New Speed Record?


#1

Gatwick (UK) to Dallas in under 2 1/2 hours (for several flights)!

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/AAL51

Not even the Concorde was that fast.


#2

Et tu, tobyz1? I thought for sure you would know the answer to this one!! :wink:

Flightaware gets its feed from the FAA, which doesn’t begin tracking the flights until they are in FAA-controlled airspace. The flight’s “duration” only consists of its time in FAA airspace, so the “Departure” time is actually the time that the FAA begins to monitor the flight. In a nutshell, the flights were in US airspace for 2.5 hours or so.
Having said that, I see many transAtlantic flights that come from the North over Lake Erie that are obviously being tracked on FAA radar, but are still listed as “Scheduled” when I track the flight itself. I’m not sure exactly who or what is responsible for triggering the departure signal to begin timing the flight. I would imagine that it’s the first controller to come in contact w/ the a/c, but I would sure think that an agency as big/important as the FAA could spring for some software that would “start” the flight automatically when its signature is first picked up.
Did I make sense, or is there something odd about these flights that I missed?


#3

Yeah, I think you got me on that one, planeaholic. Departure time is a “pseudo”.

I happened to notice AAL49 and AAL51 on the large-area KDFW map with a label that did not show type of plane on the top line. When you see those, typically it’s a VFR ‘flight-following’ flight. I don’t expect that for an AAL51, so I checked the flight history. Sure enough, it was shown as “Scheduled”. All that means is that the plane was landing at KDFW before the FAA got a departure message from Europe.


#4

I hate when it does that!! I wish there were a way (there HAS TO BE ONE) that either FAA or Flightaware could automatically recognize that the “Scheduled” flight happens to be in flight, and is being tracked on their own radar!!