Flights over the ocean

I live on the Central Oregon Coast. Occasionally, I’ll look at the activity in the area, and the mini-map will show a flight out over the ocean. Sometimes, when I click on it, the bigger map will show the flight details, and that’s great. If that doesn’t work, sometimes I can get the details by trying airports North and South of here. Sometimes that works, sometimes not. Just now, the mini map showed 5 flights out over the ocean, but no matter what I tried, I could only get details on one of them (MSP-HNL if anybody cares). Any ideas? Thanks

Does this help? It’s from the faq on tracking:

For flights departing the US for an international destination, FlightAware will be able to track the flight until it leaves the US and then it will be lost with no arrival ever recorded or the arrival time will be the time it left the US.

Not sure where you flights are coming from or going to.

Thanks. Yeah I know that you can’t always get all the data for international flights. I’m just curious as to the originating and arriving airports for flights that are close to flying over me. Sometimes, I can see that there is maybe a flight from SFO to China. Other times, I can see (from the mini map) that there is an unidentified plane out there, but when I click on the mini map, the bigger map doesn’t show it at all. Anyway, FlightAware is great.

How close to Newport are you?

Spending every waking hour looking at flights? I know the feeling…:unamused:

As you probably know a flight from, say, LAX to Narita won’t always fly the same exact route every day. The main variable are the winds aloft, the second is weather that might have thunderstorms and/or turbulence.
When the airlines dispatcher starts working on a flight he will first check the weather and if necessary block areas that may produce a bad ride. The computer takes that information as well as aircraft type, payload, reserve fuel required and a few other variables and spits out a route that has the shortest flight time and, hopefully the least fuel burn.

In your area you a most likely seeing aircraft flying to/from not only SFO but LAX, Tijuana, Mexico City etc. going to Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong etc. As you noted you may also see traffic between Hawaii and Portland, even Seattle, YVR, MSP, DEN, ORD etc.
I just checked, there are three published routes that are offshore in your area. Control area 1419 that connects A332 at Newport (ONP) heading to Hawaii, Control 1418/A331 between Hoquiam (HQM) and Hawaii and B453 that starts/ends at BOXER intersection which is well offshore from North Bend and heads Northwest towards Japan. These days with GPS and free flight aircraft don’t have to use one of these routes.
(BOXER is at 42 43.0N/126 10.8W) The Oakland Oceanic FIR boundary does not run due N/S but is approximately at 126 40W in your area. Not that that has anything to do with anything. 8)

The mini maps don’t have enough room to display every data block so , yes, you may not know who every aircraft is. If it is a blocked aircraft or military it won’t show up at all.


Thanks for the responses.

first, we’re about 15 miles north of Newport (ONP).

The thing that puzzles me is that I can see the planes on the mini map, but no ID. So I click to get a larger map, and sometimes the ID is there, but often not. Sometimes I can try another airport on the coast, and then the map will have the ID, but often not. Just now, there was a plane out over the ocean going due west over Tillamook. The KS45 map didn’t show an ID, but the KAST map did (It was PDX-HOG). Interestingly, there was also a lone plane over KAST, but no ID. Yesterday, FlightAware showed there were 5 planes over the ocean nearby, but I could only get the ID for one of them, despite trying several airports.

Am I correct in assuming that if it’s a military flight, I won’t see it on FlightAware at all? Or does FlightAware show the military plane but not the ID, which may explain my puzzlement?

BTW one interesting thing that we see down here is the occasional Boeing test flight from PAE that goes down the coast as far as ONP and then does a U turn and heads home.


Military and blocked flights just won’t show up at all.
It is frustrating wondering who is doing what, sometimes when the map updates it will change data blocks. Other than doing what you are doing with multiple maps there’s not much you can do.


maybe try an airport close to yours and see if they show up on that one. KACV is down in eureka california, just south of Crescent City.