSR, then Flight Aware is receiving also.

Again, once approach marks the flight arrived, the tracking stops. There is nothing to track by computer if it’s “arrived” (erroneous or not).

That doesn’t stop approach from tracking the flight (no different then a VFR flight at this point).

Transponder code is transmitting and received by the FAA computer and tracked.

It’s the demarcation of approach showing arrived (irregardless of airborne status) that stops the tracking.

Again, very well covered in prior postings.


Maybe so, I think Flight Aware could continue to show the track since they are continuing to receive the information from the FAA SSR link. Still sounds like a software problem with Flight Aware, or is it a “feature”?

Nough said.

Once the aircraft is handed off from the center (Jaksonville would be my guess) one of 2 things are going to happen to the track.

  1. If the center controller chooses to leave the track on his display and it does not add extra clutter, the track will remain in the NAS until the aircraft arrives.

  2. If the controller chooses to drop the track, the track is automaticaly removed from the center tracking system and therefore no longer reported out.

The track will remain in the TRACON ARTS or STARS computer until arrival at wihich point it will be dropped from the local system automaticaly.

This might make some sense if the flight was VFR Flight following, but the flight is an IFR flight and controllers do not drop IFR flights off of their screens. I say there is still a software bug with Flight Aware. Since the Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR) still receives the Transponder code, then the FAA is sending out that information on their link to Flight Aware. Flight Aware should still track the flight until the flight plan is closed.

The only information that doesn’t get transmitted over the link is military transponder codes.

Other flight trackers behave the same way, so the problem is not unique to Flight Aware.