FlightAware Discussions

Rapid ascent

It is very, very quiet here on a wet Saturday morning.

No GA and only two aircraft within range.

On the Flightaware web page I can see a third plane, VH-YXK, at 20,000 about 15 km from here at MEN which is not visible on any of the 6 piaware I have in Melbourne. It is also not visible on Planefinder nor Flightradar.

The aircraft is an Agusta AW139 helicopter

and the tracklog shows it climbed from the deck to 20,000 in one minute. The tracklog also shows that it is ADS-B and not MLAT.

Wikipedia states

  • Service ceiling: 6,096 m (20,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 10.9 m/s (2,140 ft/min)

Is there any explanation for this information?



I think that it is likely an anomaly. I am sure your receivers would pickup something that high.
It is pretty rare for a helo to fly that high especially since the highest mountain in Aus is less than 8,000ft. From memory the altitude for Oxygen in Aus is 10,000, however, it has been almost 20 years since I did my CPL(A/H) exams.

I think so too but I can’t work out where the information could have come from.

The tracklog now shows that it landed but was at an altitude of 20,100 feet

The tracklog indicates the data was supplied as FlightAware ADS-B (MEL / YMML) which I assume means that someone running Piaware provided it. Is this a correct assumption?


Yes. We also got aireon data for it that matched. It might be a transponder being tested? (Almost no horizontal motion and it looks like it might be in a hangar or something)

It was just curious as I didn’t see it reported on any of the other aggregators I looked at.



That would be consistent with a ground target.
Or are you feeding other aggregators and saw that target on your receiver?

When i referred to aggregators i was looking at the websites flightaware.com, flightradar.com and planefinder.net.

The only place I saw it was on flightaware.com at the link above.

If the plane was actually there it would have shown on at least 5 of my Pis running dump1090 and piaware. It did not appear on any of them.

I can’t see ground targets at MEN except in rare atmospheric conditions.

The tracklog on flightaware.com showed it going literally straight up to 20,000 feet in under a minute.

Not bad for a helicopter. :wink:



…Never trust a flying machine that has wings that travel faster than it’s fuselage - so-to-speak. :rofl:

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Too late. No wings


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I digress. See them five sharp-looking things with leading edges on the top of that contraption? Thems’ are wings and liable to chop some poor unknowing soul’s cranium off (they do travel a bit faster than the fuselage when proper maintenance has been performed). No offense to any rotorheads out there by any means, just having some fun is all.

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Not so.

The rotors and the fuselage of a helicopter should arrive at the destination at the same time. :innocent:.

It seems I am not the only one seeing aberrant behaviour. 436 kts at less than 1 ft altitude which would be good even for Maverick.

Maybe we are seeing UFOs in the South Pacific?

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