Hi All great site I am trying to track medical flights in the Den area. When I put the tail # the system does not recongize it. These are Lifeguard choppers is there some trick to this. Thx’s
The operator may have chosen to block their tail number from being tracked, may be operating under a flight number instead of their tail number, or may be flying under visual flight rules instead of instrument flight rules.
What tail numbers are you trying to track?
Also remember that if using VFR Flight Following or IFR Flight, Lifeguard flights have the prefix of “L” on the tailnumber.
Thus, N123AB would become LN123AB and would thus need to be tracked.
We automatically strip the leading L (and note that it is a lifeguard flight), so you can just put in the actual tail number and see lifeguard flights.
It’s not a matter of blocked tail numbers being blocked. The simple explanation is the medical helicopters fly VFR, not IFR, and thus aren’t tracked by the FlightAware system.
There’s an excellent discussion under Notable Activity / Lifeguard Flights.
I just want to clarify, that NOT all lifeguard Helicopters fly VFR, although most do. There are some that file IFR for one reason or another, and they are trackable. I am a pilot for a medical company, and our tracker system can see all the “lifeguard” flights (fixedwing and rotorwing), and some are IFR. (This is semi-useless knowledge, I know…)
Don’t call it “semi-useless information”, ford. Think of it as “semi-useful”.