Tell me when somebody is about to fly over my head!


Hey folks, great site! I stumbled across it tonight when I did a Google search on an N-number that I picked up off of my airband scanner. Your service is pretty darned cool.

I think that it would be nice if you had a feature that allowed me to set an alert which would fire when a flight hit its closest point to a given latitude and longitude (said latitude and longitude would tend to be…my house!) I don’t think it would be terribly difficult to implement. A simplistic approach would work like this: when you get a position update on a flight, figure out the track between its current point and its destination. Then draw a line perpindicular to the flight track, through the “checkpoint” [my house.] The intersection of these two lines would give the point of closest passage. From there, an ETA could be easily calculated, and an alert fired accordingly.

I apologize if this (or something that I could use to achieve the same result) has already been suggested. :slight_smile:


I was reading your post with interest … I am always looking up and trying to figure out type of aircraft … where it is going … where it came from …

Let me know if it happens


I think this is a cool idea. How about a mobile phone application that uses its GPS coordinates to find info for all flights overhead.

I have some experience with GPS applications on Motorola IDEN phones (Nextel), but would need to be able to query FlightAware flight data by lat/long ranges. If anyone wants to work on this please let me know!

  • Yes this would be great to see, maybe we can get a mod’ the chime in and let us know if it can be done or keep dreamen?


That would be great!~!~!
I always go running out of my house trying to see if I can spot the aircraft
that i seen on the computer.

What if we could zoom in on the map and see road names or something of the sort.

Cheers! :wink:


A problem with such a service is the 5 - 6 minute delay in our data feed. By time we see the aircraft near you, it’s actually 50 miles away (assuming a jet at cruise). On the other hand alerting you to all aircraft within 50 miles is going to produce a lot of hits.


For what it’s worth, that is why you’d want to take ground track into account, not just proximity to the point in question. After using your service for a few days, I have (in most cases) gotten to the point where I can manually predict passage based upon your information.

On the other hand, this is relatively easy in my area. Not too horribly many flights passing over, and I am relatively close to an airport (KDLH; my house is directly under a jet-distance “base leg” for the airport’s primary ILS approach.)

I’m surprised to hear that your delay is 5 minutes. I often hear the airplanes fly over my head only a minute or two prior to seeing the track pass over on your site. This is confirmed by position reports received over my handheld nav/comm.


Is there any way for you guys to tells us when the jet is 50 miles away,
like the staff member said. ( like are you even thinking of doing this?)

5min delay?
so i should run outside if the jet looks like its heading my way :confused:

well anyway…

p.s is awsome for aircraft photos.
thats how i found out about this site, was in their forums


That would be easy to fix.
Have users enter their long/lat or a NAVAID fix into their Myflightaware, then if an aircraft is due to go over their long/lat or FIX in the flightplan, then an email or IM can be sent to them.
Basically the trigger would be set up as

Example: Flightaware shows ACA234 65nm from YSJ[my fix] on the feed, ACA234 shows as doing 400GSPD. ACA234’s flightplan has YSJ in it… so it notifies me that it about to go over in X minutes.


65NM-[400/12]=31.66nm away live
31.66/[400/60]=4.75 MINUTES until live overhead
Hope this helps


I say … lets do it, it sounds easy,
Thanks for explaining


Might work better in some areas than in others. For example, I live under one of the approach paths to EWR, and in the time the delay passes, three or four planes could have passed over my house. And even if you can make up for the delay and predict where it is going to go, the planes will still be turning and such, which complicates things. If you want to try to implement it, I’m all for it, it just might be hard in some places.


How about being able to slect records based on the flight plan data. Being able to know which aircraft are using a certain airway or navigational fix would be most helpful. If you lived near any of the above this might work for you … the timing might not be perfect. Also being able to get an idea of how many aircraft were using a certain arrival or departure procedure for a given airport would also improve an already great product


That would be great!!!
I shoot photos of airliners for a web site (
and even if i could get the timing close, that would be awsome.
I dont want to be sitting on my porch all day long. :cry:
Cheers :mrgreen:


So you’re shooting from your house? Or an airport? If you’re at an airport, you won’t need this service, just look at the records of what aircraft arrived or departed at the time you wanted.


I am shooting from my house, to get some over head shots.
If im at the airport, you are right i dont need it. :smiley:


Interesting, so are you on an approach path or are you going for the contrail shots? I myself am on an approach path, with aircraft generally passing over at 5000, so they would make relatively boring belly shots compared to contrails. I haven’t invested in the nice glass yet to get the contrail shots that are quality.


Im going for a contrail shot.
I also need to get some glass for my camera.
for now i thinking of getting a Sigma 70-300mm L.


that would be an awesome feature but i know that wouldnt happen


I think it will happen…
sooner or later. :wink: