My flight trace at 11,000 ft includes another at 36,000


The trace of my flight on 2007-06-22, N47912 from 06C to BED at 11,000 ft was mixed with another flight’s points at FL 360. Perhaps we both were assigned the same transponder code? I assume the FAA radar data sent to FlightAware would have xpndr to flight ID already mapped. That would make this an FAA problem, not FlightAware’s problem but the software could filter out unreasonable data.

Here is a sample of the flight trace info:

05:53PM 42.60 -85.18 148 11000
05:53PM 43.15 -75.55 406 36000
05:54PM 42.62 -85.12 148 11000
05:54PM 43.17 -75.70 404 36000
05:55PM 42.63 -85.07 148 11000
05:55PM 43.15 -75.87 413 36000
05:56PM 42.65 -85.02 148 11000

My Piper Turbo Arrow goes 148 kts at 11,000 ft, not 406 kts at 36000.

This produced a strange scribbled effect on the map that my wife was monitoring.


Your analysis is spot on, Ed. For about 10 minutes an aircraft at FL360 was about for sure in the FAA’s system, operating with your tail number, though not necessarily your transponder code.

There are some tricky things about trying to filter unreasonable data, like determining which is unreasonable… not always easy for a program. However the stuff that’s in beta will add two new fields to every position in a track log, one being the radar facility that was the source of the data. So you’ll always see that two different radar facilities are reporting when the numbers are way off from each other.

The second thing where you see it alternating reports between 11K ft and your actual altitude on the descent, that again will be disambiguated by reporting the facility, but also we’re in communication with our counterparts on the FAA side to resolve that particular discrepancy.