N123AB Oddity


#1

N123AB is en route KCMA/L35. It is shown en-route (6 minutes out) on the plane-tracking page. However, at the L35 airport activity page, there are no flights reported en route. What is odd is that on the little map, upper right, there is a blue dot near where KCMA and the plane should be.

How soon do you update the arrival airport after a flight plan is filed?


#2

I just noticed that at KCMA, N123AB is shown as a departure with a blank arrival time. That must have something to do with its absence from the L35 airport page. A bug??


#3

The aircraft likely did pop-up IFR with no flight plan on file, so no ETE or ETA is available. Airport pages are updated in real time but require an arrival time to be listed/sorted.


#4

I guess I don’t understand “pop-up IFR”. How does L35 get to be the destination if no flight plan is filed?

If the plane is en route, can’t you show the flight at the airport the plane is en route to, even with no ETA? Won’t there be an arrival message that would show the eventual arrival time? It requires some repprogramming, I know.


#5

When the aircraft requets a pop-up IFR clearance they only give the controller minimal information (possibly as little as current position and destination), and an ETE or ETA is not required.

The problem with flights with no ETA is where to put them on the En Route board: at the top, at the bottom, at some estimated (current time + distance remaining / airspeed) point in between? A good solution to that is on our to-do list.


#6

A quick fix might be to auto-fill a blank ETA with “no est.” and let your sorting routine put it wherever ‘alpha’ characters would fall. At least it would be on the airport page. [Maybe you can do the same when ETA = ‘diverted’.]

An estimated ETA would be better, but that requires actual programming on what is probably a low-priority problem. Go with the auto-fill and just get it online.

Your reply infers you get IFR report with an originating airport, but no destination. Maybe you can establish a pseudo-airport and auto-fill blanks with that code. I notice that airport code ‘KNOE’ (for K-‘no e(st.’)) is available.


#7

We’ll look into that; I’m not sure what the database guys are using when we don’t have an ETA.

Pop-up IFR clearances include the orgin (an airport if one is nearby, or a navaid, or a lat/long), departure time, and destination.