new PiAware - why no regionals and no tail numbers?


#1

I’ll begin by saying that I’m very new to all the technology/hardware/software that most of you discuss quite casually in this forum. Hence, perhaps, by newby questions.

I recently set up a PiAware as described here:
flightaware.com/adsb/piaware/build

All seems to be working well, I’m seeing all the “major” airlines/aircraft that fly overhead. The main reason I wanted to set up a PiAware was to track the regional airline (Pacific Coastal - PCO) that flies into the local airport using Saab 340 and Beech 1900 aircraft. I was a bit disappointed to find that while I can “see” a 787 at FL380 I can’t see the Saab which flew a few thousand feet over my house. I guess this is because these regional aircraft are not equipped with a ADS-B transponder. Maybe someone can confirm this for me.

Also, with my account newly upgraded to Enterprise, I am now able to view aircraft tail numbers when I flight track by operator. So again I was disappointed to not see any tail numbers when I looked at flightaware.com/live/fleet/PCO. Initially I thought this was because of the regional aircraft, but in looking at other operators that operate SF34 and B190 aircraft I see that some (but certainly not all) show tail numbers. Can anyone explain this?

Many thanks!


#2

yes.
Most of our cargo flights don’t have tail numbers listed, i’m guessing they don’t get put on the flight plan, but I don’t know for certain.


#3

Those Saab 340 and Beech 1900 are probably not ADSB equipped and hence would need MLAT to provide a location. A combination of the low altitude and your distance from other Piaware receivers probably means there is not enough data for MLAT to give a position.

However they could be transmitting Mode-S and hence should appear in the table with a value in ICAO and Altitude columns and perhaps some other information. If a Saab 340 has just flown over and there is just one entry in the table at the correct altitude, that’s likely to be the one. You want a tail number? Search for the ICAO value on Flight Radar or similar.

This concept isn’t going to work on a major airway with lots of possibilities but, given your location, there are not going to be many options :smiley:


#4

Airframes.org is very helpful for looking up ICAO hex codes.


#5

Airframes.org is very helpful for looking up ICAO hex codes.

Agree. That’s what I usually use but I looked up a couple of Pacific Coastal hex codes and nothing there. Hence my suggested alternative.


#6

Many thanks for the replies. Very helpful!


#7

Hope it’s useful.

Based on personal experience when I was on vacation in Hawaii in May. There’s a USAF C-17 at 2500’ showing on my tablet/dongle combination as one passes by in front of me at about 2500’ on approach to HNL. No position showing but that’ll be the one, then!