Flight/Tail # Instructions

Good Evening,

 I am a newly registered user and I would like some instrustion on using the Flight/Tail # Tracker becuase it doesn't seem to show what I was hoping it would show.  I have tried searching through the posts, but have come up empty.  What I was hoping I could do was go to airliners.net, for example, and find the tail number for a commercial airliners at my local airport, KCLE and then enter it into FlightAware and see where it has travelled lately.  I have tried a number of them - for example, N235WN (a Southwest B737 flying from KHOU to KMCO), but FlightAware is showing the following Error (below) and it did this for most of the tail numbers entered.

‘FlightAware couldn’t find N235WN just yet’

Am I misinterpreting how to use this feature or am I using the wrong numbers? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in Advance.

You can’t track a commercial flight by the tail # as they do not use that as their call sign… They go by the flight # so you need to search by that… You can also search by airport- Following the individual airplane as it travels would require you to know all the flight numbers planned for it which could vary depending on day/ airline/ route… difficult–

Here’s your flight- this one’s free…

Welcome to the forums, BFARLOW!

The answer to your question is in the FAQ which can be found in the top “sticky” posted message titled “Announcement: WELCOME TO FLIGHTAWARE - Please Read BEFORE Posting!” in the GENERAL forum.

The short answer to your question is that airliners go by their flight number - not their tail number. “Washington Center, this is DELTA 171 with you out of five thousand for flight level tree-one-zero”.

Thanks for the response on this one. It answered my questions. I wasn’t sure if the Flight Number and Aircraft ID were stored separately on an IFR Flight plan. From what was said, only the call sign is stored which would be a Flight Number for a commercial airliner and the registration number for most others. Thanks again for the help.