FlightAware Discussions

High altitude tracking

Hello, I’m a bit of a newbie (set up my PiAware 4 days ago) so sorry for the possibly n00b question.

I live right under the flight path for London Heathrow so I’m picking up a lot of traffic despite my minuscule £7 indoor antenna. Occasionally I’ll see that I’ve picked up a plane flying over London, like IAD to Kuwait or something. These planes are up around 35,000 feet and it’s very impressive that my antenna picks these up!

However, these rarely ever get put into the “Recent flights with positions from this feeder on FlightAware.com” category but instead the “Additional recent flights fed to FlightAware” category. Why is it that it’s only the latter positions that seem to contribute to FlightAware.com?

For example, I generally only ever have landing planes in the former category and they’re always around altitude 1,200 - 1,800 and I usually only have 1-2 positions listed in the tracklog (though I was quite pleased once to see 4!).

Any ideas why the higher altitude planes get a miss from my station? Thanks!

During the day I can usually see 80-100 planes reporting positions at any one time and most of them I report about 100 positions, that same report might show that I’ve contributed 2 or 3 … I think it’s luck of the drewer - there are so many people reporting the same high planes you don’t get enough unique ‘hits’ for those planes that you get selected for a position report.

I could be wrong.

Putting the antenna outside the window will make a big difference to the number of planes, making up a tuned antenna and mounting it above roof level will make huge change (if there’s not a mobile phone tower too close). … depends what’s possible.