"Invader Jack" Flights


#1

Flight International, Inc (IVJ) is shown using the callsign, “Invader Jack”. Today I found a few IVJ flights to/from KNZY (North Island NAS, near San Diego). They come from airport “ZOOLU” and go back to airport “KVFR”, which are probably ATC flight plan annotations, rather than legit airports.

They show interesting flight plans. IVJ542 flew only about 30 miles, straight offshore into the Pacific. To/from an aircraft carrier?


#2

Definitely KVFR was entered as “VFR” and is intended to mean the flight will terminate as an IFR cancellation, which results as a VFR flight.

ZOOLU is an intersection 36 miles west of the Poggi VOR-TAC in San Diego. Perhaps this is a VFR flight that has an IFR flight plan because it’s leaving the US border/ADIZ.


#3

See l-3com.com/fi/Index.htm.

They do a lot of flights for the military. Some of these include towing targets for the fights to shoot at.


#4

There was some other K=non-airport thing that was reported in the past few weeks. “On the top”??

Maybe FA could create a character-string filter for those few instances and put in some explanatory text in lieu of an airport name when that happens. Better yet – recognize it as an ‘airport’ so that we can see ALL flights that will terminate into VFR (and other) conditions. FA might consider the same thing with navigational markers, such as ‘ZOOLU’ in the IVJ flights.


#5

Typically flight international planes (they are mostly light bizjets) provide training services for Navy ships off San Diego, Jacksonville and Norfolk. They will tow targets, act as targets/agressors, fly profiles for various tests, and carry pods that transmit various RF signatures.

They will often fly totally VFR but sometimes use an IFR flight plan to get them to VFR conditions at sea where they can then do the flight profiles required for the event.

On other occassions (really socked in weax) they will go IFR (under ATC control) into the Warning area (depicted on aviation charts), be handed off the the airspace controlling agency (FACSFAC) and then be handed off to the ship for control…almost all Navy ships have either air traffic controllers or air intercept controllers who are qualified to do this. Once in the Warning area and handed off by ATC, the FAA ATC facility will typically drop them out of the system and it is the Navy’s issue. Aircraft will then coordinate an return to their launch point and get a new ATC clearance (including a pop-up IFR clearance if necessary) and come back.

Issue is that these planes are typically in the ATC period for a short period of time (basically traffic deconfliction until handed off to the Navy and in the warning area which is already NOTAM’d as hot up to some altitude by the FACSFAC so there is no need for ATC to indicate anything else in the flight plan data that flightaware pulls…as a matter of fact, ATC may not be aware of anything other than the fact the aircraft launched and flew into that box…the rest is done internal to the Navy and (other than the Warning Area NOTAMS) is not published for obvious reasons…

Dave Klain
proud owner of
Mooney M20K(231) N99376
mooney.klain.net

and active-duty Naval Officer


#6

What surprised me, Dave, is that L3’s planes fly as an “airline”, which (to me) infers passengers. Had the planes been tracked by an ‘N’ tail number, I’d never have made any comment about it.

I guess someone has to tow practice targets and it is reasonable to contract out that work. Everything else you wrote sounds absolutely fine to me.


#7

Not sure that they fly as an “airline” I think it’s just that the flight aware system is treating them that way because they fly with a callsign instead of a tail number. That is exactly the same as all military aircraft and for the same reason…unlike private aircraft that fly a specific tail number, the airlines, military and Flight international fly missions (or scheduled flights for the airlines). If a plane goes down the mission is still flown with a replacement aircraft (different tail number) but using the same callsign because that is what is in all the clearance paperwork, pre-exercise messages, etc.

I’ve literally set up hundreds (if not thousands) of these and from the ship/FACSFAC perspective we could have cared less what the tail number of the aircraft was…we cared about that fact that “XXXX 25” was the guy to be handed off to USS XXXX for an exercise that that “XXXX 31” was the guy to be handed off to USS YYYY in a different area for a different exercise.

Make sense?

Dave


#8

tobyz1:

planes fly as an “airline”, which (to me) infers passengers

An airline is a company set up to transport people and/or cargo. The airline can be scheduled or charter. Aircraft can range in size from the smallest Cessnas to the largest Boeing and Airbus aircraft.

Some of the largest airlines in the world, in terms of aircraft operated, are cargo carriers (e.g. Fedex).

drklain:

unlike private aircraft that fly a specific tail number,

Not entirely true. I consider fractional aircraft to be privately owned and they operate for the most part under call signs. A few corporations also have call signs. Here’s a few examples.

Company Code Call sign sample flight
Labcorp SKQ Skylab flightaware.com/live/flight/SKQ222
Netjets EJA Execjet flightaware.com/live/flight/EJA787
Flight Options EJM Options flightaware.com/live/flight/OPT710

The criteria for call signs (“telephony designators” in FAA lingo) are detailed in FAA publication 7340.1 (faa.gov/ATpubs/CNT/1-4.htm). Paragraph 1-4-2c states:
Three-letter identifiers are assigned to aircraft operating agencies which operate 7 or more non-seasonal international air operations per week and/or generate the appropriate flight movement messages and other related flight operations over the Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunications Network (AFTN); or, 15 or more non-seasonal domestic commercial round trip air operations per week. Aircraft operating agencies which generate less than the prescribed international and/or domestic flight operations, may be waived as deemed advantageous to the U.S. air traffic control system and operationally appropriate by FAA. Exceptions to the above criteria may be authorized on an individual basis.


#9

Of course you are correct…I was using “Private” in the sense of a person or organization operating one or just a couple of aircraft as opposed to fleet operators who obviously do sometimes use a specific callsign. I also greatly simplified how military, military chartered and military support (like flight international) callsigns are assigned/used and what procedures we use…both to keep the response from getting overly technical and for obviouse security reasons.

My apologies if my overly-simplistic response confused anyone. I’ll be happy to explain in greater detail via email or private message.

all the best,
Dave


#10

planes fly as an “airline”, which (to me) infers passengers

I don’t know where my brain was when I wrote that. Of course FDX, UPS, and dozens of other cargo (non-passenger) carriers are airlines. Sorry for the brain spasm.


#11

For example: Angel Flight (NGF) and compassion flights (CMP). When we fly our call sign is “Angel Flight” and the last three numbers/letters of our tail number (“Angel Flight 7 4 Hotel”). It works just line an airline’s callsign does.

Mooneyguy


#12

drklain:

unlike private aircraft that fly a specific tail number,

Not entirely true. I consider fractional aircraft to be privately owned and they operate for the most part under call signs. A few corporations also have call signs. Here’s a few examples.

Company Code Call sign sample flight
Labcorp SKQ Skylab flightaware.com/live/flight/SKQ222
Netjets EJA Execjet flightaware.com/live/flight/EJA787
Flight Options EJM Options flightaware.com/live/flight/OPT710

The private aircraft that is flown under call signs, such as SKQ301 – Is there a way to identify the pilot or who the aircraft (indivual) belongs to? :question:


#13

[quote=“Somebody (all the quotes and missed coding was confussing)”]The private aircraft that is flown under call signs, such as SKQ301 – Is there a way to identify the pilot or who the aircraft (indivual) belongs to? :question:
[/quote]

Kind of, with Netjets aircraft that call sign you hear is EJA690 is in fact N690QS. Simply add QS to the flight number and you have the N number. Now go to Google and type in that number and you get a link to the FAA site. Of course owning a share of an aircraft doesn’t mean you’ll fly on that exact a/c. Some owner have never seen the aircraft they own.

I think that Citation Shares, Flex Jet, and Options all work that way too. LabCorp and Airnet have route numbers, so there would be no way of knowing which N number goes with which flight.


#14

Kind of, with Netjets aircraft that call sign you hear is EJA690 is in fact N690QS. Simply add QS to the flight number and you have the N number. Now go to Google and type in that number and you get a link to the FAA site. Of course owning a share of an aircraft doesn’t mean you’ll fly on that exact a/c. Some owner have never seen the aircraft they own.

I think that Citation Shares, Flex Jet, and Options all work that way too. LabCorp and Airnet have route numbers, so there would be no way of knowing which N number goes with which flight.
[/quote]

That is interesting – thank you!

I wonder if it applies to skylab – the two aircraft differs
SKQ301 - aircraft - Piper Navajo (twin piston) PA31/g
N301QS - aircraft - Cessna Citation Sovereign (twin-jet) C680/L

Oh Well…another dead end road

I’m having trouble answering back – I hope my question isn’t posted twice.


#15

N301QS would be EJA301… Netjets uses the QS N-numbers.
I’m not sure what N-numbers SKQ uses.


#16

OK…if you have a route number :smiley: – can you tag it with a N number :question: Or is this impossible ?

Is there any Skylab’s out here who is able to share some information? 8)

lightson


#17

It’s unusual for a given aircraft to operate a given flight each day. You can go to bts.gov and find out which aircraft operated which flight but that’s after the fact. Also, search this forum for ACAR websites - they will have information on tail number/flight number tie ups.