I just started using FlightAware today as a registered user – it’s a wonderful resource. I’ve noticed that on the live tracking screens there are some flights with no data tags on them. Am I correct in assuming these are VFR flights and/or aircraft with no flight plan?
Welcome to the forum, noshooz! The planes with no information tags don’t have tags because their location on the screen is too close to another plane that does have a tag. The programmers made it so that one airplane’s tag would not appear if the tag would interfere with another plane’s tag.
I’m not sure if it’s just a random display or if one plane somehow gets priority of showing data over another. I suspect that it’s random because if you keep clicking on the map link on the airport’s information page (not the actual tracking screen) to manually refresh the tracking page, sometimes you get lucky and will see the tag of another airplane.
Ditto. Another trick… pull up another airport in the area and you might see it.
Flight plans do not mean a plane will show up on Flight Aware. VFR flight plans are for search and rescue functions only.
Only when a VFR pilot activates the flight plan and gets flight following will there be a chance of being followed on Flight Aware. IFR flights are tracked when the clearance is received.
Aircraft without any ATC assistance (whether it be flight following or an IFR plan) will not show up in Flight Aware even if they are squawking VFR.